Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 18 September 2014 Contents HOT TOPIC
18 September, 2014 | Page 7
I heard a
the other day
my interest. It
was a casual
about the plans currently under way to build
a new Te Anau Scout den and a shed for the
revived rowing club.
While there was a genuine enthusiasm
for the obvious progress being made on
both fronts, the consensus was a sense of
missed opportunity for lack of thinking big.
And I have to agree.
The Scouts have raised nearly enough
money for their long-awaited and much
needed rebuild. With more young members
per capita than almost anywhere else in
the country, the dire lack of space and
amenities has focused the drive to build
a new purpose-built shed. But, perhaps
regrettably, a shed is all it will be.
I know we’re teaching these young people
to be able to rough it and hold their own in
the outdoors, but I can’t help wondering
whether the brief should not have been a
little wider with more of a long-term view of
potential community-wide use.
I don’t know a lot about the rowing club’s
plans other than it needs a lakeside base to
house its very long boats. Presumably any
building will also include toilets, changing
facilities and maybe even a meeting room/
In the same vicinity we have the Marakura
Yacht Club, a fantastic venue with stunning
views and well set up to cater to a variety of
uses. However, it’s getting a bit dated now
and presumably it too will be fundraising in
a few years’ time for cosmetic upgrades, as
well as prescribed improvements to comply
with public building regulations.
Imagine if, instead of pursuing their own
exclusive interests, all three worked
together to build a brand new activity
centre. Sheds underneath big enough
to house the training yachts, row boats,
changing rooms and associated equipment
of both water sports (and maybe even more
not yet thought of). Upstairs a network
of interconnecting rooms could provide
ample meeting/training space for
multiple users at once or foldaway
walls that could open out for one
large open space. It could have
the potential to be Fiordland’s
convention centre with at least
three passionate and committed
groups ensuring it is well utilised and
Unfortunately, as is frequently the
case with grandiose ideas such as
this, I can already anticipate the
There would be opposition to such a
structure on the lakefront; assuming
of course that it could even get past
Department of Conservation and
Southland District Council-imposed
conditions or hurdles. The cost would
be deemed prohibitive, even before
the fundraising began.
There would be arguments over
which group took precedence at
times when all required the full
facilities. Yes, far easier to build two
new sheds and do a general tidy up of the
yacht club. But nice to dream occasionally.
An interesting idea floated
Southland District Council’s plan, dating
back almost 10 years, to pump Te Anau
sewerage waste water to the Kepler-
Manapouri Airport site is getting close to
The Resource Hearing for the discharge
has been adjourned by the panel of
three commissioners until SDC carry out
more groundwater bore investigations to
substantiate their claim that ground water
flows towards Te Anau and not Frasers
Beach and Manapouri. Independent
hydrology reports clearly suggest water
is “running uphill” with the information
already supplied. Obviously the
commissioners have a similar view so it is
now up to SDC to confirm their figures.
A peer review of the new results has been
called for by the commissioners, nothing
wrong with that, but one needs to ask
the questions. Who appointed the peer
reviewer? Was it the applicant the SDC
or the consenting authority Environment
Southland? Either way what guarantee do
we have that the results are unbiased?
The peer reviewer is working for, and paid
for, by one of the above parties so one
could hardly call it an independent review.
And the reviewer is only looking at figures
supplied by the applicant. If there is doubt,
and there clearly is, an independent
consultancy firm should be employed to
carry out the retesting.
SDC has too much at stake to let this
scheme fall over. What, with close to 10
years’ planning for the wastewater to go
to Manapouri and the $4.4 million dollar
purchase of the land (of which over 50
percent of it is now shown to be
useless and unsuitable for irrigation)
they would lose face if the Resource
Consent was rejected.
Over the last 10 years there have
been huge developments of new
systems worldwide but we are still
sticking to the antiquated proposal
that back then was seen, by a few,
as the only way to go. Come on
Southland people, let your voice be
heard or you all will be paying for this
environmental and financial disaster
if we don’t stop it now.
Support Fiordland Sewerage Options
Inc. to fight the battle to Save
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Te Anau 9640
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