Location of semi-finished dump station opposed

Inappropriate. . . Mataura Community Board member Laurel Turnbull says a plaque recording where a time capsule is buried, not far from where the new dump station is sited, is one of many reasons why the station should not be placed where it is. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Despite being about 80% completed Mataura’s dump station may be moved.
At the Mataura Community Board meeting on Monday last week, board members discussed the future of the dump station which Gore District Council staff had almost finished building.
In a report tabled at the meeting, council roading manager Murray Hasler said staff had stopped building the dump station alongside the parking area in Bridge St.
‘‘I have been made aware that the new board does not appear to agree with this project and ordered a halt to its continuation.
 ‘‘onstruction is currently on hold pending direction from the board.’’
 At the former board’s August 1 meeting, recommendations were passed requesting council staff provide costings for the building of a dump station at Coster Park, and if the building of a dump station proceeded, a source of funding be investigated.
    These recommendations were ratified by a full Gore District Council meeting later that month.
    Speaking to his report, Mr Hasler said council staff might have been ‘‘a bit enthusiastic’’ to start the building of the station.
However, it was his understanding the former board was in favour of the project and the only thing stopping it going ahead was lack of funding.
Once the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association agreed to fund the project, he met Mataura ward councillor Neville Phillips to choose the best site for the station and building began.
He was not aware anyone in the community opposed the building of the station.
‘‘I was quite surprised to hear the concern.’’
Board member Laurel Turnbull said she was against siting the station in such a visible place.
‘‘Putting it right there on the side of the river is against the iwi.
‘‘They don’t want it there [and] we don’t want it there.’’
Before work started on the site, she believed it was one of several options proposed for the station and a final decision had not been made.
She questioned the safety aspect of having the station there with campervans pulling out into traffic which often included heavy trucks.
There was a plaque marking where a time capsule was buried within 2m of the station which also meant it was not an appropriate place for waste to be dumped, she said.
Ratepayers did not know the dump station was planned for the site, she said,
‘‘The public in Mataura have not been consulted about most things that have gone on.’’
Board chairwoman Nicky Coats said it made more sense to site the station at Tulloch Park where there were public toilets.
‘‘There’s no toilets in Bridge St.’’
Cr Phillips said there was a sewerage pump station 5m away from the site, which was why it was chosen.
‘‘Not only was it the cheapest [option] but it was the best access for the campervans.’’
He did not know that Mr Hasler had received funding from the motor caravan association and had started the work.
However, he now believed the project should be finished in good faith to the association which had given the money, he said.
‘‘If you are going to shift it, it will be at your expense and you will have to explain to them why.’’
The Gore district welcomed motor home visitors and the previous board had been thinking about what was best for the town, he said.
Board member Darren Matahiki said after the August board meeting it had not been decided to go ahead with building the dump station.
‘‘There was nothing set in stone.’’
Cr Phillips said the decision to build the station at Coster Park had not been made because of the uncertainty about funding.
Board member Colleen Te Au asked what was the process of consulting with mana whenua because that needed to be done.
Cr Phillips and Mr Hasler said they were not aware mana whenua had been consulted.
After more lengthy discussion about different potential sites for the dump station, board members passed a recommendation Mr Hasler cost the option of moving the station back further on the site.