The Christchurch City Council will vote on a financial support package for residents directly affected by the stench emanating from the fire-damaged wastewater treatment plant in Bromley at a council meeting next Thursday.
It follows a briefing provided by council staff to on Tuesday following urgent discussions with partner agencies on what help the city could provide to the affected community, and as quickly as possible.
RNZ reported Tracey Mcdonald, who lives near the back of the plant with her partner and two children, said she's had constant headaches for months, and is dealing with a sore throat and runny nose from the stench.
"It's starting to get really depressing living here, I feel like we've got a real raw end of the deal."
"You hang your washing outside ... we're using the dryer a lot more because the smell just gets into any little bit of material."
Mcdonald plans to buy an air purifier to help with the smell, and thought at the very least the council should pay for power for residents, RNZ reported.
"Power's not the cheapest in the middle of winter, so I would say $50 to $100 a month."
Paul Durie, who lives about 2km from the plant in South New Brighton, is worried the council won't front up with support for anyone beyond Bromley.
"They used very deliberate wording when they said 'immediate vicinity,' and that doesn't really cast that wide of a net in terms of the support that they're offering."
"They'll draw a circle around it and say 'this is what we'll help.'"
Durie said all of the eastern suburbs in Christchurch are affected by the smell, and deserve compensation.
"I'd hope that they would spread it to everyone that's affected. All of us are putting up with this."
It comes after residents at a packed public meeting last Friday night demanded action from the council on the awful stench they have put up with since the wastewater treatment plant caught fire six months ago.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel apologised profusely to the packed-out Bromley Community Hall.
She told John MacDonald on NewstalkZB that the council "completely screwed up".
The stench has cast a pall over the city depending on which way the wind blew, and has been described as "putrid" and "sickening".
The mayor admitted there were days when the pong was "utterly overpowering". Some residents said they could not sleep or open their windows.
Mayor Dalziel said residents living near the plant were bearing the brunt of the stench.
"If you can smell it in Ilam, you can imagine what it is like in Bromley," she said.
"They have told us their power bills have gone up because they are using dehumidifiers and fans all the time because they cannot leave their windows open," said Dalziel.
The mayor agreed that given the exceptional circumstances and the extra costs residents have shouldered that "it is appropriate that they should receive some financial assistance from the Council."
"Councillors have indicated that they want to make support available to households in the immediate vicinity of the plant.
"We want to make that support available as quickly as possible. We also want it to be easy for residents to access the support they need. This is why we are working in partnership with existing community and government agencies,'' the Mayor said.
A demolition team has moved equipment on site and will begin the task of scooping out the rotting material inside the treatment plant next month.