The HB Regional Council has granted 35-year consent for land-based discharge of Takapau wastewater, ending its discharge into the Mākāretu River.

In September, Otāne wastewater discharge was permanently removed from the Papanui stream, and the CHB District Council is on track to remove all wastewater discharges from the district’s waterways by 2035.  

What a turnaround from the mind set of previous CHBDC regimes!

“This great news for Takapau builds on the strategy for our infrastructure that we’ve been working towards over the last six years,” says Mayor Alex Walker. “It’s important for our community to have their river respected and restored and to see the tangible progress of our plans to remove wastewater from awa (rivers) across the district.

This outcome is the result of fours years of Council  engagement with the Takapau community and Mana whenua on the question of wastewater discharge into the Mākāretu River. This a cultural assessment by Takapau-based Joanne Heperi (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tahu ki Takapau, Ngāi Toroiwaho, Ngāi Te Kikiri o te Rangi), which considered the relationship between Mana whenua and the Mākāretu, the current and future health and state of the river and its cultural significance.  

The project will include the restoration of an area close to the river with native plants, including kāretu, kahikatea, ti kouka and harakeke, and a picnic and rest area marked with an entrance Pou (marker). The ‘Crusher’ swimming hole will also be restored, destined to be once again a popular recreation spot for the Takapau and wider Central Hawke’s Bay community. 
CHBDC has now started procuring the system components for a combined land discharge system at Takapau. The first stage of irrigation to land is scheduled to commence in 2023 and will see a maximum of 30 hectares of farmland irrigated with effluent. River discharge used only when the river is in flood. Additional storage capacity construction and second stage of irrigation to land will begin in 2024. 

Hats off to CHBDC and the Takapau community that’s united around this new approach.

Of wider regional interest will be the precedent-setting importance of this Regional Council consent.

Currently both Hastings and Napier happily discharge their treated effluent into the marine environment … Hawke Bay. When their consents come up for renewal, will HBRC consistently demand discharge to land? That would be a shocker.


Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *