Whangangamata’s dirty little secret….

In 1999 the local community health board put up a number of these signs in close proximity to the Kaimoana beds and the proposed Marina site, to warn people of the toxicity of the area, due to the leaking sewer pond upstream of the proposed site, kaimoana beds, and the Whangamata Bar.

Shortly thereafter the signs were papered over with a council notice informing people of a liquor ban, and around 2001 the signs were removed altogether.

This eighty year old gentleman was walking his dog near the Moanaanuanu stream late 2007, and received a cut to his leg which resulted in a bacterial infection and subsequent deterioration in his quality of life.

Being incapacitated like this is one thing, but the gentleman’s four legged companion was also infected, and he now facing ongoing expensive treatment for his dog.

his story is not unusual, since 1997 the good people from Clean Water Whangamata, and later supported from the Surfbreak Protection Society, have been trying to get the council to upgrade the leaky waste water system and took the council to court to do so.

A successful agreement was mediated by the Environment Court to investigate and repair the offending pond in March 2007. in September 2007 the Council granted a non notified consent to allow the pond to leak for a further 30 years…

Many people have had similar infections and debilitations from this toxic area which the council and marina society appear to be attempting to hush up.

Why?

Could it be that for this development to proceed it would only be fair that the Marina Society should partly fund the waste water upgrade? (exclusive condominiums and increased urban density is also part of this development.

Because Whangamata is not on the national power grids loop (it is on a dead end branch) the cost of hooking up the marina development to the national grid has been estimated at between 5 and 6 million dollars. Who pays for this? the marina society or the ratepayers?

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