East Rotoiti | Rotomā Sewerage Scheme December 2018 update

A meeting to update the lakes community about progress on constructing the East Rotoiti | Rotomā Sewerage Scheme is scheduled to take place at the Rotoiti Sports Club.

The hui will happen at 10am on Saturday, 19 January 2019.

Residents in Rotoiti and Rotomā are invited to attend the meeting which will cover:

  • Progress on the scheme including construction of the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Rotoiti, reticulation network and installing the on-site Septic Tank Effluent Pumping (STEP) system in Rotomā
  • Expected timeline milestones for the project
  • Current financial position of the project and issues; as well as
  • The process Council intends to follow to ensure all properties of Rotoiti and Rotomā are connected to the network

Please subscribe to www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/rotoitirotoma to keep up-to-date with this project.

Recap on December meeting in Rotomā

About 120 or so people attended a community hui about the scheme in December, which was held in Rotomā.

Rotorua Lakes Council’s Infrastructure general manager, Stavros Michael, delivered a presentation to the community about how the scheme is advancing.

Mr Michael told the meeting that about $24 million of the estimated $35.5m project has been committed to contracts and work is in progress or has been completed. The remaining $11m is reserved for the Rotoiti on-site pre-treatment system and to complete the main reticulation network, west of the Rotoiti Emery Store. He said the project team is working hard in achieving that goal which would mean that the net capital costs for each ratepayer in the scheme would be kept as close as possible to the $14,100 estimate - detailed in Council’s 2017/ 2018 Annual.

Some of those at the hui raised a number of questions covering a number of elements about the overall scheme, the anticipated final cost and seeking clarification over rumours circulating in the community.

Those at the meeting heard:

  • That a rumour that ratepayers net capital cost would be between $24,000 and $25,000 was incorrect and unfounded
  • A back-up emergency generator to improve the power supply for Rotoiti and Rotomā is not a part of the reticulation scheme
  • The back-up generator is part of Council’s Civil Defence risk reduction efforts. It was installed by Unison at the request of Council to improve the communities’ power supply resilience
  • The sewerage scheme is designed to accommodate about 770 properties, which allows for about 100 extra homes that are section ready, and is in addition to what already exists in the two communities. If growth increases beyond 770 dwellings there will be a contribution required for new properties to pay their share of the additional capacity in the system that may be needed. There are many ways to increase capacity in due course. Council does not believe that current ratepayers should cover the capital cost for any future developments

Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade

Contractors have made steady progress with the construction of the plant including:

  • Assembling the Chemical Dosing building’s foundation, walls and roof framework
  • Final work on the plant’s Bioreactor pumping chamber (the bioreactor biologically processes effluent and removes organic material, nitrogen and phosphorus from the water)
  • Road works to develop a permanent access way to the plant from State Highway 30 continues and is on schedule


Contractors have been advancing well and have completed about 16 kilometres of the 22km network which stretches from Matahī Spit to the plant behind the Rotoiti Emery Store.

About six kilometres of the main reticulation line that connects Rotomā homes to the treatment plant in Rotoiti is left to install underground. This last 30 per cent of the mains pipe will serve the east Rotoiti community, where most of the properties are located.

An analysis and detailed design work is currently being undertaken for the mains reticulation, west of the Emery Store to Curtis Road.

Installing STEP

Close to 130 of a total of 212 Rotomā properties have signed up giving their consent to have the Septic Tank Effluent Pre-treatment (STEP) system installed on their properties.

Council has written to all Rotomā residents whose consent forms have not been returned or have opposed. Council has asked them to respond by the 16th of February, 2019 deadline. If no response is received those residents will be considered to be in opposition to their property being connected to the new system.

For those residents and property owners, a Council hearing will be arranged around early March 2019, in accordance with the Local Government Act.

Following that hearing, Council will work on how to proceed with the Local Government Act application as it applies to the obligation of property owners to connect to a provided and functioning wastewater reticulation system, and pay their relevant rates towards the scheme.

As of the 18th of December, 61 Rotomā properties have had their STEP system installed. Council is encouraging any resident of Rotomā properties which still have their consent forms, asking for permission to install the STEP system, to get in touch with Council from January 7, 2019 on (07) 348 4199 or email: info@rotorualc.nz if they have any questions or concerns.

Rotoiti Connection to the Plant

Council is now in the process of designing and costing the main reticulation system for properties from Manawahē Road to Curtis Road.

Council aims to start installing the reticulation line for Rotoiti in the first half of next year.

The question of why the STEP system, which is being implemented in Rotomā, cannot be adopted for the Rotoiti community was raised at the public meeting in Rotomā.

Council’s Stavros Michael made it clear at the hui in Rotomā that a decision on which pre-treatment system for Rotoiti will be made only after tenders are received. Council will then consult with the Rotoiti Rotomā Sewerage Scheme Steering Group and its Iwi Liaison Group. If the decision materially affects the overall costs to ratepayers, Council will consult with the community again and outline options before making a final decision.

Other News

Council has also applied for consent from Heritage New Zealand to carry out work to install the reticulation line in Rotoiti, particularly at Komuhumuhu (Gisborne Point), which is of archaeological significance.

Council is continuing to look at design options to service the settlement at Ngamotu Peninsula. It will also be seeking consent from homeowners and residents at Komuhumuhu in future, to install a pre-treatment system on their respective properties.

More information about the East Rotoiti | Rotomā Sewerage Scheme will be covered at a community update meeting on Saturday, 19 January 2019 at the Rotoiti Sports Club from 10am.

If you’d like to keep up-to-date subscribe to www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/rotoitirotoma.

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