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Response from John Riddell, received 21/9/22

Thank you for your email.


I would support taking action, as per suggestions in your email, to restrict overflow into the river. Your suggestions seem to be immensely practical and sensible.


No doubt if elected, all elected members will receive a briefing of some sort from officials and assume we should be able to ask for one.


One question I would like to know is cost and the other why could they not do what you are suggesting in your email.


Kind Regards


John Riddell  - NZISM Professional;    Graduate Diploma Professional Practice Occupational Health and Safety

Safety Consultant 

Rivercare Group's response to John Riddell's question:

Mōrena John and thanks for your response.


With regard to your question:


One question I would like to know is cost and the other why could they not do what you are suggesting in your email.


We understand that the big picture response to this issue is the Northern Interceptor Project, of which Stage 1 is underway and will go live soon.  We are unsure exactly when, but it was scheduled for 2022.  This was a $450M project I believe and will have some impact on the frequency of overflows we experience.  There are 3 - 4 more stages of this project, which have yet to be designed, put to tender and executed. This is a lengthy process, for which the final stage is not currently planned to be in service until 2036 (although there is consideration in play to see if this can be brought forward).  It is the final stage of the project that will help the most; stages 2 - 3 will have no impact  These are big budget projects with final costs unknown at this point.


We believe that with increasing high intensity rainfall events and the intensification of housing the situation is worsening whilst we wait for these big budget projects.  We believe that there are things that can be done in the short to medium term to help and that is what we are lobbying for (as well as bringing forward the Northern Interceptor Project).  We have specific suggestions we are putting to Watercare. These are not big budget projects, but the implementation costs are unknown yet. 


As to why this has not happened to date is an interesting question and one with multiple aspects.  Part of it appears to us to be under investment in this area due to high competition for limited funding across Auckland. There has been no advocacy to do this work and the overflows have been largely invisible to the community for decades even though there is a public health risk involved here.  Without public pressure and advocacy, we might see a solution by 2036 if there are no delays (which seems unlikely).  So, having elected representatives that will support this is critical to making improvements happen.


I hope this helps explain the situation.



Final response from John Riddell. received 22 Sept 2022

Thanks for your follow up email.


Yes support your suggestions.


The inceptor itself is a great idea.


Kind Regards 


John Riddell 

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