Public notification for Ōpononi wastewater consent renewal

Published on 25 November 2021

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Far North District Council is encouraging Hokianga residents and others to have their say on an application to renew its resource consent for the Ōpononi wastewater treatment plant.

The application has now been notified by Northland Regional Council (NRC) and the public has until 5pm Wednesday 15 December to make a submission on the renewal.

While the application is being managed by NRC, Far North District Council (FNDC) requested that it be publicly notified to ensure all people’s views can be formally captured through a submissions and hearings process.

Chairperson of FNDC’s Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Felicity Foy, says the Council wanted the consent renewal to be publicised because of the high level of public interest in wastewater consents.

“Far North residents are concerned about the cultural and environmental impacts of any discharges into our waterways, but particularly of treated wastewater into the Hokianga Harbour. We want to ensure all residents are well-informed about our wastewater facilities and about consent renewals. That is why we requested that NRC publicly notify our application.”

She says options to dispose of wastewater to land are also being actively considered by the Council. “However, this is not always practical for some soil types or land uses. We must therefore consider the option of releasing treated wastewater into the coastal environment to ensure existing wastewater systems continue to serve our communities.”

The Ōpononi wastewater treatment plant is managed by four consents. One is for odour to air, while two more are for seepage from the bottom of the treatment ponds and discharge of treated wastewater into to the Hokianga Harbour. The final consent is for use of the harbour bed for an existing wastewater discharge pipeline.

To find out more about the Ōpononi wastewater treatment plant, go to the FNDC website. To read the consent renewal application and to make a submission, go to the NRC website.

The submissions and hearings process will be overseen by independent commissioners.