Watercare has ditched plans for a huge $396 million water treatment plant at Oratia.
The decision is a huge victory for the close community of Oratia, which faced the loss of up to 18 homes and rural properties, and furiously opposed the plant plan.
But the Watercare board today decided to build a new plant alongside the existing Huia water treatment plant at Titirangi, removing native bush to do so.
Titirangi R&R has posted the following:
WATERCARE DECISION SHOULD SPARK DIALOGUE
The Titirangi Residents and Ratepayers Association is pleased that Watercare has finally made a decision regarding the location for its new water treatment plant, ending months of speculation and anxiety for communities in Oratia and Titirangi.
The communities of TItirangi and Oratia now at least have certainty about the site’s location. We sympathise with the disappointment felt by the residents of Manuka Road in Titirangi and fully understand their concerns.
The Association believes that the important thing now is for Watercare, Auckland Council and the local community to work together and begin a constructive and open dialogue about the design and placement of the plant on the Manuka Road site in order to have the minimum impact on both the environment and local residents.
TRRA Chair Dr Mels Barton says “Watercare needs clear guidance for their engineers to work with in order to design a plant that protects the best quality vegetation and important habitat, and avoids any other important features on the site, as well as addressing the concerns of local residents. We look forward to working closely with all parties to develop a solution that works for everyone. The first step should be an independent ecological survey of the entire site”.
The Association will be meeting with representatives from Forest and Bird, the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society and Auckland Botanical Society in the near future to exchange information about the ecology of the site and identify knowledge gaps that need to be filled.
The Association believes that Watercare should reach out to the local community in Titirangi and convene an independently facilitated working group as soon as possible to enable open, inclusive and constructive dialogue to commence to build trust and respect, which has been badly damaged by the totally inadequate “consultation” process to date. What is not wanted is a black box approach where the community is excluded from the decision making process regarding the details of exactly how this plant will be placed on the Manuka Road site.
Comment: Dr Mels Barton, Chair 021 213 7779