Land purchase for North Taranaki wastewater treatment plant

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Land purchase for North Taranaki wastewater treatment plant

NPDC has bought an 84ha block of land near Onaero for the Urenui/Onaero wastewater project.

The $5.6 million property off Main North Road is closer to Onaero and Urenui than the 41ha site on Waiau Road bought last year. This proximity as well as its larger size will simplify and reduce the cost of construction and operation and allow for possible future population growth.

The purchase follows an extensive investigation of properties in the area by projects partners NPDC and Ngāti Mutunga.

“Our next step is to begin preparing a resource consent application to use the land, which will include working closely with neighbours during the process,” says NPDC Three Waters Manager Mark Hall.

“It may take a few years to process the resource consents before the new wastewater treatment plant construction will begin. In the meantime, we’ll be reminding homeowners in Urenui and Onaero to continue maintaining their private septic tanks.”  

Connecting Urenui and Onaero properties to a sewer pipe system and building a wastewater treatment plant will fix the ongoing problem of wastewater from ageing septic tanks seeping into waterways around the North Taranaki towns.

 “We’re pleased with the progress of this important project for Urenui and Onaero,” says Ngāti Mutunga trustee Brent Matuku.“Our involvement in the investigation of properties identified that part of the new site is in the proximity of a wāhi tapu; however, the site is large enough to avoid the wāhi tapu and any impact on waterways.”

NPDC bought the Waiau Road site last year when it came on the market unexpectedly, to ensure it would be available for use for the wastewater project if required. “It’s still a suitable alternative site for the project so we’ll hold on to it for now while we apply for resource consent for the new site,” says Mark.

The Urenui/Onaero wastewater project has $31m set aside for this project in NPDC’s Long-Term Plan (2021-2023). The final cost will be known after detailed design of the facility is completed.

During the public roadshow on the 10-Year Plan, Ngāti Mutunga and locals made it clear they wanted a long-term solution to the problem of wastewater seeping into the Urenui River.

A rāhui on swimming and gathering fish and shellfish has been in place on the Urenui River, from Okoki Pa to the river mouth, since November 2020.

Fast Facts

  • NPDC has spent the last two years helping residents fix and maintain their septic tanks and working on wastewater issues at both the Onaero and Urenui campgrounds.
  • NPDC cleans an average of 25 million litres of wastewater each day and looks after more than 25,850 properties in the district, including 34 pump stations and 631km sewer network.