Pipeline no joke to fuming residents

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 14/07/2014
sign
BARRY HARCOURT/ Fairfax NZ

LOUD AND PROUD: A sign in Te Anau highlights the opposition the Southland District Council faces in its quest to deal with Te Anau’s sewerage.

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The Southland District Council's proposed sewerage scheme for Te Anau stinks, Te Anau and Manapouri community members say.

With submission hearings set for Te Anau today, some residents have put up a sign letting people know they do not want sewage, treated or not, pumped along a 19km pipeline from Te Anau to land next to the Te Anau Airport, near Manapouri.

Of the 150 submissions received, 140 are opposed, seven support the proposal, four are neutral, and one is takes a mixed view.

Former Te Anau Community Board member Ted Loose said the sign was a way of reinforcing the message those living in the area were against the plan.

"There are several reasons why this proposal does not make sense," Loose said.

Fiordland was earthquake prone and a 19km long pipeline was at risk of rupture, he said.

"Who knows the consequences of a burst pipe that is filled with effluent?"

The nutrient-rich discharge would make the soil at the airport fertile, increasing worms and the flocking of birds. "There is already an issue with birdstrike at Te Anau Airport. This would just increase the risk," he said.

Environmental risks were also largely unknown, he said.

Environment Southland policy, planning and regulatory services manager Vin Smith said the joint hearing would be run by commissioners.

To date, the Southland District Council had applied for resource consents to discharge treated wastewater to land adjacent to the Manapouri airport.

The Southland District Council also sought to designate the land for this purpose.

These applications were notified by the Southland District Council and Environment Southland because of their significance to the community, Smith said. 

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