Letters: Water treatment

Thursday November 28, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear editor,

Chemical water treatment includes issues of supply, storage, dosing, monitoring, and the disposal of waste. It also should ensure that the waterworks do not impact on our environment and biodiversity.


Environmental protection measures are detailed in the Environment Act 2003 and may require an Environmental Impact Assessment to be completed for 'Specific Areas of Concern'; including sloping lands, and areas near to freshwater streams.

An Assessment identifies risks and involves the community in decision-making.
Assessment documents are distributed through local shops.

The proposed development will also be investigated by regulatory authorities; and permission may be refused. An Assessment must be completed, and a permit issued before any groundworks or construction can commence. 

The locations of 10 Te Mato Vai waterworks are in “areas of concern” and the proposed water treatment methods continue to be subject to public debate.

An Assessment includes detailing “proposed action to mitigate adverse environmental effects”, a “plan to monitor environmental impacts”, also the alternatives to the proposed project.

None of Te Mato Vai waterworks or the proposed treatment methods have fulfilled these requirements.

The recent letter (“Fears of waterways contamination,” Nov 22) is an example of why an Assessment is necessary.

The Project Management Unit has denied the use of “disinfection chemicals” but without a monitoring program they seem unable to measure, quantify, or investigate environmental impacts that may have occurred.

Action plans and monitoring are also needed to prevent unintended damage to the other freshwater streams.

This is the latest example of the inability of our administration to responsibly manage large-scale infrastructure development.

On behalf of the public, and in defence of our island, we call for the implementation of chemical treatment processes to cease until Assessment processes have been completed.

Anna Rasmussen
Chairperson, Te Vai Ora Maori

1 comment

  • Comment Link Gerry Burke Thursday, 05 December 2019 12:14 posted by Gerry Burke

    Dear Editor.
    Gerry Burke from Ireland is my name , and this is a follow up letter to one I wrote you and all Cook Islanders last year. It was expressing my deep concern about obvious severe pollution in the Muri Lagoon.
    I proposed a method of waste water treatment used widely in Europe——— Constructed Wetlands , Reed Bed Treatment Systems. This System would be eminently suitable for Rarotonga and the Cook Islands.
    What I am wondering is , has there been any progress on a proper treatment system for Rarotonga. ?
    Wishing all in my favourite place in the Pacific , health and happiness, and of course a very Happy Christmas

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