Marlborough District Council in partnership with iwi is looking to decide the future of the Blenheim Sewage Treatment Plant (BSTP) as the current resource consent expires in 2025.
In 2010 Council was granted resource consents to upgrade the BSTP and continue operations. As part of the consenting process, investigations were undertaken into the issues facing the treatment plant. The work identified that an upgrade was needed, and after consultation and consenting a series of wetland ponds and a new outfall in the Wairau Estuary were constructed. The 1.6km long wetland system conveys treated wastewater from the domestic and industrial ponds and provides some “polishing” treatment. In addition, approximately 160ha of Council-owned land around the treatment plant is available for wastewater irrigation from spring to autumn depending on the soil moisture conditions. The result was that in 2014 the discharge of treated sewage to the Ōpaoa River stopped.
At a collective hui held in November 2021, it was determined that a refreshed cultural impact assessment for this consent application be developed which enabled Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Toa and Rangitāne to identify and make recommendations on the cultural impacts of the application. It also determined to establish a committee to work through an agreed process to address the consent application process made up of Council and representatives from the three iwi.
We will be holding a hui with Tina Porou to update whānau on this process and specifically wānanga on the cultural impacts of the Blenheim Sewage Treatment Plant.