Call for earlier start to sewerage system

Developers are urging the Queenstown Lakes District Council to upgrade Cardrona's wastewater system as soon as possible so consented developments can go ahead.

Four submitters to the council's 2018-28 draft long-term plan raised the issue with councillors at a hearing in Wanaka yesterday. Three submitters were developers.

Through separate submissions, the developers argued growth in Cardrona township was ''on hold'' until a new wastewater system was installed, as the current one was ''full and failing''.

Brooklynne Holdings director Kathy Lynne believed Cardrona was a ''destination in its own right'' but could not move forward until the wastewater treatment plant was replaced.

A new wastewater scheme has long been mooted for the village, following several serious outbreaks of norovirus caused by sewage leaking into the water supply.

It was included as a capital works project in the 2009-17 long-term plan as well as the subsequent long-term plans in 2012 and 2015, all of which indicated building a pipeline from Cardrona to Wanaka to be completed by this year.

In 2016 those plans were scrapped by the council due to concerns about the project cost.

In the draft 2018-28 plan, the majority of funding for a new wastewater scheme has been allocated for the years 2024-25 and 2025-26.

Cardrona Camp owner and director Sharon White told councillors she was ''deeply shocked'' by the proposed timeline.

''There are many landowners wanting to develop and invest in Cardrona who are stifled by the lack of wastewater services.''

''We need wastewater treatment now. The money is there, the planning is under way, we can't wait any longer. If Cardrona is seen as an important contributor to the economic wellbeing of our region then the council has a duty to invest in this now so that we the developers can build much needed accommodation for our region.''

Mt Cardrona Station director Andrew Spence submitted that if the council's funding could be re-allocated, his development could install a wastewater system to provide for the whole town and Cardrona skifield within two years.

''Our timetable to do stage one of a sewerage scheme is within the next two years, so it's a question of whether council wants to join in on that and bring the existing village into that.''

Mayor Jim Boult admitted the council's history of work on wastewater in Cardrona was ''not all that marvellous''.

sean.nugent@odt.co.nz

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