Council allocates $3m to waste water upgrade

Cardrona's long wait for an upgraded wastewater system may finally be over, after the Queenstown Lakes District Council allocated $3 million to the project over the next two years in its long-term plan.

An upgrade 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 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 recent draft long-term plan, the Queenstown Lakes District Council allocated funding for an upgrade in the years 2024-25 and 2025-26.

But several submissions from Cardrona residents and developers argued the funding needed to be brought forward as potential developments were being stifled by a lack of wastewater service.

At the long-term plan hearing, 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.

The council listened, and revised the long-term plan so $3 million of funding will go towards upgrading the system over the next two years.

QLDC infrastructure development engineer Andrew Tipene said the ''synergies'' in Mt Cardrona Station's wastewater system being able to service the wider community was the selling point for the council to move the funding allocation forward.

Cardrona Valley Residents and Ratepayers Society chairman Blyth Adams said the community was ecstatic.

''Hats off to the council. Well done for recognising the problem and [we] thank them for bringing it forward. We're mindful that there's only a certain amount of money in the pot and we're very grateful that they've seen it fit to bring it forward.''

''It's been quite a battle the last 10 or 11 years, going backwards and forwards filing public submissions, changes of council and changes of decisions, capital being allocated and then not being available - we've seen it all.

''We've been frustrated but we're finally being rewarded.''

sean.nugent@odt.co.nz

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