A south Taranaki iwi says continuing sewage spills into coastal waters are intolerable.
Ngāti Ruanui has told a hearing on South Taranaki District Council's proposed long term plan that the best options to improve Hāwera's wastewater system had been chosen with iwi cooperation.
The iwi's submission said that solution must explicitly be added to the council's long term plan.
"For years we have seen continued pollution of our shellfish and overall harm to our reefs and the life-supporting capacity all of which is a direct result of the wastewater plant, including norovirus pollution."
Ngāti Ruanui's senior environmental advisor Graham Young said the plan's focus on sustainability was for nothing if the council remained one of the district's biggest ocean polluters.
"We are disappointed that the long term plan does not set out a more explicit road map… to reduce if not eradicate the continued pollution of our ocean reef systems from the combined ocean outfall with Fonterra."
Young says Pātea also suffers multiple sewage spills each year during heavy rain.
"Equally you need to urgently address the constant failure of the York Street Pumping station at Pātea, which allows untreated waste to pour into the Pātea awa every year – this is no longer tolerable and must be stopped."
Graham Young also objected to iwi being slotted into the plan under the heading 'Vibrant South Taranaki'.
"This does not reflect the growing partnerships with iwi and hapū of the district. The notation of Iwi/hapu under "Vibrant South Taranaki" has no real meaning for a modern and active partnership arrangement which reflects Te Tiriti obligations."
Ngāruahine's submission also called for a real partnership with the council, which it said was too focused simply on meeting legal obligations.
"We suggest that council policy, strategies, statutory plans and non-statutory plans are co-developed with the four iwi of the district."
Both iwi welcomed the approval of a Māori ward for South Taranaki District at next year's election.
Ngāruahine's iwi development advisor Dion Luke said the council's efforts at a better partnership needed to continue.
"We acknowledge the draft iwi-council partnership strategy as a positive step in identifying common goals and developing a meaningful horizontal partnership."