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Milestone for Kerikeri Wastewater Project

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Far North District Council’s Kerikeri Wastewater Project has marked another milestone on Tuesday 13 March with a blessing of the site for the new wastewater treatment plant.

The new plant will be built on a rural block, about 3km out of central Kerikeri, replacing the existing plant on Shepherd Road.

Due to wet weather limiting access to the site, the blessing and ceremonial sod-turning was attended by a small group of representatives. It was followed by a formal ceremony at the Turner Centre attended by about 35 people.

The ceremony was led by Ngati Rehia, the tangata whenua of the area. During the ceremony, the strong relationship between the iwi and the Council was acknowledged.

Mayor John Carter says the Kerikeri Wastewater Project could not have got across the line without the support of the iwi.

"This is an important step for the history of our district. The Kerikeri Wastewater Project is a big project and it means a lot for the community and this district."

Council Chief Executive Shaun Clarke says the new sewerage project will give the Kerikeri community the flexibility to grow.

"I have no doubt in my mind that this has really big implications for our district. It is really important for our health, and hygiene and ability to grow," he says.

The Council has voted to award the plant construction contract to Broadspectrum (New Zealand) Ltd. Work is expected to start on the site in April.

Mayor Carter says the new plant, designed by engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald, will cater for growth in Kerikeri and will replace the old plant, built in 1989.

"The new plant is designed to treat 1000 cubic metres of sewage a day - that’s more than three times what the current plant is designed for," he says.

"On top of this, the plant is designed to be easily expanded. The first stage of expansion allows it to treat a further 500 cubic metres of sewage - our current projections say it will take eight to 10 years of growth before that is needed.

"A second expansion will allow the plant to treat a further 500 cubic metres, as required in the future."

The new treatment plant is just one half of the project. The other half is the expansion of the of the sewerage network around Kerikeri, which will allow connection of 350 existing homes and businesses that currently use on-site disposal systems or septic tanks. Ultimately, a further 2000 properties will be able to connect.

Mayor Carter says United Civil Construction started this work in May 2017 and the first stage is due to be completed this month.

"United Civil has done a fabulous job minimising the impact of their works on the community and, what’s more, they have a very good health and safety record with no ‘loss time incidents’ - despite staff working more than 37,000 hours," he says.

A loss time incident results from an accident where an employee has to take time off work.

The Ministry of Health agreed to help fund this project with a $7.3 million subsidy to ensure the project caters for future growth, as well as improving sewage treatment in Kerikeri.

Receiving the money will directly help ratepayers, and means the targeted sewerage rates planned in our Long Term Plan consultation document will come down for the next two financial years.

Go to www.fndc.govt.nz/kkwp for more information about the Kerikeri Wastewater Project.

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