'Hush money': Residents affected by wastewater plant smell say $200 won't help

The Christchurch wastewater treatment plant caught fire in November. Photo: George Heard
The Christchurch wastewater treatment plant caught fire in November. Photo: George Heard
Residents living near the Christchurch wastewater treatment plant in Bromley say the city council's community support package is not good enough.

The plant was damaged in a fire in November last year, releasing a smell on the area that has been described as "putrid" and "foul".

Up to 3300 households affected by the stink will be eligible for a one-off payment of $200 to help deal with the impacts of the fire from next week.

Bromley resident Caleb Saunderson said it won't make a difference.

"My thoughts are, it's not good enough in any way, shape or form. They've sort of dropped the ball, I don't think a blanket one-off payment of $200 is going to solve anything.

"To me, it seems like hush money, take your $200, shut-up and thank your benevolent overlords, you know?"

He said the response he has heard from the community is that nobody is happy with it.

"The general consensus is nobody is happy with it at all. People are quite angry with it, it's kind of insulting.

"Not only have they limited the area, which in my opinion isn't large enough because it's affecting a lot more people than just 300-odd houses, but they obviously haven't listened to what the community is saying."

Christchurch city councillors approved a community support package to assist those living nearest to the plant yesterday.

From Monday, residents who live within the area bounded by Buckleys and Pages Rds, State Highway 74 and Linwood Ave will be able to apply for the cash payment.

The council has committed $1 million towards the community support package.

Some of that money could be used to support schools and early learning centres in the immediate area.

-By Courtney Winter

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