It’s an early Christmas present for both Southland District Council and Fiordland Sewage Options (FSO) after they came to an agreement which sees FSO dropping its appeals against the Te Anau wastewater discharge consents in favour of further investigation of an alternative block of land.
Southland Mayor Gary Tong is thrilled with the agreement and said it is a welcome move for both Council and FSO.
“Both have worked hard and in good faith to develop this agreement and I want to thank FSO for their willingness to talk through the issues and come to this solution,” Mr Tong said.
FSO spokeswoman Ruth Shaw said she was really pleased to have reached this compromise, which showed the benefits of never giving up and continuing to talk and discuss the issues.
“This is a workable solution and will save us both from the cost and adversarial nature of an Environment Court appeal hearing. We prefer to work constructively and in good faith to confirm whether the Smith Block is the better site,” Mrs Shaw said.
Council has agreed to investigate the Smith block on Sinclair Road as a potentially viable alternative site to the Kepler Block and if found to be viable, will try to obtain all consents necessary to discharge the wastewater to the Smith Block, Mr Tong said.
It will not start any work on any consents or construction of infrastructure until it has determined whether the Smith Block is a viable option that can be constructed within the required timeframes.
“We will continue to keep talking with FSO to ensure we keep working together,” he said.