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23/10/2019 12:00 a.m.
Photo credit: JOHN BISSET/STUFF
Following the issuing of an abatement notice on 29 August 2019 to cease all work on the above ground sections of pipeline near Kurow, Waitaki District Council has maintained close communication with KDIC to ensure the non-compliance is rectified and that a solution can be found which will not unduly affect pipeline users.
Rectification works to bring the pipeline below road level will involve complex engineering solutions and both parties acknowledge that bringing the pipeline to full compliance may involve further application to Waitaki District Council for resource consent.
As those works are still in the planning stage and cannot commence until any Council planning requirements are satisfied, the commercial impact on otherwise blameless uses of the irrigation scheme of a pipeline which could not function under the terms of the abatement notice has been an important consideration.
Weighing-up the adverse environmental effects resulting from the non-compliance against the effects on the irrigation scheme users, council must take compliance and enforcement action which is both reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.
Communications with KDIC have left council confident that the pipeline will be brought into compliance and as such it has been decided to cancel the existing abatement notice which directed KDIC to cease all work on the non-compliant pipeline.
In order to further ensure that KDIC will meet strict timeframes, to confirm an engineering solution, and to have this authorised by Council, a further abatement notice was issued on 17 October 2019 directing the company to reach key milestones and achieve full compliance by September 2020.
As a result of the actions taken by Waitaki District Council to manage the non-compliance, it is fully anticipated that KDIC will resume works to complete these sections of pipeline in order that irrigation water can be delivered to scheme users for the 2019/20 growing season. KDIC has also been directed to ensure suitable mitigation measures are undertaken where a loss of vegetation screening occurred at the Little Awakino River crossing, contrary to conditions of the resource consent.
Compliance with the new abatement notice will be monitored throughout the duration by the Waitaki District Council.