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Christchurch Mayor apologises to the public

Daniel Perese
IMG 3850
Christchurch City Council meeting  Daniel Perese

Lianne Dalziel, in a Christchurch City Council meeting yesterday, publicly apologised to the community in relation to the Bromley odour.

In the meeting, the council discussed the wastewater treatment plant and its clean up, after it caught on fire last year.

After seven months, residents were unsure about the fate of the plant, but council announced Wednesday Southern Demolition and Salvage LTD were given the contract to start emptying the tanks yesterday.

Council revealed during the meeting they started looking for contractors back in late March this year, after being approved by their insurer.

Dalziel said she regretted the council's failings.

“We really didn't do good enough, well enough, getting the information out to people and you know I've acknowledged that it's a catastrophic fire of enormous proportions and there's been a massive job going on behind the scenes, but we didn't front foot the showing of what was going on behind the scenes and I regret that.”

Upset resident Don Gould attended the meeting and prior to the council’s update, gave a deputation about the growing community of people acting online.

After the meeting, he was pleased with the amount of information council finally gave the community.

“There’s certainly a lot more depth to it than we’ve had previously. The amount of transparency around some of the information is starting to be quite warming.”

When council went for lunch, there were already members of the community online challenging answers given and raising new questions.

Gould believed the meeting was about the community continuing to rise. He said the community Facebook page, sewercrisis.nz, had nearly 1000 members, who all actively participated, asking and answering informed questions.

He said the outcome of the meeting would give comfort to the community on what would now be done.

Gould is excited about the next meeting, which is expected to be in a few weeks.

Extra information revealed by council was their collaboration with Environment Canterbury and Canterbury District Health Board, to monitor air quality in the area.

They also showed the project received a total of $115 million from insurers.

The clean-up is due to finish in early spring, just in time for residents to smell the blossoming flowers.

If you or anyone you know can smell the odour coming from the wastewater treatment plant, here are some resources you can use to report it:

Smelt-it App (ECAN)

Snap Send Solve (CCC)