13 Sep 2022

Duvauchelle’s new wastewater scheme will provide treated wastewater for irrigating the Akaroa Golf Course.

At its meeting today, Christchurch City Council approved the recommendation of the Duvauchelle Treated Wastewater Options Hearings Panel to adopt Option 1 – to spray and drip irrigate treated wastewater to the Akaroa Golf Course.

Panel chair Cr Mike Davidson said most submitters who gave feedback during public consultation in May supported this option, which was also the staff preferred option.

“It’s taken about 12 years to get to the point where a recommendation can be made with the support of all the main parties – Ngāi Tahu and Ōnuku Rūnanga, the Akaroa Golf Club, and the Council,” he said.

The panel’s recommendation included that:

  • Staff allow for wider non-potable reuse of treated wastewater in future
  • Akaroa Golf Club has a long-term lease on the Duvauchelle site the Council owns
  • Additional funding is allocated to the Akaroa Golf Club to cover increased operating costs associated with the new wastewater scheme.

Today’s decision supports other work done by Council to stop discharging treated wastewater to Whakaraupō-Lyttelton Harbour and Akaroa Harbour, he says.  

“These wastewater systems were set up many years ago, and attitudes around culture and environment have changed – a harbour discharge is not something we consider to be appropriate today.”

Water is a precious resource on Banks Peninsula, which has long dry spells in summer. Cr Davidson says the Council hopes central government will develop regulations and standards to allow treated wastewater to be more widely used for irrigation, including for residential use – garden watering, car washing and the like.

“As climate change progresses, it will become a no-brainer to recycle and reuse treated wastewater so that there is less demand on drinking water,” he says. “It’s an additional water resource we can use, rather than using drinking water for non-drinking purposes.”  

The project team will now complete more detailed design work in preparation for submitting a resource consent application. The resource consent process includes an assessment of environmental effects, including effects on neighbours.

The Council has budgeted $14.4 million for the Duvauchelle project. A similar $74-million project is under way to use treated wastewater from Akaroa to irrigate new plantings of native trees. The resource consent application for the Akaroa project is being prepared for submission.