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Controversial sewage pond work gets extension

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The long-awaited upgrade of a tiny West Coast town’s damaged sewage treatment ponds has a time extension – but the district council’s still being investigated for possible environmental rule breaches. David Williams reports for Newsroom.

Faced with possible prosecution over an “unsightly and smelly discharge” into the Waiho River bed, the Westland District Council went, with its hand out, to the Government.

The tiny tourist town of Franz Josef might sit on the edge of a national park but its inadequate oxidation ponds, damaged in a flood in March 2016, were only partially treating its wastewater. The river bed area receiving the icky discharge is open to the public and used by a tourism company that runs four-wheel motorcycle tours.