Far North District Council has announced it will form a working group with Kaikohe hāpu to investigate disposal options for the town’s wastewater.
The Kaikohe wastewater treatment plant currently serves about 1,600 properties in Kaikohe and Ngāwhā, including the Northland Regional Corrections Facility. It processes around 1,500 cubic metres of wastewater each day, which is discharged via wetlands into the Wairoro Stream following a 30-day treatment process.
A key goal of the working group will be to ensure that Kaikohe hāpu and whānau are fully engaged in the investigations before it reports its recommendations for upgrades and disposal options to the Council.
The Council is investigating possible options to dispose of wastewater to land for several of its 15 wastewater treatment plants.
Seven hāpu have signed a Terms of Reference that will set the direction of the working group, Council said in a statement.
A signing ceremony involving Te Uri o Hua, Ngāti Tautahi, Ngāti Whakaeke, Te Matarahurahu, Ngāti Ueoneone, Te Takotokē, Ngāti Kura and the council was recently held at council chambers.
It says the agreement is the result of many months of discussions and several online hui convened during recent COVID-19 restrictions.
“The working group will now lead investigations into options to discharge treated wastewater to land. It will also examine best practicable options to upgrade the town’s wastewater treatment plant to improve the standard of wastewater discharge,” Council said.
The current resource consent for the treatment plant expired late last year.
“However, the application for a replacement consent has been put on hold until the working group has time to meet to consider alternative options.”