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Strong population growth at Lake Hawea will put more pressure on the town’s infrastructure and Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean says it’s an issue that the local council and community must be prepared for.

“Hawea’s current wastewater treatment plant has already failed to meet its discharge limits on a number of occasions and questions remain about its’ future and how growth in the town will be managed.

“There is a 400-lot Special Housing Area in the planning, many of the 42 sections at Timsfield Development have sold and just recently an 8ha block, one of the biggest single residential development blocks placed on the market in the past decade, is up for tender with potential to create up to 80 sections.

“While strong population growth is positive, its impact on what has been a small settlement cannot be underestimated, and there are challenges there that both the Queenstown Lakes District Council and the local community must grapple with.

“While Project Pure might be the most obvious and cost-effective wastewater option, at $6.8 million, the community need certainty around the costs and the timeframe for connection to Wanaka wastewater services.

“Communication with the locals is a critical factor here as decisions are worked through, with some feeling left out of the process.

“There are strong concerns around how long the present wastewater treatment plant will be able to cope when there are potentially several hundred new homes set to be developed.

“The council needs to give the community assurances about how it intends to manage the environmental risks once the nutrient load reaches capacity - open communication is clearly pivotal to that process.”

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