No objections to underwater sewer

Work on the harbour crossing is due to start in March 2017. Photo: Google Maps.

Plans to complete the Southern Pipeline project with an underwater harbor crossing have met with no objections, says a Tauranga City Council spokesperson.

The council had to obtain a new consent for the currently favoured route from Memorial Park directly across the harbour to Matapihi, a distance of about 1.5km

Following the decision to use directional drilling or underground thrusting options for the pipeline, the city council applied to the regional council for a new consent in May 2015.

Tauranga Harbour Crossing Consents for wastewater pipeline(s) were lodged with both TCC for land use consent and BOPRC for coastal permits.

TCC landuse consent RC24606 was non-notified, meaning the council didn't tell its ratepayers what it was up to. That consent was granted in September 2015.

Publicly notified applications allow any person to lodge a submission in support and/or opposition, or to indicate a neutral position with respect to an application.

With limited notified applications notice of the application is served only on persons identified as being adversely affected, and allows only those persons to lodge a submission.

The coastal consents applied for with the regional council were limited notified. When the application was assessed by the regional council it was decided the parties deemed affected are:

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council Harbourmaster, Chorus, Ngai Tamarawaho, Ngai Te Ahi, Ngai Te Rangi, Ngai Tukairangi, Ngati He, Ngati Kuku, Ngati Pukenga, Ngati Ranginui, Ngati Ruahine, Ngati Tapu.

Due to a change of address, Ngati Kuku were notified a second time with an extended submission period. No submissions were received says Tauranga City Council communications advisor Marcel Currin.

The regional council granted consent on October 19, 2015. The harbor connection will be the last stage of the $100 million 14.5km pipeline to be completed. It will link the pumping station at Maleme Street with the Te Maunga treatment plant

Brian Perry Civil has been awarded the contract and expected to start work in March 2017. The contractor intends drilling the pipeline from both ends to a maximum depth of about 40m.

Meanwhile work on the stalled Matapihi section will resume in January after the avocado crop has been picked.

Landowners objected to the council plans to cross their land and knock down some of the orchard trees, taking the city council to court.

In July 2015 when the owners made their protest the Matapihi residents were not going to benefit from the sewer crossing their land at all. The owners complained there had been no prior consultation with the council about the pipeline route.

In January 2016 Tauranga City Council went public with a $1.7 million Matapihi sewerage scheme connecting the two marae, the school, kohanga reo and about 60 surrounding dwellings to the wastewater system via the Southern Pipeline, with a value of $1,738,000, budgeted over two years 2016/17 and 2017/18 – which was approved in the Annual Plan.

Construction of the pipeline section across the orchard will resume in January after the avocado crop has been picked. The orchard owners took the city council to court but lost.

That leaves a 400m section of pipeline to complete along with other components like bio-filters, about five months' work.

The cost of the harbour crossing contract is not yet known.



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Monarch butterflies enjoying the sun. Photo: Glenice McDonald. Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. photos@thesun.co.nz