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Bore proposal failing to excite

The bore that supplies drinking water to Greytown is at risk of failing, but Wellington Water’s [WW] proposed solution has found little favour with locals.

Four submissions were received on a proposal to install a new bore at the Soldiers’ Memorial Park water treatment facilities, all in opposition.

WW’s preferred location is inside Greytown’s swimming complex on the grassed area between the designated space for the barbecue and the shaded grassed area.

The proposal came after WW determined the existing Memorial Park bore was at the end of its useful life, was difficult to maintain, and was at risk of failure.

“Currently, it is not possible to undertake maintenance of the pump or bore without running the risk of disrupting water supply for several months to both residents of Featherston and Greytown.”

WW said that without regular maintenance, the bore is at an increased risk of failure.

“Through the construction of a new bore, this will allow maintenance to occur consistently and new pumping technology to be installed.

“This will ensure continuity of supply for the long term, and during the commissioning stage of the new treatment plant, minimise any disruption to supply for Greytown residents.”

The proposed bore, which WW said would be installed at a greater depth than the existing bore, would provide a greater level of protection against future climate change impacts, particularly relating to decreased groundwater levels during summer.

The Greytown Community Board, which submitted against the proposal said the existing production bores at Waiohine could provide for the water supply of Greytown by undertaking second drillings at the site, stating that the existing older bores had been drilled to insufficient depth, and that alternative bores would provide sufficient water capacity through increased flows.

The Board also said the Memorial Park bore was only ever identified as a backup, not a primary water supply, and that the focus should be on improving the efficiency of the Waiohine bores.

They also said the current bore and the proposed bore were not in keeping with the memorial values of the park.

“The park is intended to be a place of reflection, remembrance, and rejuvenation,” the Board’s submission stated.

“It is why it holds special meaning to the families of Greytown and Wairarapa.

“The concept of cutting off a portion of something that is meant to be a memorial should not happen simply because it seems the least invasive.”

Board chair Louise Brown would be speaking to the submission on Wednesday at South Wairarapa District Council’s Hearing and Deliberation meeting.

Also speaking to an individual submission is Greytown resident Jo Woodcock, who is also a member of the community board.

She submitted that due to the commemorative value of the Memorial Baths, which was built in memory of fallen soldiers from WWI and WWII, it was not appropriate to construct a new bore in this location.

Woodcock also opposed the proposed location of the bore due to the loss of 18m2 of grassed area within the pool complex.

She wanted other options to be assessed for the proposed bore.

WW’s proposed treatment plant upgrade consists of two stages: installing a new bore to ensure continuity and resilience of the water supply in the long term; and installing a new water treatment plant [a containerised system], which involves connecting the plant to the bore and the wider drinking water network.
Upgrading of the treatment facilities to meet drinking water standards would require the existing bore to be offline for two to three months while the new treatment plant is commissioned, resulting in low water pressure throughout the town.

WW said iwi feedback on the proposal had been “favourable, “with the representatives on the Maori Standing Committee supportive of the proposal as it will improve the water quality within the town”.

“They did not raise any concerns that the project would impact on Te Ao Maori.”

South Wairarapa District Council’s Hearing and Deliberation meeting will begin at 12.30pm on Thursday at the Supper Room in Martinborough’s Waihinga Centre.

On the committee are Mayor Martin Connelly, and councillors Alistair Plimmer, Kaye McAulay, Martin Bosley, and Aaron Woodcock.

– NZLDR

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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