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Stopping the Silt is Council’s Focus

Wednesday January 13, 2016

There is ongoing public concern over the silt discharge into the Waiau River and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s is enforcing an abatement notice requiring the Eastland Group to stop the discharge from its Waihi Dam. 

Interim Chief Executive Liz Lambert, Council Chairman Fenton Wilson and staff will be meeting with Eastland Group representatives on Thursday.  Eastland Group are flying in engineers this week to find a solution to stopping the discharge of sediment from the dam. The silt discharge is occurring through a damaged sluice gate on the dam.  The gate was opened by Eastland Group following damage during a storm event. 

HBRC issued an abatement notice on Christmas Eve and reissued this on 6 January 2016 requiring the gate to be closed, but the damage to the gate prevents it being fully closed. 

“The top priority from a HBRC perspective is to see the Eastland Group stop the discharge of silt from behind the dam wall into the Waihi River through the damaged gate.  Given the arrival of engineering expertise this week we expect this will happen a bit faster,” says HBRC’s Interim Chief Executive Liz Lambert.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillor Fenton Wilson and HBRC staff have been in regular contact with Eastland Group management. 

“We are very sympathetic to Wairoa people who have had their farm production affected or their recreation halted because of the silt in the rivers.  However it will take time to sort this out and there is no quick fix for this,” says Mrs Lambert.

HBRC’s environmental scientists are investigating the ecological impact of the discharge on the Wairoa and Waiau Rivers after the huge discharge of silt flowed through the river systems.

6 April 2016

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