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    Council must act quickly on long-term wastewater solution for Motueka

    Tasman District Council is being urged to work faster on the replacement for the Motueka Wastewater Treatment Plant. 

    “To protect the health of all people and the taiao, a resilient long-term solution is needed,” Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rārua Pouwhakahere Shane Graham says.  

    “In September it was discovered filtration equipment at the Motueka Wastewater Treatment plant was not performing to the required level,” he said. 

    “Despite actions taken by Te Kaunihera o Te Tai o Aōrere to cope with the equipment failure and to prevent the treatment ponds from overflowing, partly treated wastewater has entered the estuarine areas and is therefore likely to have entered our tupuna awa and moana.    

    “We appreciate the council’s willingness to partner on this issue and their efforts to keep us informed. However, if the plant cannot perform as expected and be relied on to do its job, then it’s time to accelerate the plans for its replacement.  

    “The council’s own planning acknowledges that with climate change and rising sea levels predicted to have increasing effects in the coming years, our estuaries will be more vulnerable to inundation and storm surge.   

    The Wastewater Activity Management Plan shows the plant, which services Motueka, Riwaka and Kaiteriteri, is scheduled for replacement in the 2030s.   

    “This is not an asset to sweat to the point of failure. We simply cannot risk the health or the mauri of the taiao in one of Aotearoa’s most beautiful areas.   

    “We urge the council to bring forward the scheduled replacement of the plant. Moving it to an inland location, where the treated wastewater can be discharged to land rather than awa or Moana is a far better long-term solution.” 

    Richard Liddicoat

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    Council must act quickly on long-term wastewater solution for Motueka