31 January 2024
Media: Local Democracy Reporter
Topic: Tarawera sewerage scheme pipeline protest
The following was received yesterday, 30 January 2024:
I spoke to Rotokākahi Board of Control co-chairman Peter Moke who organised a protest at the lake today [30 Jan]. I have the below for response please.
“We didn’t give consent to any of this.”
Moke said the trust were not contacted about the scheme until November last year and he said the council told him the trust would be contacted again, but were not.
“We wanted another hui.”
Moke said by the time the trust was contacted the council put it in a position where it “couldn’t really say much because it already had the go-ahead.”
Among the trust’s concerns was that the pipes were close to the water’s edge, and he said their fear was if the pipes failed at a certain joint, the sewage would flow into Te Wairoa Stream and into the sacred lake. He believed there were other options for the pipe to be laid.
“It’s a significant historical site all through here.”
As works neared the lake, Moke said there had been no archeologist present and the progress meant that history was being disturbed.
“These guys are just drilling through and sucking up stuff, our tupuna underneath the ground. The buried village is just there.”
I believe the council were informed this morning - has anyone contacted the trust and if so what was discussed?
Moke said there were other options - what were these and why were they not taken?
Should an archaeologist be present at the works given the historical significance of the area? (If there is not one)
What care is being taken in regards to keeping Rotokākahi safe from sewage?
What is being done to protect anything that may be deemed culturally or historically significant found during the works?
Has anything been found and what?
The reporter indicated she was also sending the above to Te Arawa Lakes Trust.
From Infrastructure and Environment GM Stavros Michael:
We acknowledge the views expressed by the Rotokākahi Board of Control on behalf of its beneficiaries regarding the pipeline for the Tarawera reticulation scheme along the roading corridor that runs past Lake Rotokākahi.
The purpose of the Tarawera scheme is to protect the health of the community and the lake. Without the scheme, human wastewater will continue to leach through groundwater into lake Tarawera and all parties agree that this must stop.
The Tarawera scheme has been the result of extensive community consideration over many years including discussion with, and input from, iwi and hapū.
A community steering group that included iwi and Māori landowners and included at least one member of the Rotokākahi Board of Control, worked collaboratively to consider a number of options and, in late 2018, arrived at a preferred option. Their preferred option was subsequently approved in 2020 by the then Council.
We are now at a point where the project is well underway, with much of the construction already completed. Furthermore, Council is bound by legally binding commitments. Having progressed this far, we cannot now re-design or re-route the project, changing decisions made some four years ago.
Delays now would also further impact the health of Lake Tarawera and have cost implications for the community.
We have responded to the board regarding its concerns and have offered to present to them, setting out the system design and operational protections Council has incorporated in the network to avoid and minimise any risk, particularly in relation to Rotokākahi.
Arriving at the preferred option followed careful consideration of technical, cultural, financial and planning factors.
The community group assessed all options including building a treatment plant in the Tarawera catchment and alternative routes for the pipeline to connect Tarawera homes to the main Rotorua wastewater treatment plant.
An extensive cultural impacts assessment (CIA) was presented to Council in late 2020 and highlighted the need to ensure an end to lake water pollution from septic tanks.
One recommendation of the CIA was to investigate the feasibility of a treatment plant in the Tarawera catchment and this was done. However, it was found to not be feasible for several reasons including difficulty of obtaining resource consents, environmental impacts on the lake arising from delay and the significant cost implications for the Tarawera community and the wider community that funds council activities.
Council also undertook and considered its own sanitary services assessment and limitations of its financial and infrastructure strategies.
The scheme was subsequently included in the 2021-31 Long-term Plan following consultation with the wider Rotorua community (on the draft Long-term Plan).
We now have binding contracts for design and the necessary works and commitments to the Ministry for the Environment. Stage 1 of the scheme (mains and pump stations) is almost complete and final construction of pipes connecting to the Rotorua network within the Council’s road corridor is well underway.
The pipeline for the scheme which the board is opposed to will be approximately 100m from the lake edge and will be situated within the road corridor (on the far side of the road, not the side closest to the lake).
The scheme does not cross the lake or the land owned by the board of control, and has been designed to a high standard to ensure the safety of the lake.
Council is legally able to install water, stormwater and wastewater pipelines within the existing road corridors.
Regarding any potential archeological findings – as with any such project, there are strict protocols in place that include an immediate stop to works if anything is found and having this investigated by relevant experts. Cultural monitors have been appointed by local mana whenua. Nothing has to date been found.
Media: Aukaha News
Topic: Tarawera sewerage scheme pipeline protest
I am wanting to conduct a interview with mayor Tania Tapsell about the sewage pipeline project from Tarawera to Rotorua.
The questions will be as followed:
-What do you have to say to Rotokakahi owners and beneficiaries that disagree with the sewage pipeline project countinuing, back in a meeting that has was held in November of last year? Given that the project is now in the Rotokakahi catchment area?
-Are there alternatives for the sewage pipeline project?
-Is the council willing to work with in on this issue?
The request was politely declined on this occasion but the reporter was thanked for the opportunity.
The reporter was informed that the organisation had provided a statement about this today [referring to the statement provided to the Local Democracy Reporter] and that they were welcome to use this as part of their reporting.
We provided a link to this on our website here.
We also let the reporter know that we are in the process of translating this response into te reo and offered to send that to them if they wished.
Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Reporter sought information for conferences hosted in Rotorua in 2023 and anticipated/booked for 2024.
We provided the following information and referred the reporter to RotoruaNZ for potential further information and commentary about the benefits of conferences to Rotorua:
See info below re conferences in Rotorua Lakes Council Venues EEC (Energy Events Centre) and SHMC (Sir Howard Morrison Centre).
Calendar Year 2023
15 Conferences in total
14 held at the EEC
1 held at the SHMC
Total number of Delegates 8,006
(One of the conferences used both venues and is only counted once)
Calendar Year 2024
29 Conferences in total forecasted
21 to be held at the EEC
8 to be held at the SHMC
Expected delegates 13,200
The BEIA Meetings Expo has also been announced to be hosted in Rotorua and will be using the EEC for the exhibition and the SHMC for the welcome function, providing a fantastic opportunity to showcase our destination and our venues.
The SHMC will also be hosting the EVANZ (Entertainment Venues Association) Mid-Year Conference in May which will be attended by delegates from around New Zealand.
Estimated economic benefit, based on the formula RLC uses, is about $533 per delegate but RotoruaNZ may have more info regarding this.
Media: NZME (Rotorua Daily Post and BOP Times):
Topic: Waitangi Day events in Rotorua
I am working on a story highlighting the various events taking place around the Bay of Plenty on Waitangi Day this year.
If you have anything planned for next week within the Rotorua Lakes district could you please email me the details to include.
We provided the following information:
Lakeside Concert – ‘Re-Imagine’
Saturday 3 February, 5.30pm – 10.15pm
Rotorua Village Green
An unforgettable night of music, food, fun and fireworks for all ages!
Rotorua Multicultural Lakeside Concert
Sunday 4 February, 11am – 2.45pm
Rotorua Village Green
A family friendly, daytime concert featuring performances by multicultural artists.
Waitangi Day at Te Puia
Tuesday 6 February, 9am – 3pm
Te Puia, Hemo Road
A jam-packed day of cultural festivities, delicious kai and wānanga.
$5 adults, Under 16 years free
Waitangi – For the Love of the People
Tuesday 6 February, 10am – 3pm
Wai Ariki Spa, Whakaue Street
Enjoy market stalls, guided tours, entertainment, and interactive activities for all to enjoy.
Free entry to market, some activities cost
Waitangi Day Evening Concert
Tuesday 6 February, 6pm – 10pm
Te Puia, Hemo Road
Featuring some of New Zealand’s foremost musicians and entertainers with street food stations.
$60, book tickets in advance
More info on all events happening in Rotorua between 3-6 Feb loaded on Rotorua Nui
The other popular event that is on this weekend is the Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade, however it has not been loaded to Rotorua Nui.
Events details in link to the FB event below: