Campground sewage now in council hands
Sewage has been a contentious topic in Mangawhai over the last few years, however Riverside Holiday Park (RHP) had cause for celebrating the sticky issue recently.
The long-running campground has officially bestowed the care and responsibility of their brand new, privately funded, million dollar sewage pumping station into the hands of the Kaipara District Council.
Local iwi, deputy Mayor Peter Wethey, Winston Peters’ representative Rob Stephenson, RHP shareholders and guests gathered in the Park’s serene grounds on February 18 for the formal handover and a blessing by a Te Uri o Hau kaumatua.
In his speech, head of RHP’s Infrastructure Committee and the ‘driving force’ behind the ambitious venture, Mark Paisey, explained that by using unique design and technology methods, the Park’s sewage is now connected to the ‘somewhat controversial’ Mangawhai EcoCare sewage system, a plan that has been in the pipeline since 2009.
“The Park’s board of directors have been extremely proactive with the sewage project,” he says. “They have worked diligently to reach this point, not only to minimise the environmental impact of storing and treating raw sewage in septic tanks, but in proving that co-operation between local bodies and private enterprise is achievable with a very positive outcome.”
After cutting the ceremonial ribbon, deputy Mayor Peter Wethey reiterated Paisey’s thoughts on the beneficial result of the working relationship between RHC and government and congratulated those involved on their ‘vision and sheer tenacity for getting this over the line’.
“Wastewater disposal, which is always a sensitive issue for a holiday park such as Riverside, has now been future-proofed from this Park so that it no longer presents a risk to the quality of water in the Mangawhai Harbour,” he says. “Our fish and bird life, as well as all recreational activities in the harbour, will benefit from this example that Riverside has set for the community.”
In August 2016, directional drilling company, CDS NZ began work on the ambitious venture, with a 90ml pipe being thrust up to three metres deep under Mangawhai’s estuary at low tide.
Guided by ultrasound, the ‘thruster’ machinery shoved the pipe through seabed mud to finally emerge opposite Mangawhai Beach School before being connected to the main line at the Four Square on Insley Street.
Despite the logistics of the plan and heavy equipment involved, the laying of the pipe took only two days to complete with only one incident when the thruster hit a rock embedded in the estuary sea floor, causing a short delay.
Managers of RHP since October 2015, Linda and Barry Smith who formerly managed a 600-plus room estate on the world’s largest open cast mine in North Western Australia for ten years, oversaw and recorded the ongoing progress.
“We could not have been more impressed with CDS… a bunch of nice guys, brilliant communication and professional manner,“ they say. “The whole project was also completed one month before its due date and actually came under budget.”
Designed specifically for RHP by Airey Consultants engineer Pieter Stellingwerf, the actual sewage pump, situated on a fenced-off, far corner of the campground, is state-of-the-art equipment with the progressive ability to notify Linda via text if something is not working correctly.
Australian waster corporation, Trility, who manage Mangawhai’s wastewater treatment plant, will also oversee the Park’s pump station and be on call to respond to emergency messages.
Many people have worked on the project over the initial years, but at the opening ceremony Mark Paisey said a dedicated core group ‘certainly went over and above the call of duty.’
“Gordon Lamb, Warren Stott, Jan Anderson, Jason Hewson, Riverside’s board, Pieter Stellingwerf, Greg Woodd and of course Park managers Barry and Linda… your vision, tenacity, your drive and friendship to me along this journey have helped us all make this a reality.”
He also reminded those gathered of another significant event involving people power – when the Park’s tenants purchased the campground in February 2007 in a bid to stop a developer’s plans to buy and subdivide the land.
“It was actually ten years ago this month, that a group of like-minded individuals were presented with an opportunity to put up a back-up offer which culminated in the purchase of this, our slice of paradise,” he says. “Without that group’s dedication and tenacity, we probably wouldn’t be here today.”
OFFICIAL: KDC deputy Mayor Peter Wethey makes the handover deal official by cutting the ribbon.