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Sanitation upgrade project given go ahead

Monday 19 December 2022 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Environment, Local, National

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Sanitation upgrade project given go ahead
The ‘green space park’ in town next to Vaikapuangi Stream at Avarua Harbour. 22110417

The National Environment Service (NES) has advised Cook Islands Investment Corporation that following the Environmental Impact Assessment process, the Avarua Wharf Wastewater Improvement project has been given a permit and the go ahead.

The project site, next to the Vaikapuangi Stream, is the raised coastal protected “green space park” across from the Margarita’s Bistro and Bar (old Banana court) in town.

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was published by NES for public consultation on 8 November for 30 days and closed on Monday, 5 December.

According to Cook Islands Investment Corporation, one submission was received, and many of the recommendations in the submission had been captured or featured in the project plan.

In a statement, CIIC general manager, asset management, Vasie Ngatoko-Poila says it is anticipated that work will recommence on Monday (today) for approximately three weeks, subject to weather conditions.

In May 2022, Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health issued an infringement notice to CIIC to advise that the Avarua wharf public toilets be temporary closed, and that the existing wastewater system be upgraded to a secondary or advanced treatment system.

CIIC started the excavation work for the new treatment tanks prior to seeking permit from the National Environment Service. The Environment Service issued a stop work notice until a permit is approved.

Public toilets at Avarua Wharf/Raro Fried Chicken remain closed until further notice and until the project is completed early in the new year.

Avarua Wharf, a popular local landmark, is a hive for a range of activities, Ngatoko-Poila says.
“This sanitation upgrade project provides improved public access to modern and environmentally-friendly public facilities and makes our community more resilient to extreme weather events associated with climate change.”

CIIC would like to thank members of the public for their continued cooperation and those key stakeholders involved in the project to date