Te Anau sewerage scheme review under way
After months of frustration for many Te Anau and Manapouri residents since consents were approved, action on a proposed sewerage scheme is under way.
Southland District Council-appointed peer reviewers, a trio of experts from
In January three commissioners approved consents for the council to designate land for wastewater treatment, as well as an application to discharge wastewater
The proposal was met with vehement opposition from the community, and the consents were appealed to the Environment Court.
PDP technical director Robert Docherty, environmental scientist Karen Sky and environmental engineer Dan Garden spoke to the committee.
During their three days in Te Anau, the trio will meet with the public and other stakeholders to gather information about opinions on the proposed scheme and any suggestions for alternatives.
They would also spend a day meeting stakeholders in Invercargill, Docherty said.
The review would evaluate the proposed scheme against other practicable options.
Some of those options have already been identified, and Manapouri resident Murray Hagen asked whether the committee had been told of them yet.
Committee chairman and Southland District Mayor Gary Tong said he had signed a confidentiality agreement regarding a Hokonui Runanga scheme, so the committee had not been filled in on it, but hoped the agreement could be waived so that PDP could have
A second proposed scheme, from
Docherty said he had spoken with Riddell, whose scheme could be "impressive," but it, along with everything which would be included in the review, would need careful consideration.
Several Te Anau and Manapouri residents spoke at Monday's meeting, including Fiordland Sewage Options Inc chairman Alistair Paton-McDonald, who was concerned about the tight timeframe set for the peer reviewers.
A draft copy of the review is expected to be completed by October, with a final report due in November.
"We are concerned that the timeframe specified by [the Southland District Council] to carry out the review could dramatically hinder a complete opening of the books to derive the correct outcome.
"We believe that time is irrelevant, as
Tong reassured Paton-McDonald that the review would be thorough, and if PDP needed more time to complete it, then that would be negotiated willingly.
Te Anau resident Glenda Bell spoke against the consented scheme, describing it as a "
But Tong regularly interrupted her and warned against speaking poorly of members of council staff.
"You've got a very positive committee going forward," he said.
Committee member Shirley Mouat thanked Bell for speaking at the meeting.
The final report from PDP should include everything the council will need to make a final decision on whether to forge ahead with the current proposal, or switch to another, including budgets.