Planned kura in odour buffer zone

By Sophie Price

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Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule.
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule.

A new report on the Havelock North based Te Mata Mushrooms suggests a 600-metre odour buffer zone, a move that places the proposed kura kaupapa in the zone.

The zone has been recommended by Tonkin and Taylor, in a report commissioned by Hastings District Council, to assess the recommended separation distances between Te Mata Mushrooms and bordering development or "operational areas".

The report comes when debate rages in the community about whether or not this is the right place for the educational facility.

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule said it does not mean people cannot build within the buffer zone, just that best practice says it wouldn't be optimum to put residential housing there.

"And my interpretation of that would be [building] a school as well within 600m of a mushroom farm. You are just effectively inviting problems and conflict between the two types of use," he said.

Mr Yule said the ministry also knew about the report, a statement backed by Education Minister Hekia Parata.

"I am aware the ministry has received a copy of the report, but I have not received any advice about it," she said.

Labour's Tukituki spokeswoman Anna Lorck said people deserved to know what the Government's plans were now for the educational site.

"This is a matter of public interest and people deserve to know what's going on, the Government cannot remain silent," she said.

"Just when was the Government going to tell the public?"

Te Mata Mushrooms owner Michael Whittaker said the original Jacobs report, which Tonkin and Taylor peer reviewed, said best practice in Australia for this type of situation was 1000m, as such he was unhappy with the recommended 600m buffer zone.

Either way, the kura kaupapa is still within the zone as Mr Whittaker said it was 300m within his boundary.

He said it was not about the kura, it was about any education facility.

"So if the kura kaupapa is not allowed to build there, then no school is allowed to build there. That is a fairly significant issue because that site has been earmarked for education purposes for a long time," he said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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