Government has been told to come clean on plans for a wastewater treatment plant on an old landfill site surrounded by homes, businesses and a school.
People living in the Turangi area have raised concerns after diggers flattened the site on the boundary of Matavera and Ngatangiia.
Yesterday, officials confirmed they were considering a wastewater plant as part of the sanitation project Mei Te Vai Ki Te Vai – but refuted local rumours of big sewage ponds.
Deputy project manager Tangianau Taoro said they had done some preliminary excavation and testing to identify the best type of reticulated wastewater system to service the Muri coastal area. “The project management unit met with affected landowners and residents, and sought and received their approval to do some geotechnical and soil testing,” she said. “If the site is suitable, then the unit will begin wider engagement with neighbours.”
Ngatangiia MP Tamaiva Tuavera called for government to “come out clean on this” and hold a public meeting. “They need to be honest.”
Nearby accommodation operators said they were not consulted.
Ocean Escape owner Barry Weizman was not convinced the plant would meet environmental standards. “Why drag it all the way to Matavera in order to dispose of Muri waste?”
The whole island would be affected, he said, as prevailing south-east winds would bring the sewage back to the shore.
Tropical Sands owner Rudy Aquino said government should consider alternatives.