GDC ‘dragging the chain’ over Wainui reticulation issue

Community consultation meeting at Wainui School.

Community consultation meeting at Wainui School.

The decades-long debate about reticulation for the beach suburbs took precedence at the Long Term Plan (LTP) community consultation meeting at Wainui School this week.

Around 20 people attended, with a vocal handful upset the reticulation issue to Wainui and Okitu had been left out of Gisborne District Council’s LTP.

Gisborne was dragging the chain nationwide by not reticulating the populated suburbs of Wainui and Okitu with water and sewage, said long-term resident Neville Manning.

“We’ve got to do something about it.”

Wainui resident Michael Muir said it was hard to believe that in the 21st century more effort had not been put into wastewater and sewage for the suburbs of Wainui and Okitu.

Another resident said “year after year” they complained about the same thing to the council and nothing happened.

“Why do we bother coming?” she asked.

Council will 'look at it again in seven years time'

GDC director community lifelines David Wilson said for Wainui to be reticulated for water and sewage a lot needed to happen.

The council would look at it again in seven years time, he said.

Mr Wilson acknowledged this was a debate that happened time and again.

“If you want reticulation at Wainui you have to put in a submission to the Long Term Plan.”

Mr Wilson said the issues with water supply and redirecting sewage into town were the cost and a city already struggling to keep up with present demand.

“We can’t handle the volume we’ve got, so if we reticulate Wainui, that’s more wastewater and water.”

A Wainui resident for more than 40 years asked with sewers still overflowing in town rivers every time it rained heavily, how long would it take for GDC to reticulate Wainui.

“If you can’t do it in town and in over 40 years nothing has been done at Wainui . . . what’s going on?”

Deputy Mayor Rehette Stoltz led the meeting in Mayor Meng Foon’s absence.

Mrs Stoltz said a lot had been done and they had reduced the overflows.

Mr Wilson said there had been less sewage overflows going into the city’s rivers after it rained, and when it did happen, it was for less time.

For the council to bring water to Wainui, there would have to be another dam at Waingake, he said.

“That’s $30 million alone.”

It wasn’t water the residents were most upset about — they were fine with their rain water tanks, one said — it was more the wastewater.

“When we talk about waste going into town, that means a new pump station at $800,000 and that is before we start putting pipes down streets, and then connecting them to houses. We are not going to fix the problem in the short term,” said Mr Wilson.

Speaking as a resident, not as a councillor, Pat Seymour said she thought the council would do the beach community a good service to prepare some good information and a timeline.

“We owe it to this population to show them the council is taking them seriously,” she said.

Most places around the country with a similar number of residents to Wainui and Okitu were reticulated.

Other issues brought up were the control of weeds like agapanthus and boneseed plants. They were weeds the council would like to see gone.

One resident said there were boneseed infestations at Wainui, Okitu and Makorori.

Resident Simon Cave also wanted to know what was happening with the Wainui Beach Management Strategy.

An awful lot of work had gone into it and it now appeared to be on the back burner, he said.

“The whole issue needs to be maintained with momentum.”

The decades-long debate about reticulation for the beach suburbs took precedence at the Long Term Plan (LTP) community consultation meeting at Wainui School this week.

Around 20 people attended, with a vocal handful upset the reticulation issue to Wainui and Okitu had been left out of Gisborne District Council’s LTP.

Gisborne was dragging the chain nationwide by not reticulating the populated suburbs of Wainui and Okitu with water and sewage, said long-term resident Neville Manning.

“We’ve got to do something about it.”

Wainui resident Michael Muir said it was hard to believe that in the 21st century more effort had not been put into wastewater and sewage for the suburbs of Wainui and Okitu.

Another resident said “year after year” they complained about the same thing to the council and nothing happened.

“Why do we bother coming?” she asked.

Council will 'look at it again in seven years time'

GDC director community lifelines David Wilson said for Wainui to be reticulated for water and sewage a lot needed to happen.

The council would look at it again in seven years time, he said.

Mr Wilson acknowledged this was a debate that happened time and again.

“If you want reticulation at Wainui you have to put in a submission to the Long Term Plan.”

Mr Wilson said the issues with water supply and redirecting sewage into town were the cost and a city already struggling to keep up with present demand.

“We can’t handle the volume we’ve got, so if we reticulate Wainui, that’s more wastewater and water.”

A Wainui resident for more than 40 years asked with sewers still overflowing in town rivers every time it rained heavily, how long would it take for GDC to reticulate Wainui.

“If you can’t do it in town and in over 40 years nothing has been done at Wainui . . . what’s going on?”

Deputy Mayor Rehette Stoltz led the meeting in Mayor Meng Foon’s absence.

Mrs Stoltz said a lot had been done and they had reduced the overflows.

Mr Wilson said there had been less sewage overflows going into the city’s rivers after it rained, and when it did happen, it was for less time.

For the council to bring water to Wainui, there would have to be another dam at Waingake, he said.

“That’s $30 million alone.”

It wasn’t water the residents were most upset about — they were fine with their rain water tanks, one said — it was more the wastewater.

“When we talk about waste going into town, that means a new pump station at $800,000 and that is before we start putting pipes down streets, and then connecting them to houses. We are not going to fix the problem in the short term,” said Mr Wilson.

Speaking as a resident, not as a councillor, Pat Seymour said she thought the council would do the beach community a good service to prepare some good information and a timeline.

“We owe it to this population to show them the council is taking them seriously,” she said.

Most places around the country with a similar number of residents to Wainui and Okitu were reticulated.

Other issues brought up were the control of weeds like agapanthus and boneseed plants. They were weeds the council would like to see gone.

One resident said there were boneseed infestations at Wainui, Okitu and Makorori.

Resident Simon Cave also wanted to know what was happening with the Wainui Beach Management Strategy.

An awful lot of work had gone into it and it now appeared to be on the back burner, he said.

“The whole issue needs to be maintained with momentum.”

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