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Waiaroha concepts released for community feedback

Waiaroha Image

Concepts for Hastings’ Waiaroha water treatment and storage facility have been released for public feedback today by Hastings District Council.

The plans are strongly focused on keeping Hastings water safe – for people, the environment and the economy - now and into the future.

The primary purpose of the facility, on the corner of Southampton St East and Hastings St South, is to enable Hastings to meet national drinking water standards through enhanced water safety, improved resilience, and additional capacity, said Council’s director major projects delivery Graeme Hansen.

But it has an important added purpose, said Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst.

“Waiaroha will be a place where we, as a community, can develop a full understanding of our water ecosystem, from the hills to our west, along our streams and rivers, through our aquifers and wetlands, to our taps and out to the ocean.”

The concept development team had engaged with educationalists and iwi, who agreed the facility would make an important contribution to an in-depth understanding of water and its management.

 “It will help us all learn more about this critically important resource and will be of real value to our next generations; the ones who will be managing this precious resource into the future,” said Mrs Hazlehurst.

Set in landscaping that reflects water’s journey from the hills to the sea, the water treatment and storage facility will include two water storage tanks and a treatment building, said Mr Hansen.

Through its integrated indoor/outdoor education elements, Waiaroha will provide in-depth information on things like how Hastings drinking water is treated to keep people safe, provide ‘live’ information on water testing, and give everyone access to information on waterways and aquifers.

An open day displaying the concepts will be held on September 12, with staff and councillors on hand to discuss the plans. The information will also be widely available through media and on-line.

The site was selected last year because of its proximity to the existing Eastbourne drinking water bores and pipe network.

The construction of two urban water treatment and storage facilities are critical elements of Hastings’ Drinking Water Strategy (2018). The second site, on Frimley Park, is currently going through a Resource Consent process.

“Safe drinking water remains our number one priority. The Havelock North water crisis and subsequent government inquiry highlighted, both for our community and the country as a whole, how important quality water infrastructure is,” said Mrs Hazlehurst.

An initial concept made public last year drew considerable feedback which had informed the current proposal.

“We have listened to our community and Council is looking forward to hearing the feedback on the new concepts.”

The cost of the necessary infrastructure is $14 million, budgeted for under the Hastings Drinking Water Strategy. Any costs outside of the infrastructure and required beautification, estimated at $4 to $6m (subject to final design), would be funded externally – i.e. not from ratepayers.

See: www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/waiaroha

The community can provide feedback at the open day on September 12, from 10am to 1pm on-site, and between August 28 and September 25 on-line at www.myvoicemychoice.co.nz,  by mail to Private Bag 9002, Hastings 4156, or by handing it in at Council’s reception in Lyndon Rd.

28 August 2020

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