Big Day for Pahiatua

Monday, September 2 is Pahiatua’s big day, with work on two major projects, a future-proofed water treatment plant and a new-look town centre, commencing.

The town’s new water treatment plant will be robust and fit for the future, Ara Yonge, Tararua District Council’s Manager Programmes and Projects, says. The project has now reached a milestone with the completion of the detailed design.

The new treatment plant will provide Pahiatua residents with water which is above New Zealand Drinking Water Standards.

However, there are two key changes in the detailed design from that which Council had previously advised. This detailed design phase has shown both the projected project cost and the duration will increase.

However, Ara says the increased project cost is not due to “a budget blowout.”

Much of the cost increases are due to the knowledge obtained during the detailed design phase, and Council intends to manage the additional costs through capital loan funding.

Additionally, the work undertaken during the detailed design phase has enabled a decrease in projected annual operational expenses for the plant.

With the overall timeframe of the project delayed, Council is now looking at May 2020 for commissioning, rather than early 2020 as previously advised.

The extended time-frame has resulted in part from an extensive design process, including peer review to ensure the plant is fit for purpose,

And the new treatment plant has been future-proofed from a capacity point of view and can cater for a 30-50 per cent population growth, with additional capacity beyond this with small modifications.

“We have worked to ensure Pahiatua’s water will meet regulatory standards, now and in the future,” Ara says.

Along the way the team have worked hard to understand the complex and unique character of Pahiatua’s water to remove the taste, odour and discolouration issues which have been an issue for residents.

“We’ve worked to resolve these issues with the new plant, and we’re also doing work on streamlining the current chlorine dosing regime, to keep it in the mid range so it’s not noticeable to residents,” Ara says. “We are upgrading and streamlining our processes to deal with these issues while the new water treatment plant is being built, including the introduction of a new chlorine analyser and flushing of the pipes to minimise the potential of residue entering the water supply.

“It is anticipated that these measures should have a good impact on existing water quality.”

And Pahiatua’s much-anticipated Town Centre Upgrade, also beings on September 2 with the underground construction phase of the project. Commencing at the northern edge of town, this is the first stage of a four-stage project.

Stage one of underground works is expected to take 3-4 months, with stage two of underground works commencing mid-January 2020.

Project Manager, Stuart Malins, of Tararua Alliance says while motorists will need to slow down and some roadside parking will be restricted, disruption will be minimised.

Louise Powick, a member of the project team and Pahiatua On Track chairwoman, says she is very aware of the disruption the Town Centre Upgrade will cause for businesses and the local community.

“It is really important to have a good communication plan in place to minimise any disruption as work progresses through the Main Street,” she says.

“The project team has put a high priority on communication and the weekly toolbox meetings will give locals the opportunity to engage with the project team and provide valuable feedback.”

Chorus are also bringing forward the upgrade of their fibre network from 2021 to coincide with the Town Centre Upgrade, with work now due to commence at the end of September. The work, on the footpath, will take between four and six weeks.

*Phase two of the Town Centre Upgrade, the aboveground works, will run from July 2020 to July 2021, with phase three, the final touches and plans for the future from July 2021 onwards.

How you can find information about the Town Centre Upgrade:

In person: Toolbox meetings with the Project Team will be a way to get everyone on the same page about the week’s upcoming work. There will be feedback forms in the Pahiatua Service Centre for people to give feedback and ask questions. These will be collected once a week, on a Monday morning, prior to the toolbox meetings and responded to after collection.

The meetings will provide an opportunity for people to gather information, ask questions and give feedback.

Meetings will be held on Monday mornings from 8am to 8.30am in the Pahiatua Service Centre (136 Main Street).



In print: The Tararua District Council publishes a full-page in the Bush Telegraph every week and project updates and news regarding the upgrade will be published here as they are made available.

Hard-copy:   Hard-copies of project updates can be picked up from the Pahiatua Service Centre, Pahiatua Library or Pahiatua Information Centre

If you have an urgent enquiry you can call 06 376 0110 and ask to speak to a member of the project team.

<< Back to News(Posted on: Tuesday, 3 September 2019)