The Government is committed to pitch in more than $200,000 towards toilet and wastewater improvements at Karangahake Reserve.
Last year, the Council submitted an application to the MBIE Tourism Infrastructure Fund, which is designed to help local councils meet public infrastructure needs where visitor growth is placing pressure on existing facilities.
Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga is delighted the application, which requests a total $215,830 to upgrade the facilities, has been accepted
“This reserve is the busiest visitor site in our district and holiday hordes who also pay a visit to the car park toilets are causing more than traffic congestion,” he says.
“The current system, which includes a storage tank emptied by tanker, is adequate for the off season but doesn't function well during peak times.”
A $640,000 scheme to pump wastewater from the toilets to the Paeroa Waste Water Treatment system was approved by Council last year.
However, further investigation has revealed a slightly more expensive low flow/high pressure alternative would not only service the reserve toilets, but also allow all commercial and residential properties in the Karangahake and Mackaytown areas to connect to the new system.
Council Group Manager Engineering Services Adrian de Laborde says as things stand it's difficult for property owners in the area to subdivide and comply with waste disposal regulations.
“Most properties are on septic tank systems and soakage which the Government is keen to phase out as part of its target to improve water quality in rivers.
“This upgraded system would be a win-win by catering for future development in the area and supporting the Government National Policy Statement on Fresh Water,” he says.
Overall, the new option will cost an estimated $1,078,000 but Mayor Tregidga says this will be offset by the Government contribution and create opportunities for the area to grow economically in the future.
“It may seem like a lot of money but you've got to remember these facilities are used by more than 100,000 visitors every year, and the numbers just keep growing,” he says, “it's fantastic to see the Government has recognised this and is assisting us to cater for