Surprized at this headline? It was discovered in 2018 that HDC’s CE David Clapperton had made a secret pay out of close to a million dollars to a local iwi on the proviso they withdrew their objection to another consent to do with discharge of treated waste water. If you check out our LG Watch pages (main menu) and Horowhenua you will read further interesting detail about pollution and the HDC. See this article in particular at this link (info from a former HDC councilor).
The article below here is from investigative journalist Veronica Harrod who has been shining a spotlight on many anomalies in the Horowhenua. EWR
The Pot thickens
3 February 2020
Horowhenua District Council is seeking a 35 year resource consent to continue discharging all of Levin’s treated waste water and other contaminants onto ecologically and culturally important coastal sand dunes four kilometres west of Levin.
In its application to regional council Manawatu Whanganui Regional Council the local council admits it didn’t do any, “direct consultation on the consent (and resulting effects of the activity)” during consultations on the Council’s 2018-2038 Long Term Plan.
The long term plan states, “For the first time, Council has created a 20 year Long Term Plan. We did this because our population is growing faster than it has for nearly a quarter of a century and this growth is expected to continue for the next 20 years.”
To accommodate, “future population and business growth” the Council wants to add another 20 hectares to the 40.5 hectares of The Pot that has been receiving treated waste water and other contaminants for the last 27 years.
The Pot is 110 hectares in total. Treated waste water and other contaminants are contained in a 7 hectare unlined “pond” prior to being sprayed over land.
Although stating, “It is envisaged that other properties can follow a similar procedure to receive wastewater for irrigation” in a discussion on alternative sites the Council admits it is already “a challenge” to obtain resource consents for irrigation to “other properties” during the summer months.
The Council’s applications also states, “The quality of the treated wastewater is well suited to land discharges and the land discharges are not causing more than minor adverse effects, so there is no driver for” upgrades at this stage.
However the Council’s Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040, “assumes that Levin will be a key focus area of growth in the future”, and over 570 hectares has been identified for housing.
On 17 August 2018 the Council announced in a press release that a Master Plan for 278 hectares was being created for a 2000 house sub-division east of Levin called Gladstone Green.
“Built over 20 years, it will eventually be home to 5000 people,” the Council press release said.
But the 2000 housing sub-division has become a 2500 housing sub-division in less than five months after mayor Bernie Wanden said the Government’s recently announced construction of the Otaki to North Levin expressway provided certainty for, “a proposal for 2500 homes in south east Levin.”
“We can expect more families to move here in search of a fantastic lifestyle,” he said.
Also, changes to the District Plan in September 2018 mean residential properties in Levin between 500 and 900 square metres can now be sub-divided to a minimum size of 250 square metres.
The New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 policy on discharge of contaminants states: “Do not allow [the] discharge of treated human sewage to water in the coastal environment unless there has been adequate consideration of alternative methods, sites and routes for undertaking the discharge.”
The Council states its application, “relies on two discharge consents to operate which were granted by HRC [the regional council] in 1998.”
Next: What the community says in response to the Council’s resource consent application.