Te Anau sewage hearing starts

CONSULTATION: SDC lawyer Michael Garbett (left) and SDC water and waste manager Ian Evans during the hearing in Te Anau.
Barry Harcourt

CONSULTATION: SDC lawyer Michael Garbett (left) and SDC water and waste manager Ian Evans during the hearing in Te Anau.

New information on a controversial proposal to spread Te Anau's treated sewage over land near Manapouri will be heard today.

The second round of hearings on the Southland District Council's multi-million dollar proposal begins before three independent commissioners, in Te Anau at 10am.

The first hearings in June were adjourned when commissioners asked for more information from the council.

The commissioners will decide whether to approve an application to designate land for wastewater treatment, as well as an application to discharge wastewater on to land and odour into air.

The proposed scheme has prompted a backlash from Manapouri residents, some of whom have promised to take the council to Environment Court if it goes ahead.

The Southland District Council group manager services and assets, Ian Marshall, said the new information was from expert witnesses to answer questions raised by the hearing commissioners.

"The boundary of the southern block that is proposed to be designated [for wastewater treatment] has been reduced in size ... to match up with the area the ... expert considers is suited to irrigation," he said.

The new information generally supported evidence about the likely effects of the application heard in July, he said.

The hearings are expected to continue for several days, with submitters to the July hearings given the opportunity to speak about the new evidence.

FACTBOX:

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Te Anau proposal fast facts

- Estimated project cost - between $9.8 million and $11.9m.

- Effluent would be treated and pumped from Te Anau to land next to the Te Anau Airport, near Manapouri, via a 19-kilometre pipeline.

- The wastewater would then be spread over land using pivot irrigators.

- Submissions were invited between November last year and February 2014.

- Of the 150 submissions received, 140 were opposed, seven supported the proposal, four were neutral, and one partly supported and partly opposed.

 - The Southland Times

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