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From the Mayor

June 18, 2019 June 2019, Regular Features No Comments

With much relief, safe drinking water was restored to the Martinborough township late on Friday 17 May. Thank you once again to all those who were inconvenienced by the boil water notice; your support and co-operation throughout the period has been much-appreciated.

Council made the decision to temporarily chlorinate the water to give time for a permanent solution is found, which may end up being chlorination on a permanent basis. Taking this kind of multi-barrier approach to protecting drinking water was one of the recommendations of the Havelock North Inquiry. Council officials are working with Wellington Water to investigate all the options for Martinborough, taking into account the water’s high manganese levels and other features of the water supply arrangements.

Over winter it is possible to meet the town’s water demand from just one bore, the one with the lowest level of manganese, therefore avoiding the discolouration that can occur when chlorine and manganese react. Part of investigating all the options for the permanent water solution includes modelling future demand. For future chlorination, on a permanent or as required basis beyond the end of winter, it is likely that the manganese extraction plant will need to be in place. When we are ready with all the information and the options, there will be a discussion with the community to determine the best way forward.

In the meantime, I have asked Council officers to pick up the post-incident review on the water contamination events. Work has already started on the corrective actions recommended in the independent technical report, which was released after the February incident. At my request, a report to Council, with the proposed solutions for the corrective actions, was tabled at the 15 May meeting. This report is available on the Council website – www.swdc.govt.nz. Harry Wilson, our new Chief Executive, will lead this post-incident review, bringing to it a fresh pair of eyes and a wealth of experience.

By the time you read this, Harry will have started with us, as his planned start date is 4 June. We are looking forward to Harry joining us and introducing him to you; as I’m sure he is looking forward to meeting you as he is out and about. I would like to take this opportunity to publically thank Jennie Mitchell who stood in as Chief Executive during what has been a very busy and challenging time.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit to our Annual Plan consultation (now closed). We received about 180 submissions, a similar number to previous years. Currently being deliberated on are: 1) a reduction in library charges; 2) extended pool opening hours; a change in funding of housing for seniors; and 4) extra footpath maintenance. You can find out more from the consultation document, available on our website. We look forward to sharing the finalised Annual Plan with residents, once it’s adopted by Council on 26 June.

And finally, wheelie bins for recycling are coming. This is an initiative that was agreed on in our long-term plan. The wheelie bins will be starting to roll out in July/August to residents who have kerbside recycling. The service is expected to begin late winter – we’ll keep you posted.

Viv Napier

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