June 04, 2013
Iwi win costs in Rotoma sewage fight
The Environment Court has found the Rotorua District Council misled local iwi and the court over consents to build a wastewater treatment plant at Lake Rotoma.
It ordered the council pay legal costs of $65,000 to Ngāti Pikiao and $50,000 to Ngāti Makino because of the deception.
The council has now surrendered the resource consent it got for the project from Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
Council Chief Executive Peter Guerin says the council was committed to working with iwi to identify an acceptable waste disposal option for the community.
He has launched an internal audit on the council’s processes for consulting with iwi.
Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell said the judgment was damning and should be a wake-up call not only to Rotorua but to other councils of the consequences of poor consultation.
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