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Balance must be maintained says Kaipara Concerns



Community watchdog Kaipara Concerns have been looking into the many pages of the PPC78 and seeking expert advice ‘to formulate the essential points for the community’.

Kaipara Concerns head Clive Boonham says the Section 32 evaluation which underpins the PPC78 does not give adequate consideration to a number of factors, including the impact on amenity values enjoyed by the residents and visitors alike and bringing an ‘Auckland type urban development’ which will have a negative effect on Mangawhai’s special rural/beach character.

“The balance between the various zones is too much in favour of the number of dwellings,” he says. “While the KDC has previously allowed subdivisions with smaller sections, that mistake must not be repeated here.”

The former lawyer says there are also concerns that there is inadequate protection for the estuary in respect of earthworks runoff, stormwater discharge and flooding, and recreational facilities are limited.

“There are walkways and access to the foreshore reserve which are not part of the development, but there are no parks or recreational fields,” Boonham says. “Viranda are seeking sweeping consents that do away with individual consents and KDC oversight. Whilst one has some sympathy given the costs of such consents, a balance must be maintained so that standards of construction are not prejudiced.”


Water supply concerns
However Boonham says his major concern is the inadequate consideration given to infrastructure especially around water supply and waste.

“The adequate supply of water is a fundamental, yet the provisions in respect of water supply at a time when droughts are increasing appear very loose. The right to draw 100 cubic metres a day from the aquifer pursuant to an NRC consent may not be feasible, and could deprive the rest of Mangawhai of its emergency water supply.”

With MC connecting to the Mangawhai wastewater plant, Boonham says the company are relying on a statement from the treatment plant operators who say the current facilities have the capacity to service all connections for the new town.

At the May 20 commissioners hearing for consent regarding MC’s supermarket, Boonham says a Viranda consultant declared KDC had assured MCL that the current treatment facilities have sufficient capacity to cope with the 1000-plus extra connections.

“It is incredible that this project should be so far advanced on the basis of such flimsy assurances, especially when those assurances run contrary to what the KDC has told ratepayers about the capacity of the current facilities, and contrary to the advice of the consultants for the Spatial Plan who said that we will need a completely new wastewater plant by 2025,” he says. “Ratepayers are concerned that the KDC will agree to favourable terms for Viranda that will leave the ratepayers bearing the cost. We do not want another EcoCare. We require transparency, but so far there is none.”


KDC assures capacity
Due to the distress resulting from Mangawhai’s wastewater network blowout in past years, residents naturally are concerned of the system becoming overloaded and the repair bill costing ratepayers, as new houses are lined up to be hooked up.

A MCL spokesperson says that more than a decade ago Estuary Estates paid for connections into the original wastewater scheme, the contributions allowing for increased capacity in the 2008 plan change and has yet to use this capacity.

“But due to the development in Mangawhai in the subsequent 12 years, the system is almost at capacity.”

However KDC’s general manager of infrastructure services, Jim Sephton says ‘the system overall is not at capacity’ and plans to improve and extend the reticulation system are in place to maintain a healthy and safe environment.

“For example, last year improvements were made to sand traps to improve the output quality of treated wastewater as well as installing blowers which improve efficiency,” he says. “As the township grows, we needs to ensure we can meet the demands of that growth and these are set out in the Long Term Plan and Asset Management Plan.”

The development of Estuary Estates was included in the operative District Plan, and C16 plus further improvements to the treatment system ‘will be incorporated and funded in part through development contributions’.

“KDC work with all developers across Mangawhai to ensure that the management of wastewater is incorporated in the development and that the necessary improvements are included,” Sephton says. “This is also part of the process that is assessed as part of any private plan change application which follows a statutory process.”

“We do not want another EcoCare. We require transparency, but so far there is none.”

- Clive Boonham

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