Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project Committee







Minutes of a meeting of Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project Committee held in the Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas, 64 Lakefront Drive, Te Anau ,  on Tuesday, 28 November 2017 at 10.00am.




Acting Chairperson

Councillor Ebel Kremer



Alan Bickers



Rachel Cockburn



Shirley Mouat



Don Mowat



Allan Youldon





Group Manager Services and Assets

Ian Marshall


Manager Water and Waste Services

Ian Evans


Community Partnership Leader

Simon Moran


Team Leader Governance

Clare Sullivan


Committee Advisor

Jenny Labruyere


Management Accountant

Susan McNamara



Brian Dillon



Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project Committee

28 November 2017


1             Apologies


An apology was received from Mayor Tong.


Moved Member Cockburn, seconded Member Youldon and resolved:

That the  Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project Committee accept the apology.


2             Leave of absence


At the close of the agenda no requests for leave of absence had been received.



3             Conflict of Interest


There were no conflicts of interest declared.



4             Public Forum


Councillor Kremer welcomed some 85 or more members if the public and gave a brief update of the process that Council and the Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project Committee have followed to this point, and explained the Committee’s responsibility to consider the views of Iwi, Environment Southland, Fish and Game and the like. 


Councillor Kremer added the Committee’s consideration of financial and cost options and it’s responsibility to inform the Council of the level of the communities views.


Councillor Kremer acknowledged that a large number of public wished to lodged their apology and record their support for sub-surface irrigation, and stated this will be noted in the minutes.


Those members of the public that registered to speak in public forum presented their submissions with the main points noted as follows;


Alistair Paton-McDonald - (Chairperson Fiordland Sewer Options Inc- FSO )


·                Present odour issues at the current treatment ponds

·                Bird strike  safety issues at the airport

·                Insistence for improved treatment at treatment station

·                Monitoring of 29 resource consent restriction to ensure no breeches will occur

·                Questioned the agreement with Landcorp and the ongoing management of the cut and carry process



Ruth Shaw - (Fiordland Sewer Options Inc- FSO)


Thanked the community for showing their concern and support for FSO and commented as follows;


·                Questioned the costings from Ecogent Ltd and whether they had been updated, also questioned whether or not Council has sought permission to quote from the Peter Riddell’s document.

·                Provided a number of points from the costings where she believes large cost savings could be made by revisiting capital costs for subsurface irrigation

·                Considers the supplied costing options are weighted against subsurface irrigation and asks for a delay in making a final decision on dispersal of the treated waste to allow time for this research to be completed so as to provide more confidence in the final figures

·                Believes estimation for pasture and dry  matter production to be recorded as nil return.

·                Referred to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management questioning the definition of what is freshwater.


Irene Barnes


Mrs Barnes raised a number of questions in support of the consented Kepler option such as;


·             Schemes in New Zealand that will not be able to discharge to rivers no matter how well treated the wastewater is

·             The length of time the ongoing process to date has cost  

·             Agreed there will be no sludge at pipe end at the Kepler block.

·             Does not believe there will be any odour issues at the site of dispersal

·             Questioned the efficiency of similar schemes throughout the country

·             Tourism impact would be minimal


Christine Henderson


·                Outlined her background with the likes of Guardians of the Lake and Forest and Bird and reminded the Committee of the Government’s changes to the Land and Water Plan

·                Referred to Sydney’s SUEZ scheme

·                Made mention that the project is a cost to the whole of Southland District

·                Request Council to revisit the whole consent believing that pumping the wastewater to Kepler block is not the best option


                David Henderson


·                Made mention of a treatment scheme in Nepal that generates electricity

·                Questioned what happens to the effluent in the soils in regard to leaching and underground pollution

·                Suggested Council revisit and explore other options to ensure future acceptability of the chosen scheme.




                Glenda Bell


·                Concern with the cut and carry system proposed and remaining nitrates in the soils along with perception, changes and limitations in the market

·                Results from the aerial electromagnetic soil survey have not been provided for the public

·                Questioned timeframes for nitrate saturation of ground and contamination of neighbouring bore waters and who will take responsibility for polluting

·                Consideration of risk management plans, protocols and procedures to overcome unforeseeable emergency / problems

·                Resistance from ratepayers for budget blow-outs.


                Merv Halliday


·                Raised his concern at potential damages to the airport environment with the close proximity to the Kepler block

·                Bird strike issues

·                Early planning for the airport was to have a park like area with accommodation and associated businesses

·                Cautioned Council not to underestimate “the power of the people”


                Russell Baker – Fiordland Aero Maintenance


·                Made mention that Council had planned for a treatment disposal system to be located at the airport as far back as 2005

·                Bird numbers are currently high at the airport and believed this will increase once the project is completed raising concern from the operators and referred to CAA safety issue

·                Believes the project is stifling development at the airport

·                Advised staff working at the airport have threatened to leave if the consented scheme goes ahead, stating that impact on the local aero maintenance is a crucial business at the airport and implored Council to put safety first.


Jenny Burgess – Te Anau Helicopter Services


·                As business owners of several multi-million dollar aircraft they see maintenance of their craft of major importance to the business and safety of staff and cliental, referring to corrosion from air pollutants as one of the biggest issues for their machines.  Mrs Burgess outlined that this is not covered by insurance for businesses.

·                Potential of increased maintenance costs if local aero maintenance is not available

·                Bird strike is a particular issue especially if water ponds in the area

·                Referred to other similar airports that have accommodation and the fact that for some flying activities accommodation is a CAA requirement

·                Te Anau Helicopter Services would support subsurface irrigation and not centre pivot as consented.


Dave Kelly


·                Believes the scheme should be cleaned up at the source and kept at Te Anau

·                Health and safety issue if disposed of at the airport believing it will stop progress and development

·                With tourism numbers increasing, subdivision development and the development of the cycle trail from Te Anau to Manapouri questions why discharge to Kepler, and if must do then put it underground.  “Get it right or this will wreck Southlands gem.


Lawton Weber


·                Thanked Council for the forum to speak and thanked the community for its show of support by turning up in large numbers.

·                Asked where Curio Bay treated water ends up, believing it to be as surface water

·                Questions the economic impacts on commercial operators, airport viability, real estate sales in the affected area, social and potential legal issues

·                Will watch dog compliance of the 29 consented conditions

·                Believes there will be odour from discharged via centre pivot

·                Commented he does not believe the south block to be a logical option

·                Questions the extra cost to the rate payer believing the cost will outweigh the cost to the community

·                Commented Council should listen to the community and support subsurface irrigation


Janice Duncan


Believes that “the people do matter and have the right to live in a safe and clean environment.  Manapouri is the jewel in the crown and this is the one chance to get it right, once it is ruined it will always be ruined.”


Ray Willett


Stated ”History repeats itself but nobody listens” and continued by referring to the Te Anau Airport-Manapouri, Lions Park toilets and the Round the Mountain Cycle Trail and fears the same will be for the future of Wastewater Discharge project at Manapouri.


Jack Murrell


Commented he would prefer subsurface irrigation and preferably at Te Anau.


Ian Willans


Mr Willans requested a copy of the scientific soil assessment report for his property which was put forward as a potential site for discharge.


Councillor Kremer thanked all the submitters for speaking with passion, and identifying their concerns for the Committee to consider.  Councillor Kremer recognised that a decision has to be made and that all available and appropriate land options have been considered.


Councillor Kremer added that the treatment at the plant will be improved and that several sites and disposal options around the country have been investigated, and that while the Committee and Council consider the options, the views of the community will be taken into consideration when Council considers the report at its meeting on 13 December 2017.



5             Extraordinary/Urgent Items


There were no Extraordinary/Urgent items.


6             Confirmation of Minutes



Moved Member Youldon, seconded Member Cockburn and resolved:

That the Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project Committee confirms the minutes of meeting held on 9 November 2017 as a true and correct record of that meeting.







Management Report - Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project

Record No: R/17/11/28030


Mr Evans (Strategic Manager, Water And Waste Services), presented the report.


Mr Evans updated the Committee on the progress of works being undertaken within Te Anau and Manapouri areas that are not necessarily related to the larger discharge consent project.


Mr Evans updated Members on the recent odour issues and advised that five new addition aerators have arrived and are currently being installed to prevent reoccurrence of such in the future.




Moved Cr Kremer, seconded Member Cockburn and resolved:

That the Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project Committee:

a)            Receives the report titled “Management Report - Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project” dated 23 November 2017.




Final Business Case for Kepler Option

Record No: R/17/11/28031


Mr Marshall (Group Manager, Services and Assets), presented the report.


Mr Marshall outlined the purpose of the report is to update the Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project Committee on the final draft of the Te Anau Wastewater Business Case in support of the options considered for the Kepler site which only considers scoring of options that can be undertaken under the current consent, or with a variation to that consent.




Mr Marshall advised that the Business Case was considered by both the Services and Assets and Financial and Audit Committees on 15 and 16 November 2017 with a number of recommendations and comments noted.


Mr Marshall added that the final draft version now includes the financial information and a detailed risk register, and that the Committee is asked to provide comment on the final draft so that it can be considered by Council at its 13 December 2017 meeting.

In discussing the report Members questioned the key highlights including whether there has been sufficient or insufficient information provided for decision making ire the updating of costings for subsurface irrigation, and felt there is currently a bias against Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI) and requested more robust information be provided.


The Committee adjourned 1.30pm.


The Committee reconvened 1.45pm.


Ms Susan McNamara (Management Account) outlined the financial and funding arrangements of the preferred options and discussed the impact on affordability for ratepayers.


Following discussion on the proposed financial and funding for the project in regard to capital expenditure it was noted that it is to be funded by available development contributions and depreciation reserves with the remainder funded by loans over 30 year and the loans are to be serviced by rates.  Members questioned whether Council’s current policy on development contributions would be up for review in 2018.


Cr Dillon suggested the potential for forestry with drip irrigation as an alternative option however following a discussion on this and the delay that would affect the consented option there appeared to be little or no appetite to pursue this option.


Members discussed in depth the business case and agreed that the consented option insofar as the Kepler site is already approved, however it is the method of disposal that is of concern and whether or not there has been a robust enough process in regard to the discharge, given the very strong community views which must be conveyed to Council. 


Members agreed that Options 3; i.e. subsurface drip irrigation is the strongly preferred option by the Committee however recognised the additional capital costs, and requested further updated analysis for subsurface drip irrigation including the Peter Riddell data, the use of development contributions and the future development of the airport to be considered by Council.




Moved Cr Kremer, seconded Member Cockburn and resolved:

That the Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project Committee:

a)            Receives the report titled “Final Business Case for Kepler Option” dated 23 November 2017.


b)           Determines that this decision be recognised as not significant in terms of Section 76 of the Local Government Act 2002.

c)            Determines that it has complied with the decision-making provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 to the extent necessary in relation to this decision; and in accordance with Section 79 of the Act determines that it does not require further information, further assessment of options or further analysis of costs and benefits or advantages and disadvantages prior to making a decision on this matter.

d)         Notes the process that is being followed to develop a business case for the Te Anau Wastewater Project.

Moved Cr Kremer, seconded Member Bickers and resolved:

e)         Agrees that the Final Business Case has been developed through a robust process at this stage and notes the following issues that Council also needs to consider are as follows;

·         Bias against Subsurface Drip Irrigation

·         Permission for use of data supplied by Peter Riddell

·         Further treatment at source

·         Use of development contributions for partial funding

·         Transport of pathogens and spray drift beyond site boundary

·         Impact on airport operations and future development

Moved Cr Kremer, seconded Member Mowat and resolved:

f)             Notes that the Final Business Case identifies the consented option 1 as the                 preferred option at the Kepler block on the basis of;

·           Environmental outcomes

·           Lowest capital cost, annual operating cost and net present value

·           Ability to implement the scheme before the expiry of the current                 discharge consent into the Upukerora River in November 2020.

Moved Cr Kremer, seconded Member Youldon and resolved:

g)            Requests that the Council note that option 3 i.e. subsurface drip irrigation is            strongly preferred by the Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Committee, and the local communities but at additional capital expenditure, annual          operating costs and net present value.

Note: Member Bickers abstained from voting on recommendation (g)




Public Excluded


Exclusion of the Public: Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987


Moved Member Mowat, seconded Member Cockburn and resolved:

That the public be excluded from the following part(s) of the proceedings of this meeting.

Confirmation of Public Excluded minutes of the meeting of 9 November 2017


The general subject of each matter to be considered while the public is excluded, the reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter, and the specific grounds under section 48(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for the passing of this resolution are as follows:


General subject of each matter to be considered

Reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter

Ground(s) under section 48(1) for the passing of this resolution


Confirmation of Public Excluded minutes of the meeting of 9 November 2017

s7(2)(a) - The withholding of the information is necessary to protect the privacy of natural persons, including that of a deceased person.

s7(2)(i) - The withholding of the information is necessary to enable the local authority to carry on, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations (including commercial and industrial negotiations).

That the public conduct of the whole or the relevant part of the proceedings of the meeting would be likely to result in the disclosure of information for which good reason for withholding exists.


That the Group Manager – Services and Assets, Strategic Manager Water and Waste, Community Partnership Leader, Governance and Democracy Manager, Management Accountant and Committee Advisor/Customer Support Partner, be permitted to remain at this meeting, after the public has been excluded, because of their knowledge of the Confirmation of Public Excluded minutes of the meeting of 9 November 2017.  This knowledge, which will be of assistance in relation to the matters to be discussed, is relevant to those matters because of their knowledge on the issues discussed and meeting procedure.

The public were excluded at 3.38pm.


Resolutions in relation to the confidential items are recorded in the confidential section of these minutes and are not publicly available unless released here.



The meeting concluded at 3.40pm.                      CONFIRMED AS A TRUE AND CORRECT RECORD AT A MEETING OF THE Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project Committee HELD ON 28 NOVEMBER 2017.