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Waiaroha wins supreme local government award

Posted 08 07 2024

in News

Image: uploads/2024_07/ScaleWidthWyI1MDAiXQ-Waiaroha-Taituara-award.jpg
Heretaunga Hastings District Council Feature

Hastings District Council’s primary drinking water treatment and storage facility, Waiaroha, received national recognition last night – winning the Taituarā Supreme Award, after winning the GHD Award for Environmental Leadership.

The award recognised the well-beings for residents that come from a high-tech treatment facility which keeps drinking water safe, and the environmental education element enabled by Government funding.

The judges said: “Waiaroha is a world-first meld of education, community engagement, place-making, and state-of-the-art water management in a single project. 

“The promotion of a mix of wellbeing outcomes, innovative thinking, and recognising an opportunity from what might have otherwise been seen as a challenge all go to the very purpose of local government and the values that Taituarā champions through these awards.”

Waiaroha is a three waters infrastructure project. It is the final major element in Hastings District Council’s Drinking Water Strategy, developed in the wake of the 2016 Havelock North drinking water crisis to fulfil Council’s commitment to residents that it would make safe drinking water its number one priority.

Hastings District Council major projects director Graeme Hansen said it was very rewarding to have what was a large and challenging project recognised.

“This was first and foremost a project focused on ensuring our community had access to clean, safe, resilient drinking water.

“What was achieved, with the support of Ngāti Kahungunu and Government funding, is so much more.

“It’s also an educational facility that brings the treatment process out into the open to give people a real insight into what goes into providing safe drinking water, at the same time sharing the knowledge and creativity of Ngāti Kahungunu through on-site art and storytelling.

“Our thanks go to our project partner Ngāti Kahungunu, as well as our staff team, consultants and contractors who brought the project to life.”

As part of the project, the learning whare was developed to educate, inform and inspire people on water use and its management, drawing them into discussions on how to best manage this resource across stormwater, wastewater and drinking water.  

It weaves together the natural world, mātauranga Māori, Council infrastructure and future science.