Locals angered as rubbish tip stays

By Alexandra Newlove

6 comments
Margaret Sheridan is among Parua Bay residents who want a 'temporary' rubbish tip that has remained for seven years, gone. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Margaret Sheridan is among Parua Bay residents who want a 'temporary' rubbish tip that has remained for seven years, gone. Photo / Michael Cunningham

A "stunningly beautiful" piece of Whangarei Heads' coastline has hosted a "temporary" rubbish dump for more than seven years, angering locals.

Whangarei District Council staff are to meet Parua Bay residents on Friday to discuss the area's transfer station, after residents were told the council planned to upgrade the office at the current site, prompting fears it was to stay put.

Parua Bay's Jan Beauchamp said residents had tolerated the transfer station at the current spot near Parua Bay boat ramp, as they were told seven years ago it would only remain for 18 months.

"It's a part of the harbour that's stunningly beautiful," Ms Beauchamp said. "It's a stunning piece of land and it has recreational use. You've got the Parua Bay Tavern just around the corner, so you end up with gulls foraging in the rubbish then landing on your table."

Ms Beauchamp - who was backed by five of her neighbours when she met with the Advocate - said she had become uneasy on hearing council wanted to upgrade the current site.

"We don't want anything replaced there, we want it gone," she said.

Margaret Sheridan said the area around the station was popular with freedom campers and families and had been targeted by fly-tipping, which was a "bad look" for visitors.

Whangarei District Council's waste and drainage manager Andrew Carvell said stalled plans for a marina at the current transfer station site meant it had remained.

"The marina has not progressed during the past five years, so that particular reason to move station is no longer there," he said.

Mr Carvell said residents had assumed work to upgrade the shipping container "office" meant the site was being retained permanently.

"That is unfortunate, because no work will be done on the site unless the site is designated or consented for transfer station purposes, and that would require a public process, which has not even begun," Mr Carvell said.

Another site had been designated for transfer station purposes on Whangarei Heads Rd, past the point where it turns right past Parua Bay School to go to Whangarei Heads.

Mr Carvell said a budget of more than $400,000 was available to develop a transfer station at the Whangarei Heads Rd site. However, the money could also be spent improving the Parua Bay boat ramp site, putting in a better office, and revamping the public toilets. This would be subject to public consultation.

Whangarei Heads ward councillor Greg Innes said the meeting would be a good time to consider the future of the entire area surrounding the boat ramp. He said a site out of public view might be more suitable. "But no-one wants a transfer station in their backyard," he said.

- Northern Advocate

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