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Mangawhai wastewater debt crystal clear



Kaipara District Council has published a report about the outstanding historic debt and capacity of the Mangawhai Wastewater Scheme (MWWS).

The report follows as a response to councillor Jonathan Larsen’s notice of motion passed on March 31, along with concerns lodged by community advocate groups Mangawhai Matters and Kaipara Concerns who continue to question the debt and capacity of the MWWS.

The report brings together information that has been reported in previous Annual Reports and Long Term Plans and presents an up-to-date picture of where things are at.

Mayor Dr Jason Smith says this should put to bed any speculation and misinformation that has surrounded the MWWS since the cost overrun 10 years ago.

“That was a long time ago. We now have a world class wastewater system that has transformed the estuary back into a pristine ecosystem,” says Dr Smith. “It’s doing its job, and the finances are right on track.”

The debt on the system now sits at $34.5 million, down from the initial $58 million. Less than $10 million is owed by ratepayers who chose to pay their connection off over time. The remaining $24.9 million will be paid by developers as the township grows. The District-wide portion of the debt has been paid off.

The waste water system is designed in modules so it can grow with the community and continue to do its job for many years to come. The consultation for the Long Term Plan 2021-31 outlined the Council’s proposal for expansion over the next 10 years. This includes constructing a new balance tank that work in peak periods and storm events, as well as increasing the treatment capacity of the plant to be able to cater for 5,000 connections. The capital works are to be paid primarily by developers, over many years, as outlined in the Council’s Long Term Plan consultation document.

The Council is also increasing the capacity of its water dispersal systems. They are now planning to spread the treated water that comes from the waste system on the golf course where it will keep the greens healthy.

Jim Sephton, General Manager of Infrastructure, says this is a smart way to increase capacity.

“Water is a precious resource. If we keep improving the quality of water and respect te Mana o te Wai, we can look at different ways of using it, and meet a community need. It’s a win-win,” says Mr Sephton.”

n Read the full report on Mangawhai Wastewater Scheme debt and capacity at kaipara.govt.nz .

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