Scheme raises a stink with some

ODOROUS MESSAGE: The sign that Regan Smith erected  at the airport entrance.
ODOROUS MESSAGE: The sign that Regan Smith erected at the airport entrance.

A proposed sewerage scheme has the potential to cause a rift between Te Anau and Manapouri residents.

Manapouri resident Vicky Burch cried as she told hearing commissioners that the scheme would "cause a rift" between the two communities.

A friend's son, who lives in Manapouri, had been teased at school in Te Anau because Manapouri would be where they "send our poo", she said.

"As if it wasn't bad enough we will have this in our backyard, must we be teased by Te Anau too?

"Sorry, I don't usually cry . . . this is just very personal to me," she said yesterday at the Southland District Council's hearing for the proposed Te Anau sewerage scheme.

Te Anau resident Diane Ridley, a former councillor, spoke in favour of the scheme.

"I do feel there has been much emotive pressure from a few and also know that few have actually read the documents."

There was potential for Manapouri to connect with the proposed scheme should it go ahead.

"I suggest many of the submitters will not be so unhappy that the hard work has been done for them," Ridley said.

Te Anau Community Board member Mark Deaker told the hearing the board's decision to support the scheme "was not unanimous".

The scheme was first intended to allow for population growth, but the latest census figures show there were only 15 more people in Te Anau, he said.

"One portaloo would take care of that."

Deaker queried the financial implications of the scheme, but was told by hearing commissioners that he could not submit on the cost as it was not considered under the Resource Management Act.

People who spoke against the scheme were concerned about odour and land and water contamination, and were angry about a lack of consultation.

Farmer Cameron McDonald's property borders the site and he showed commissioners photos of flooding in previous years as evidence that contaminants from the wastewater could be carried to waterways in extreme weather events.

People who spoke against the proposed scheme received bursts of applause from the public gallery.

Commissioner Dennis Nugent ordered the applause to stop because it took up too much time.

The hearing continues today.

The Southland Times