Andy Kirkwood: Te Vai Ora Maori- says no permit is an offence

Wednesday July 22, 2020 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear editor,

The matter before the court is the negotiation of land access (“Complaint filed against Govt”, July 20).

The Justice is not hearing a trial to decide water treatment methods, and executive government cannot use the ongoing negotiations with landowners to bypass the laws of the country.

The Environmental Act 2003 regulations are clear. The necessary processes have not been completed. A PACl (poly-aluminium chloride) trial was not detailed back in 2015, so a separate project permit is now required. Proceeding without a permit is an offence.

Te Vai Ora Maori has provided documentation to Cook Islands News, dated July 16, verifying that the Ministry of Finance is proposing that the contractor "begin commissioning the headworks and the PACl trials immediately".

A public notice printed in the Saturday edition of Cook Islands News confirms such works are planned for Tupapa, July 20-22.

Regarding (mis)information, Te Vai Ora Maori now calls for the Minister release the expert finding on the settlement tank overflow fault, and details of the “storm damage” that was sustained by the main water storage pond in June.

Both the settlement tank and storage pond are part of the PACl dosing system. Similar faults may affect all 10 of the Te Mato Vai waterworks, and risk impacts on the health and safety of residents living downstream.

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