Buried in Volume Two of the draft Hastings Ten Year Plan is a summary of something called the “Water and Sanitary Services Assessment.” This assessment, prepared in 2006, is required by the Local Government Act and must be reviewed in 2010. Probably about a mere dozen citizens will even see Volume Two, let alone wade through its detail.

The assessment discusses the water situation — water supply, as well as wastewater and stormwater management and contamination issues — for fourteen communities within the Hastings District. Here’s a sampling of the water woes confronting these communities:

Haumoana – “growth and development in the area will require upgrading of the Haumoana water supply … There is a known risk of contamination of local water bodies and groundwater resulting from poorly performing wastewater systems.”

Te Awanga/Clifton – “… there is potential for increased environmental and health risks to the community from poorly performing septic tanks.”

Waimarama – “Water supply demand remains a significant issue … as a consequence, augmentation of the water supply is being investigated.” [But later, the report notes: “Current investigations unable to identify new source.”] “There are concerns with contamination of the waterways and groundwater resulting from inadequate performance of on-site wastewater systems.”

Maraekakaho – “… the risk for contamination of the shallow groundwater aquifer from wastewater systems is considered to be high.”

Whirinaki – “There are issues relating to water supply capacity and storage as a consequence of high summer demand and growth.”

Puketapu – “There are issues relating to localised surface flooding that may be impacting on sewage disposal.”

Waikoau – “There have been concerns with the operation and inadequate management of the community owned water supply … also about groundwater contamination from wastewater systems, and this is considered to be a risk to the health of the community.”

Te Hauke – “… there are issues throughout Te Hauke relating to poor performance of wastewater disposal fields due to poor soakage conditions.”

Etc, etc for Fernhill/Omahu, Paki Paki, Te Pohue, Ocean Beach and, of course, Bridge Pa.

In most cases, the assessment includes no remedial actions, and consequently no funding is allocated in the Ten Year Plan. Typical comments in the assessment: “managed retreat” … “nothing planned in current strategy” … “no change” … “no action” … “construction not planned” etc.

Yep, sounds like Hastings Council is really devoted to core services. Somebody should ask Local Government Minister Rodney “Only Core Services” Hide to send a message to his buddy, Mayor Yule.

But hey, in the meantime, we’ve got money and energy to spare … let’s build a sports park.

Tom Belford

P.S. Speaking of the sports park, check out Tuesday night’s TV-3 report on the controversy, in which Mayor Yule clings to the fantasy that “only five people” oppose the project.

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