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First steps towards a wastewater treatment plant solution for Hokitika

A long awaited solution to improving Hokitika’s Wastewater Treatment Plant reached its first milestone with the inaugural meeting of the Hokitika Wastewater Treatment Plant Project Oversight Subcommittee yesterday. The subcommittee aims to develop a fit-for-purpose wastewater treatment solution that is sensitive to cultural and environmental concerns and meets the needs of Westland District ratepayers.

“We want to acknowledge the connections to the land that our iwi partners have”, says Mayor Bruce Smith. “Their knowledge and understanding are absolutely necessary for Council to build a new wastewater treatment plant that is acceptable to Mana Whenua and we need to build a strong partnership for that to happen. I am really excited to be working with Ngāti Waewae representatives James Mason Russell and Ema Weepu, and Ngāti Maahaki representatives Barry Wilson and Jackie Douglas. They bring so much to the table and I think that their involvement will help get the community behind us. We are totally committed to the Manatu Whakaaetanga Parnership agreement.”

In honouring the Manatu Whakaaetanga Partnership agreement, the subcommittee consists of an equal number of Poutini Ngāi Tahu and Westland District Council members, and the quorum requires at least one iwi partner to be present at all meetings.

“Westland District Council is showing a genuine commitment to work with our Mana Whenua and the Westland community through this process,” comments subcommittee member Ema Weepu. “Working together in a true partnership will benefit all parties and the community. It’s imperative that we come up with a wastewater treatment solution that is acceptable to the community, and respects Maori Tikanka me nka taonka tuku iho (values and traditions).”

The subcommittee will meet at least quarterly and every other meeting will be held at the Arahura Marae. Responsibilities of the subcommittee include defining the overall objectives and values of the project, financial sustainability and ensuring the prioritisation of projects reflects the community needs. The subcommittee reports to the Capital Projects and Tenders Committee.




Media enquiries to:

Emma Rae, Strategy and Communications Advisor