National Party candidate for Helensville Chris Penk is welcoming news that Watercare’s preferred site for a replacement water treatment plant isn’t the location in Oratia that would have necessitated removing homes.
“Giving credit where it’s due, Watercare has recognised that choosing the Oratia option would have meant an intolerable level of disruption to that historic community”, says Penk. “This is something argued strongly by residents of Oratia … along with various other local advocates, myself included.”
Attention now turns to turns to the preferred site option announced by Watercare today, namely that in Manuka Road in Waima (Titirangi).
The relevant land area is already owned by Watercare but it still will be crucial to tread carefully in relation to that location, Penk notes. “Choosing the Titirangi site is not without its own drawbacks.”
Penk supports calls being made today by various NGOs and other political players to ensure minimal possible impact on human habitation and historical values – as well as the natural environment – at the eventual site.
“It will be important to minimise the impact of the new water treatment plant, both in the construction phase and going forward. I’m keen to collaborate with everyone who is committed to achieving that outcome.”
“As I’ve previously stated, the environmental impact should be softened to the maximum extent possible, for example by the planting of replacement kauri.”
Penk is pleased that Watercare has adopted that approach, with the promise of lessened ecological impact through a programme of planting in the Hunua Ranges.
“It’ll be great to help plant those replacement trees we’ve been talking about. I’m sure my fellow West Aucklanders will relish that opportunity too.”