Costly price tags and option of piping water from Auckland revealed as island politicians investigate hooking up wastewater in the island’s business areas. 

Supercity ambitions for large scale reticulation here have come to the surface after officials presented board members and the ward’s councillor with figures and plans for compulsory connection in business areas including Oneroa and Ostend.

It is an ambition that has always been resisted by island politicians and earlier planning documents (including the recently updated Essentially Waiheke community blueprint) specifically call for smaller-scale engineering solutions in isolated problem areas. One such area, the Little Oneroa catchment, has even been the object of a community remediation initiative over the past five years.

However, the officer presentation and a succession of workshops behind closed doors signalled compulsory connection, an infrastructure growth charge applying to all landowners and a new targeted rate for Waiheke to pay for water monitoring to justify large-scale reticulation. • Liz Waters

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