New Kerikeri wastewater plant operational in 2020

Published on 07 August 2019

Kerikeri Wastewater under construction

Kerikeri households and businesses will be able to connect to the town’s new wastewater scheme by the end of July 2020, some months later than initially intended. 

General Manager – Infrastructure and Asset Management, Andy Finch, says the Council had planned to complete the district’s biggest infrastructure project by the end of 2019. However, this timeline has now been pushed out.

Mr Finch says projects of this size and complexity can often be delayed by unforeseen issues. “In this case, the new treatment plant was to be built in a disused quarry, but another more suitable site was selected after initial plans were drawn up.”

This has required a number of design modifications that required a pause in the construction schedule, he says. “At the same time, we are competing with other significant construction projects around the country. Competition for qualified staff and other resources has contributed to delays.”

Contractors now expect to complete the new wastewater treatment plant by the end of March 2020. “This will allow homes and businesses in the area of benefit to be connected to the new reticulation system by the end of July.  The final stage of the project – decommissioning and dismantling the current plant on Shepherd Road – will be completed by the end of October 2020.”

The Council will apply to Northland Regional Council to extend its air discharge consent for the existing plant to cover this period. 

Mr Finch understands the delays are frustrating, especially for developers hoping to connect new buildings to the wastewater scheme.  “I appreciate this is not news they hoped for and I regret the impact this will have on their plans. However, I am confident the project will deliver the environmental and growth benefits we have promised for Kerikeri.”

The project delay will not affect the $7.3 million Ministry of Health contribution towards the project’s capital costs.