Rotorua Lakes Council agrees Te Rotorua nui-a-Kahumatamomoe (Lake Rotorua) is a taonga that must be protected.

There's been considerable talk about the council's wastewater treatment plant upgrade and particularly the recovered water discharge proposal that had design input from a Mātauranga Māori panel following considerable consultation and engagement.

It's important to acknowledge people's views and also important to deal in facts.

We would not propose a system that put the lake or public at risk. Protecting water quality, cultural values, the environment and public health has underpinned several years of consultation and engagement that influenced the current proposal. Iwi and hapū, regional council, the Environment Ministry, scientists and other experts have worked with the council since 2013.

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It's been a thorough process looking at all options, working through cultural aspects to arrive at a most preferred option.

There is a misperception that Council plans to pump sewage into the lake. That is untrue.

The proposed upgrade would treat wastewater to an extremely high standard, removing pollutants like nitrogen and phosphorus and disinfecting bacteria like E.coli. The recovered water will be clean and would not pollute the lake.

There's a misperception we can keep discharging in the forest. This isn't a sustainable option for several reasons, including cultural concerns.

It is also resulting in ground over-saturation that's detrimental to trees, making it an unreliable filtering system, adding to pollutants entering the Puarenga.

We have ongoing easement in the forest but not ongoing resource consent and have been unable to find a suitable land-based discharge alternative.

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Dave Donaldson
Deputy Mayor Rotorua

Old-school ways not wasteful

Recently we have had the ravings of the likes of Sir David Attenborough about the end of the world as we know it because of the use of fossil fuels and plastic dumping.

Well I'm of a generation that can remember when we walked or cycled to school, milk came in glass bottles that were returned for refilling, we drank water from the tap not sucked on plastic bottles, we used the phone in the call box down the road to phone our girlfriends - not some device that needs to be replaced every two years, no TV and if it was, it was made here in NZ and came in a wooden cabinet.

Tools were bought and made here or in USA or UK that lasted a lifetime not - cheap tools that end up in the tip after a couple of uses.

Same with toys or any other commodity you can think of. I still have Meccano, Hornby Dublo and Dinky Toys more than 50 years old that still entertain my grandchildren.

What is my point? Well for a start, perhaps the parents who own SUVs who transport their kids to and from school desist and make them walk or cycle, then I will give up driving my old-school, gas-guzzling V8.

Andy Watson
Rotorua

Renters exploited too

Thank you to your correspondent AN Christie (Letters, December 5) who writes of how difficult it is for young people to buy their first home. Of course the housing shortage also includes rental accommodation.

Landlords are preying on the desperate, in the knowledge that they can ask exorbitant rents, and usually get them.

I know of a 66-year-old widow, paying $260 for a one bedroom sleepout with no running
water.

When will regulations be introduced to stop this appalling exploitation of the vulnerable?

Jackie Evans
Rotorua

Iwi right to object

Great news (Local News, December 4) that the Te Arawa Lakes Trust have opposed plans to discharge treated wastewater into Lake Rotorua.

As Tipene Marr said, the treated wastewater was clear but not clean.

If it's undrinkable of course it shouldn't be discharged into the lake.

Are we endeavouring to clean up our lake or aren't we?

Yvonna Kilmore
Rotorua

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