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Discharging Kaikohe's treated wastewater to land


Project details

The Council currently discharges Kaikohe’s treated wastewater to the Wairoro Stream, and is actively considering an alternative option of discharging to land.

Areas of land have been identified that may be suitable for the treated wastewater. These areas have the soil, slope and land-use types that might be suitable for receiving treated wastewater, and further site investigations are required to confirm their suitability. Council is developing a working group with mana whenua to further investigate the option of discharging to land and to agree potentially suitable areas of land.

Council will contact potential site landowners to find out if they are interested in allowing further site suitability investigations on their land.

Design and costs for appropriate infrastructure will be prepared if suitable land is found, as well as engagement with Treaty partners and affected communities.  The Council will then make a decision whether to go ahead with the project.

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Questions and answers

  • It is culturally unacceptable for treated wastewater to be discharged to water. In te ao Māori human waste is considered harmful, tapu, and needs to be kept separate from where people cook, eat, harvest food, talk and sleep. Wai (water) is a place for gathering kai and is a taonga with a mauri. The mauri of wai is degraded when wastewater is discharged to it.
  • The Council is statutorily required to investigate options for discharging wastewater to land, Policy D.4.3 of the Proposed Regional Plan for Northland sets out this requirement.
  • It can reduce point source contamination of a freshwater body, and if treated wastewater is used to irrigate land this can result in reduced demand (for irrigation) on our freshwater sources.

  • Discharging treated wastewater to land encourages further treatment through contact with soils and also allows vegetation to uptake nutrients.
  • Discharging to land stops contaminants entering waterways
  • Taking treated wastewater out of waterways helps to restore the mauri of the awa.
  • Treated wastewater can be re-used for irrigation purposes, which in turn reduces demand on other freshwater sources.

Project documents


Cumber Road, Kaikohe 0474  View Map

Last updated: 02 Apr 2024 4:18pm