Calls for reticulation at Wainui
SEVERAL committee members at Gisborne District Council’s Future Tairawhiti committee meeting have called for the council to bring forward an investigation into water and sewerage reticulation at Wainui.
But the committee agreed to leave unchanged a draft 30-year council infrastructure programme, of which the Wainui reticulation is part.
That draft says a decision on wastewater services for the communities was not expected until year 10 of the long-term district plan.
It would set aside $100,000 in years seven to nine (from 2024) to research the issue.
Lifelines director David Wilson said this was a holding amount put into the long-term plan to show what the approximate cost would be. It had not been broken down to say which ratepayers would be paying for it. It did not include the cost of connecting private properties.
Councillors had mixed views on whether the investigation should be brought forward.
Pat Seymour said the cost of reticulation was going to get greater the longer the council put it off.
“I would like to see that brought forward,” she said.
“We keep making excuses as to why we cannot do that. We are just not being realistic. This is the 21st century and we are not even going to start the investigations until 2024 or 2025.
“I really think we should be doing it sooner. Wainui is a modern suburb where we have many people living, like Makaraka.
“We should say this is important. We are only going to be asking the community. They can give us feedback on that.”
The council should bring the investigation forward to year 4, which was 2021-22, and it should at least acknowledge it was an issue, she said.
Majority previously say noBill Burdett said the last time the council called for submissions the great majority said no.
Pat Seymour said that was because it was so expensive. What was offered was individual grinding pumps, but the world had moved on since then.
Andy Cranston said the council needed to know if it had the capacity to take on another 600 houses. That had to happen first.
Mayor Meng Foon said the biggest issue was whether the ground was contaminated. Hopefully some information would be obtained on that.
Shannon Dowsing said large subdivisions were planned and demand was going to increase on the city side. By the time the council got to investigate Wainui, all the infrastructure might be out of date.
“It either has to be part of our plan or it has to be scrapped,” he said.
Brian Wilson, a Wainui resident, asked why there was a drive to change Wainui, apart from the fact that some septic tanks were not working well. In most of Wainui they were probably working adequately.
Mr Burdett said people had put in expensive septic tank systems costing up to $30,000.
”We are going to be short of water in the future and here you are trying to speed up to get more water out there," Brian Wilson said.
"I don’t see the logic behind it. I don’t think we need to rush into it. It is not that long ago that we did survey all of Wainui, so why rush into it again?"
But he had to qualify that as a member of the health board, he said.
Tanks were not a controlled environment and you could get all sorts of bugs and bits and pieces off your roof, so in the end reticulation would be preferable. He was only saying that at the moment rushing into it was not a good thing.
Mr Foon said there had been more bug outbreaks through controlled water supplies such as at Havelock North than in tanks.
Rehette Stoltz said she attended a “cuppa” meeting in Wainui and a large section of the community said “why are we waiting, can we please look into this?”
Several committee members asked how many people were at that meeting. The answer was about 25.
Graeme Thomson said he went to a meeting at Wainui years ago where everyone present was in favour of reticulation. They only changed their mind when the council started talking about cost.
Mr Cranston said he had seen infill housing at Wainui and asked why that was being allowed.
David Wilson said there were some “interesting” provisions in the district plan at Wainui that allowed extra houses to be built on the same property.
The council was investigating plan changes that would restrict that.