Iwi welcomes Akaroa waste water decision

July 16, 2015

Te Rūnanga o Ōnuku, Wairewa Rūnanga, the Akaroa Taiapure Management Committee
and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, welcome the formal decision to decline Christchurch City Council’s application to discharge treated wastewater into the coastal marine waters of Akaroa Harbour.

The decision was made by independent hearings commissioners for Environment Canterbury and the Christchurch City Council and was released publicly on Friday 10 July.

Tā Mark Solomon, Kaiwhakahaere, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu says the iwi is delighted with the decision and says it is great news for Akaroa, for the health and sustainability of mahinga kai and for the overall health of the harbour.

“This is a significant gain for our people,” he says.

“We have held strong views opposing any discharge into the harbour for some time on the basis of it being environmentally and culturally offensive so it is heartening to see the panel has acknowledged Ngāi Tahu interests.

“We feel vindicated that they have heard the cultural and environmental concerns we had around both the harbour and the health of the fisheries which our people have long depended on.”

As part of a major upgrade of Akaroa’s waste water system, Christchurch City Council had applied for a new terminal pump station, a new waste water treatment plant and wastewater outfall into Akaroa Harbour. All applications except the outfall and harbour discharge were granted.

Tā Mark says that the iwi is supportive of the councils’ application for a new waste water treatment plant and the improved effluent that would be produced.

“We now look forward to working with the council to identify alternatives to waste water discharge into the harbour. We have five years before the council has to implement the whole of its revised waste water upgrade, so we have plenty of time to consult in partnership to find a land-based solution that suits all parties,” he says.