Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 14 August 2014 Contents HOT TOPIC
Page 6 | 14 August, 2014
The Department of Conservation
is considering removing our kea
and kaka from the Te Anau Wildlife
I can’t believe there hasn’t been
more of an outcry about this.
There are precious few Te Anau-
based activities for visitors.
The wildlife park is free, easily
accessible and is especially
appealing to families. It’s all very
well to reassure that takahe,
whio and pateke will continue
to be on show there, but they
lack the irresistible curiosity and
interactivity demonstrated by our
cheeky native parrots.
It’s precisely that intelligence that
is driving the decision to move
them from the small enclosures
(heaven forbid we should call them
cages, that would just hasten their
removal) where they apparently
lack adequate stimulation.
But the proposal is not to release
them back into the wild, it’s to
move them to other (presumably
larger) enclosures in Invercargill!
I guess the bureaucratic
emaciation of our wildlife park
was just going to be a matter of
time. We had the chance to do
something about it but we let it
slip through our fingers.
We constantly bemoan the dearth
of visitor attractions in Te Anau
yet it was only a few years ago
that plans were on the table for a
multi million-dollar international
wilderness centre – and we almost
It was aimed to be one of the
world’s leading interactive
visitor attractions, telling the
story of Fiordland’s ancient and
dramatic formation and tracing
the region’s history, from Maori
folklore to European explorers
and settlers. Cutting edge,
interactive technology was to
have been employed to highlight
wildlife, and historic attractions
and also include a tourist
information centre, Department of
Conservation information centre,
retail centre and – significantly
now – an enclosure featuring
On November 2, 2006, it was
formally announced that the
complex, to be built on 15ha of
land provided by the Department
of Conservation, was going ahead.
It was predicted then that it would
be open by November 2008.
So bullish were we in our vision
that even then Prime Minister
Helen Clark was quoted as saying
the initiative would boost New
Zealand’s gross domestic product
by $59 million in its first four years
of operation and $107 million in
its first decade, as well as creating
27 new jobs. So enamoured was
the Government with the idea that
in 2007 Miss Clark announced a
$2 million Major Regional Initiative
grant through New Zealand Trade
and Enterprise. That brought
the total funding pledged for the
project to $11.13 million – just shy
of the $12.3 million needed.
So what happened?
Well, apparently Real Journeys,
a cornerstone investor in the
project, had a change of heart.
And because the Government’s
contribution was conditional on
private sector funding, that too
disappeared. And apparently
nobody even cared because it
didn’t make the news until this
newspaper asked the question
soon after its launch in 2009!
Here we are, just eight years
later, with not only no
but no plans to even attempt
to revisit it. Or if there are, they
certainly haven’t been shared by
anyone in the know.
And now we’re to lose our birds as
History would show that it’s far
easier to retain something you
already have than to get it back
once it’s gone. But why just settle
for keeping the status quo, let’s
campaign for something bigger,
brighter and better.
Surely this is a cause worthy of the
attention of our placard-waving
warriors? A project for which the
entire Fiordland community could
unite to resurrect?
Or does it not count when the
wildlife attraction under threat is
behind a fence?
Does anyone even give a damn?
Who keas about our birds?
REMEMBER THIS? The Discover Fiordland International Wilderness Centre
that was to have been open by November 2008 has apparently slipped into
The proposed Te Anau wastewater
disposal scheme is getting a lot
of attention at the moment, and
rightly so. It is a large project in
terms of infrastructure and cost
and is important and of relevance
to both Te Anau and Manapouri.
The commissioners at the
recent hearing had some
additional questions for Council,
which we are working through
at the moment. The hearing
will be reconvened after the
commissioners and the submitters
have received this further
However, that does not change
the overall situation – which is
we have to move to a long-term
sustainable solution for dealing
with the treated wastewater. It is
highly unlikely that we could get
a long-term consent to continue
discharging to the river as it has
been signalled by other parties
that even if it was treated to a
drinkable standard, it would not be
acceptable to put it in the river.
A number of options have been
investigated since 2005-06,
including upgrading the treatment
so that the wastewater could
be disposed of at the Te Anau
site. These options still failed
to deliver the high quality of
wastewater needed to do this, or
were considered far too complex
and costly. Discharge to land at
the current treatment site was
considered but discounted on the
grounds of limited land availability
for long term expansion and also
unsuitable soil conditions.
The option which has been
extensively consulted on and
put forward for consent includes
upgrading the existing ponds,
piping the treated wastewater
19km to the land north of the
Te Anau Airport-Manapouri and
applying it to the land via two
centre pivot irrigators, similar to a
number of other schemes
operating across the country. This
is becoming increasingly more
common as well.
A number of sites were considered
right across the Te Anau basin
and testing carried out that
identified the airport site as the
preferred site both in terms of
having the most suitable soil type
for irrigation, a good separation
distance down to groundwater and
the relatively flat nature of the site.
Concerns over odour have been
raised and a range of measures
are being proposed to minimise
the risk of odour being generated,
including additional aeration prior
to pumping and a multi-stage
odour plant at the disposal site.
Irrigation has been used for some
years at other Council schemes
(although not via centre pivots)
with no odour complaints.
I understand the concerns of
those opposed to this proposal but
a lot of work has been put into this
project. If you do have questions
or want to know more, please get
in touch with Council.
Wastewater disposal scheme needed
Re: Spraying Te Anau sewage at
I’m a mother with two small
children and have a part share in
a holiday home in Manapouri.
I would like to ask the Te Anau
Community Board, when did you
approach or make contact with us
as property owners advising that
you intended to take such action
that would cause our property
values to substantially decrease?
That you were going to inflict
upon our community, odour to
air, pollution to land and pollution
to ground water and potentially
upsetting the natural balance of
We were intending on shifting
to the Manapouri area to live on
a permanent basis in a couple
of years but are now having to
reconsider this action, as who
would want raise children in an
area that could be polluted with
bacteria in the air?
I can find lots of negative
information on the Internet
regarding this bacteria but no
information from any council
reports that this has been
addressed in any form.
I currently live in Dunedin and
don’t necessarily agree with all
the things our council does but
you guys down there are amazing.
For one community to do that
to the only other community in
the Te Anau basin is absolutely
To the brainless vandal who
vandalised the electoral sign on
the Te Anau-Manapouri Highway.
It’s a pity that the bull that is in
the paddock where the sign is
didn’t come up to you and agree
what a lot of bull was made on the
vandalisation of the sign.
I hope you realise when you got
over the fence that you were
trespassing on private property
and could be prosecuted if found
Links Archive Fiordland Advocate 07 August 2014 Fiordland Advocate 21 August 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page