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Community and experts should be involved in Watercare site decision

The Green Party is calling for the West Auckland community to be involved in Watercare’s decision over where a new treatment plant should be located, and an independent ecological assessment of the proposed new site in Titirangi.

This follows a decision last week by Watercare to not build the plant in Oratia and to instead look into a plot of land in Titirangi, in the Waitakere Ranges.

“Design and placement for new infrastructure like this should involve the community from the beginning,” said Green Party Auckland spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

“Watercare needs to involve concerned locals in their decision-making, and not just push on with building a new industrial plant in their neighbourhood. The consultation so far has been inadequate and Watercare must do better.

“Locals do not feel like they are being listened to – a protest yesterday drew a crowd of hundreds and an online petition has received nearly 2000 signatures with further action being planned next week with a public meeting next Wednesday.

“NatureWatch NZ’s observations in the area have found 60 different species in and around the proposed area. The potential loss of over a thousand trees will have a detrimental impact on the wildlife, as well as the look and feel of the area.

“Auckland is a growing city and its water infrastructure needs to be upgraded. It’s vital the community is involved in finding solutions that protect our natural heritage areas,” said Ms Genter.