Paul Carpenter (Letters, December 11) implies cultural concerns are the only reason for a proposed alternative to the forest land treatment system for treated recovered water.

Stuart Burns (Letters, December 12) implies cultural considerations haven't been given due consideration in proposing discharge of treated recovered water to Lake Rotorua.

Both are incorrect.

Cultural concerns are among several reasons the forest system isn't sustainable.


The fact is it can no longer be relied on to achieve our objectives. Over-saturation is making it unreliable in filtering nutrients, pathogens and other bacteria which therefore find their way into waterways and end up in our lake via Puarenga Stream. Over-saturation is also having an adverse impact on the land and the health of trees.

Regardless of the discharge method, we need increased capacity and capability at our wastewater treatment plant to cater for new growth and mitigate increasing extreme weather events.

What's proposed is the result of a thoroughly considered journey involving many people, including experts and iwi. We have carefully considered all options to arrive at a solution supported by most around the table.

The journey started October 2013 with a symposium attended by our then mayor and an elected council member, iwi leaders, district and regional council staff, scientific experts and farming, tourism, business and Lakes Water Quality Society representatives. Subsequent discussion and engagement was conducted in utmost good faith.

Protecting water quality, cultural values, the environment and public health have remained at the forefront of discussion, research, consideration, engagement and consultation.

Dave Donaldson
Deputy mayor of Rotorua

The Vikings were afraid of the sky falling on their heads, the Aztecs were afraid the sun wouldn't rise, the previous generations of Kiwis were afraid of God's judgement for their sins.

And we're afraid of the atmosphere heating up by 1 degree and the ocean rising by 50cm in 50 years.

I mean, if we're gonna be afraid of something, at least make it worth being afraid of?

When I was little we were afraid of nuclear war….that was a thing. But a 50cm sea-level rise?

GJ Philip