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Mangawhai waste water: Is there a better way?

 

 

thumbnail 23 MF-John Dickie-332JULIA WADE

With concern flowing around the community and whether Mangawhai’s wastewater services can contain the areas population growth, a local man has proposed some proactive action reminiscent of the legendary ‘Big Dig’.

Resident John Dickie put his feelers out recently via social media to gauge response to a ‘community-led approach to exploring different future options’ regarding the disposal of Mangawhai’s effluent, and received enough encouraging, positive feedback he says, to suggest people were interested in ‘taking this forward’.

“Mangawhai seems to have a very good history of community-led projects like the Big Dig, the museum, MAZ, and the recent Daring Project, although sewage is not nearly as exciting it is essential to us,” he says.

“My suggestion is for an initial introductory public meeting to explore various ways so by end of January, as a community, we can advise council of what we think is acceptable rather than KDC presenting us their proposal, and whether we like it or not we could drown again in debt and poo!”

A long-time resident since 2002, before he retired in 2014 Dickie worked as a senior environmental and social consultant. With a degree in civil engineering and masters in environmental science, his 40-year career has taken him into many countries including Australia, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Pacific Islands and New Zealand for organisations such as World Bank, Asian Development Bank, international aid organisations, WHO and the private sector, involved in environmental assessment and planning, conducting water monitoring programs and assessing pollution control. For four years he also voluntarily taught an environmental science programme at Mangawhai Beach School. Dickie is not proposing a forum to ‘re-grind the axe over past actions or inactions’ but instead to look to the future and ‘to give the designers a sound understanding of what the Mangawhai community wants’.

“Firstly, I’d like to concentrate on only one aspect of the integrated sewage scheme, a final effluent disposal, as this will determine future treatment options and especially how much the scheme will cost us,” he says. “I know there will be many divergent views and realise that everybody will be busy over the festive season, but something has to be done urgently so let’s get going with it now. Anyone interested?”

§ Want to get involved? Contact johndickie05@gmail.com. Follow local Facebook pages for further postings and information about meetings.

 

Local environmental and social consultant John Dickie is proposing a community-led approach to the future of Mangawhai’s waste disposal. PHOTO/SUPPLIED


 
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