6 Jun 2023

Landfill closure likely to lead to 'great expense' for Horowhenua - councillor

12:59 pm on 6 June 2023
Levin landfill at Hōkio

The the Horowhenua District Council voted not to reopen the Levin landfill which was shut in 2020. Photo: Supplied / Catalyst Group

A Horowhenua district councillor says the area faces huge costs now it has finally voted to keep a controversial tip shut.

The council has voted not to reopen the Levin landfill near Hōkio Beach and instead look at other uses for the site.

It was shut in 2020, despite having a consent to keep going, after years of wrangling overpollution of a stream and an area nearby.

Along the way, consultancy work meant to cost the council $7500 in 2020, ballooned to $895,000 by May 2022.

Councillor Sam Jennings said the vote "feels both good and bad".

"While there are many people happy with the decision, and there are definite positives, it's actually not a great outcome for the wider community or their rates bill.

"We will now, at great expense, likely end up sending all of our waste out of our district to another community."

Waste has been trucked to a fully-lined tip near Marton since 2020.

Trying to offset this by finding other ways to generate income at the Hokio site would be difficult as locals were very resistant to any type of waste activity, Jennings said.

Mayor Bernie Wanden said the shutdown was "an incredibly significant" decision that had taken a long time to get to.

"This is a historic decision for Horowhenua and one which will impact generations to come," Wanden said in a statement on the council website.

It was "momentous", said Rachel Selby, a member of a project management group for the Hokio tip and representative from Ngāti Pareraukawa.

"It's a decision that we have waited more than 20 years for."

The council is now consulting with locals over its waste minimisation plan.

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