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16 May 2019 -Linda Rowbotham

I refer to your online Official Information request of 20 May 2019 and respond below as per your email:

1 / What is the $980,000 per year operating costs for the sewerage treatment made up of? They believe this is a new system only servicing approx 213 properties in the first year.

This is the operations cost of the WWTP ie: depreciation, electricity, chemicals, personnel, maintenance etc.  It is an asset worth roughly $10 million that needs to be depreciated, renewed, maintained and operated.  The $980,000 is going onto the targeted levy for all the district.

2 / When every objection to the scheme noted absence of final cost, why was this not open for discussion at the Council meeting?

The issue around the level of uncertainty of the cost to land owners as a key issue of objection was included in the report to Council for their deliberation on 2 May 2019.  A copy of the report and corresponding Council resolution is attached.

3 / Why, when it was agreed at the RRSSC meeting of December 2017, that tenders be called for the Rotoiti system, this doesn’t appear to have happened yet?

The tender documents are currently being reviewed by the Project team, including the iwi Liaison Group, to ensure that all performance requirements, including cultural aspirations, are appropriately specified as required by the resource consent.

4 / Why is there an update of budget?

Refer to the report attached.

5 / Apparently Infracore employees have told some residents, they have been told they have to have tanks installed on all properties by the end of June 2019. So there is apparently a bit of a rush on to get the job completed. Is this when the treatment plant will be fully operational?

The wastewater treatment plant is expected to be commissioned in July and fully operational in late August 2019.  It would be ideal to have all the properties connected to the system by then.

Once the reticulation contractor has connected all properties that gave their approval, they may demobilise from the site.  Additional cost may be incurred if the contractor has to re-mobilise again to connect the remaining properties after they have given their approval.

6 / What was the overall cost of the sewerage system in Hamurana?, and how much was each property owner charged?

$426.08 + GST targeted rate over 15 years

$5,247.34 + GST lump sum

7 / If home owners only have 5 – 10 years left on their lease, how do they claim the cost of the scheme if the lease is not renewed?

This is a matter that the lessee (ratepayer) has to discuss with their lessor and agree.

8 / Apparently RLC only has a 15 year lease signed on the property where the treatment plant is going, so why are the local ratepayers getting told they are signing up for a 25 year contract? Is this just the instalment period for payment?

The duration of the easement on the property where the wastewater treatment plant is sited is 50 years.  The easement agreement also allows for a mutually agreed extension beyond the 50 years.

9 / If you sell your property during the term of the loan contract, can you transfer the loan debt over to the purchaser, or do you have to pay it in full at the time of the sale of property? Is it linked to their rates account, or is it a personal loan, which they need to sign a contract?

There will be two options to pay for the capital contribution of the property towards the scheme:

–          Lump sum one-off payment

–          Targeted rate spread over 25 years

If the property owner chooses the lump sum option, the lump sum contribution paid could be considered in the property purchase negotiations.

If the property owner chooses to pay over 25 years as a targeted rate, the obligation to pay transfers to the new owner once the property is sold unless other arrangements are made as part of the property purchase negotiations.

The annual sewage disposal rate (to cover the operation and maintenance cost of the scheme) will be paid for by the new owner once the property is sold.

10/ How are the grants drawn down that help pay for the scheme?

The subsidies are drawn down based on agreed payment milestones linked to the progress of the project.

The Rotoma/Rotoehu Community Association committee members suggested that the Rotoma/Rotoiti lake levels are kept high to protect the people with boat sheds in Okere Falls, however apparently local Maori would like the lake levels dropped to get their beaches back around the edges of the lakes, and protect existing properties. There are apparently some areas at the top end of the lake, near Gisborne Point, that people can’t flush their toilets as the water table on the properties is so high, and affecting their septic tanks. How is this going to be resolved?

The management of the lake levels is the responsibility of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.  You would need to direct your query to them.

As per the Act, we are obliged to advise that you may contact the Ombudsman at the address below if you have any concerns with the response provided by Council, by writing to:

The Office of the Ombudsman

PO Box 10 152


Alternatively, you may email or use the online complaints form available at