Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Christchurch commits to extra support for odour-hit residents

Residents whose health and wellbeing continues to be affected by the odours being emitted from Christchurch’s fire-damaged wastewater treatment plant are set to receive more targeted support.

Christchurch City Council has committed a further $180,000 to provide more support for schools, and targeted help for residents still affected by odours from the plant.

The new wellbeing response plan includes:

  • Extended support for schools and early learning centres, including those in the Southshore and South New Brighton areas, so they can provide activities and events to help children and their families manage the effects of the odour.
  • Discretionary funding to support people affected by the smell to access health and wellbeing supports.

Christchurch Acting Mayor, Andrew Turner says the additional funds will enable the Council, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, to extend support to more schools in the area.

“Until now the support has been focused on schools and early childhood centres close to the plant, but we are now further extending our support to education providers in South New Brighton and Southshore,” said Cr Turner.

“The funding will also help develop a science education programme for schools, in partnership with the Ministry of Education. This will help students understand how the Christchurch wastewater treatment plant works, and how its operation was impacted by the fire.

“Another purpose of this new response plan is to remove any barriers that people might face in accessing health and wellbeing services.

“We will work closely with Pegasus Health’s partnership community workers to identify people whose health and wellbeing continues to be negatively affected by the wastewater treatment plant odours,” Cr Turner said.

On 30 May, the Council approved a $1 million community support package to help residents living in the immediate vicinity of the fire-damaged treatment plant. Part of that package included offering residents within a set geographical area a one-off payment of $200 to help them deal with the impacts of the fire.

On Wednesday, the Council agreed to end those payments to in-zone applicants on Friday 12 August, saying the uptake had plateaued after more than 2,600 households took up the $200 grant offer.

Out-of-zone applicants can contact CommunityGrants@ccc.govt.nz until Wednesday 31 August to be considered for a support payment.

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