Lake Manapouri, Fiordland New Zealand.
Permission granted from photographer/Fairfax NZ. Sign by Ray Willett


15 Nov 2013: Environment Southland Online notice, Southland
District Council (SDC) applied for permits to spray treated
sewage onto land and discharge odour into the air. Location:

Kepler Block at the Te Anau-Manapouri Airport.

14 Feb 2014: Final date to send in a submission.
14 July 2014: Joint Hearing held in Te Anau.
18 July 2014: Hearing adjourned. Commissioners request more
. . . . . . . . . . .research to be carried out by SDC's experts.

Aug 2014: Society formed:.Fiordland Sewerage Options Inc.

17 Nov 2014: Three day Hearing resumes.
20 Nov 2014: Hearing ends. Decision to be released Jan 2015
23 Jan 2015: Decision released. Consents granted.
31 Jan 2015: Fiordland Sewerage Options to appeal decision.
....... . .........Continued below...


30 Oct 2018
: Update from committee - Fiordland Sewerage Options (FSO)

    Hi Everyone,

We can finally report good news. You may have read in the paper (see links to The Advocate below) that the Southland District
Councillor's voted for sub-surface drip (SDI) at the Kepler Block - Te Anau Wastewater Project.

While this scheme may not be the one we had strived for - four long years ago - we believe that we have achieved significant
headway and hope to be able to support Council to finalise this method of disposal through the Resource Consent process.

This is a welcome outcome, as the only negotiable item that was left to decide was the method of disposal being either:
sub-surface drip (underground) or centre pivot irrigation (CPI) (spraying to air).

However, there does seem to be some misconceptions in the community regarding this outcome that we feel we should clarify:

1. There is NO further negotiation for any other sites for disposal. It is going to be the Kepler Block.

2. There is NO further negotiation for any other treatment of the sewerage.

3. The change to sub-surface drip has yet to go through a Resource Consent process.

4. If this Resource Consent fails then the council will fall back to the Centre Pivot Irrigation.

We will support the Council and their Resource Consent for this sub-surface method of disposal. We thank you all for your help
over the years, we could not have achieved the successes we have without you. We will keep you informed.



25 Oct 2018: Members of the public teleconference with Southdland District Council (SDC). Advocate South - News

Local community speak to SDC via teleconference from Te Anau. Councillors held a public forum in Invercargill on 23 Oct 2018 to discuss
SDC's Te Anau wastewater decisons.


18 Oct 2018: Final decision in Southland District Council hands for Te Anau Wastewater Project. Advocate South - News

The 603-page agenda for last week's Te Anau Wastewater Disposal Project Committee. The agenda for the meeting contains the final
business case for disposal options for the town's treated sewage.


11 Oct 2018: Final decision looms for Te Anau Wastewater Plans. Advocate South - News

Fiordland Sewerage Options (FSO) committee members: Chairman, Alistair Paton-McDonald and secretary Ruth Shaw study the 604-page
report in order to make FSO final recommendations to SDC. The report will be considered by the Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project
Committee on Oct 12th 2018.


















8th March 2018: The $6 Million Point of Difference . Advocate South - News

Chairman, Alistair Paton-McDonald and spokeswoman Ruth Shaw, of Fiordland Sewerage Options (FSO) view a report from Ecogent
Wastewater expert: Mr Peter Riddell, who was invited by the Southland District Council to provide comment on further analysis on the
wastewater to Manapouri. Mr Paton-McDonald said the costings/report were done pro bono by Ecogent.
  (continued below)

Photo: Advocate South           According to Mr Peter Riddell's report,
the biggest savings could be made
through . . .

Reducing the size of:

  • the dispersal field
  • the membrane filter capacity
  • the wastewater pipeline *

The pipeline is to transport treated
wastewater from Te Anau to the
so-called Kepler Block, next to the
Te Anau-Manapouri Airport. *


The new alternative costings, noted above, claim it would cost $6 million less than what the Council estimated, last year for the Kepler Option.

Last week, Mr Peter Riddell sent a prepared report for the Council to consider, saying some of the cost estimates the Council made could be
significantly reduced. The Council's estimated costs: $15.4 to $21.8 million.

  • The Council has a consent to aerially discharge via centre pivot, treated wastewater at the Kepler Block.
  • Sub-surface drip irrigation is preferred by the Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project Committee.
  • Sub-surface drip irrigation is generally favoured by the Fiordland community at large.

In Dec '17 the Council agreed to further investigate the cost and logistics of a more discreet underground alternative known as sub-surface drip
irrigation before making a final decision. In its 2017 business case:

  • The Council estimated the consented centre-pivot option would be the least expensive choice at $14.5 million.

SDC chief executive, Steve Ruru, said the Council was now working on better refining the design and costings of the sub-surface alternative.
He said that Mr Riddell was using a different set of assumptions in building his estimates, without understanding the Council's reasons
behind its own estimates.

Independent of the report, Mr Ruru has invited Mr Riddell to provide expert comment - as the Council digs in on more robust costings for a
sub-surface alternative. He said that the Council would also soon have an external peer reviewer on board for the project.

  • Cr Ebel Kremer of Te Anau said it was important to make sure that the two reports were in fact comparing the same things, but
    it was fantastic that Mr Riddell had provided information, and, that there was an opportunity for the Council to use his expertise. 
  • FSO is pleased with the Council's invitation to Mr Riddell to be involved, and say it's a positive response on the Council's behalf.


13th Dec SDC Meeting at 9am Wednesday in Invercargill: Council Meetings

The Wastewater Committee (that was created by SDC) has unanimously voted for wastewater to be disposed of by Subsurface Drip.
SDC now has to make its decision: Treat to a higher degree and use Subsurface Drip (underground). Or, aerial spray.

To speak in the public forum, register-phone SDC 0800 732 732 by Friday 8th Dec.

  • SDC Meeting: Wednesday 13th Dec 9am - 4pm Council Chambers, Invercargill
  • SDC is expected to formally approve a path forward in support of the Kepler Block
  • (Also, Te Anau Community Board Meeting Wed 6th Dec 3pm Distinction Hotel)
  • "Fiordland Community Speaks Up", Fiordland Advocate 30th Nov 2017


14th Feb 2017 Update

Southland District Council (SDC) have agreed to investigate an alternative site for the discharge of the Te Anau Waste Water.
The site is the Smith Block on Sinclair Road. We believe the advantages of this site are:

  • There are no weather related surface water ponding issues and no wetland area to avoid or protect, as at Kepler Block.
  • The pipeline required will be approx 7km long as opposed to 19km at the Kepler block.
  • The quality of the treated waste water should be greater as a result of the shorter pipeline.
  • This site does not impede the growth of infrastructure or tourist activity of the airport.
  • The designated site does not border the Southern Scenic Route that connects with Te Anau and Manapouri.
  • Subsurface/rapid infiltration systems are available, and, if taken advantage of, will help to negate ratepayers concerns.

Fiordland Sewerage Options (FSO) have reached a decision to withdraw our appeal to the Environment Court, in response to
the SDC agreeing to investigate the above site,

FSO believes that the SDC can, if they wish, provide the ratepayers of the basin and all of Southland with
schemes that support environmental and social needs of our communities while being fiscally responsible.

FSO FUNDS: We have had substantial support from local and extended communities including donations and
generous pledges of financial help. All of our ongoing expenses and debts have been met with our bank account
having a small credit of around $400 remaining.

WHAT NEXT? We will continue to liaise with the Southland District Council. We will continue to offer information
and support to residents who may have concerns regarding the investigations of the alternative site.

HISTORY - Continued Timeline & Info: Jan 2015 - Feb 2017

Our Thanks for the donations Fiordland Sewerage Options (FSO) has received so far. As we don't have contact details for everyone
please phone or email us if you would like a receipt:
Phone 027-436-8882. Email

RECENT and UPCOMING Events, Issues:

"Give a Little" - donation option, webpage link:

2016 Nov 23rd

URGENT message from Fiordland Sewage Options Inc. (FSO)


Due to the failure to reach an agreement through mediation, unfortunately,
our next step is the Environment Court.

We are expecting Judge Borthwick
to set the court date for
May or June 2017

To date, the appeal has cost FSO around $102,000 - which includes the
$50,000 grant received from the Environmental Legal Assistance Fund.

If we do not receive at least $90,000 in donations within the next 3 weeks
we will have no choice but to withdraw the appeal.

OUR BANK DETAILS ARE: Kiwi Bank 38-9016-0202185-00

If you would like to discuss making a donation, you
could ring:Alistair Paton-McDonald on 02 7221 9230

We need your financial assistance to continue the fight on your behalf.
In a worst case scenario, we expect costs to continue with our appeal
could amount to a further $150,000

We cannot continue with the preparation of expert witness statements,
or continue with the appeal without your support. We believe that the
Council will run with the Kepler proposal if our appeal is withdrawn.

The latest figures on the Kepler proposal are around
$25 million. If this proposal goes ahead it will result
in huge increases in your rates.

We have repeatedly supplied details of alternatives
to the Council that show better schemes could be
implemented for approx $13 million.

Again, we would like to thank everyone who has donated so far.

From: Fiordland Sewerage Options Committee. Email


2016 Nov 18th - SDC Te Anau Meeting. FSO Committee to address Council..

2016 Nov 16th - .SDC Invercargill Meeting. Presentation by FSO Committee and letter addressed to Councillors.

2016 Sept 24th - FSO Fund Raiser Auction and Dinner . Speaker will be present followed by auction. Location
Manapouri Motor Inn. Tickets on sale soon.

2016 Aug 2nd - Better Local Services Bill:
Southlander's views on the above central govt bill can be expressed to the SDC by phone, email, post. What impact will
the bill have on Southlander’s decision making regarding projects that affect our lives? Under the bill: water supply,
waste water etc., could be put into council-controlled organisations. The bill was introduced to parliament June 9th 2016.
Public submissions closed July 28th. The following link summarizes the bill:
Information Sheet Package Summary
SDC opposed the legislation, see issue: Southland Times 30 July 2015.

2016 July 14th - FSO Annual General Meeting to be held at 7pm, Manapouri Motor Inn.

2016 May 24th -
.FSO article, Southland Times. Fiordland Sewerage Options - The Story So Far: .Southland Times 24 May 2016

2016 April 4th - Wastewater Committee meeting, 10am to 12noon at the Distinction Hotel, lakefront Te Anau.
Report from peer review contractor, Pattle Delamore Partners, prepared March 2016.

2016 March 17th - .$50,000.00 legal assistance has been granted by the Ministry for the Environment to FSO. The grant
is to be used by FSO in its court battle with SDC. Before this legal assistance was granted, FSO have spent $38,000
of its donated funds in its efforts to convince the Council to look at other sewerage options:
.Fiordland Advocate

2016 Feb 11th - Newspaper report on Public Meeting held 8th Feb at the Te Anau Club: .Fiordland Advocate

2016 Feb 8th - Public Meeting arranged by FSO. Monday 7.30pm, Feb 8th Te Anau Club. An opportunity to hear facts,
figures and an explanation of an alternative sewage scheme proposal. See below, guest speaker.
.Fiordland Advocate

Photo by Fiordland Advocate, Te Anau.

FSO Public Meeting, Fiordland Advocate 11th Feb 2016     Guest Speaker, Peter Riddell,
Managing Director:

Public meeting held Feb 8th 2016.

Peter is a consulting engineer with over 40
years experience in wastewater projects.

His company incorporates award winning key
components in the wastewater treatment
process, resulting in low power and
maintenance requirements.

How does FSO's proposal compare to SDC's scheme?

Are you concerned about how our rates are
allocated for the current scheme?

For more info about the meeting contact:
Furry 027 2219 230 or Ruth 249 6664

2015 Dec 16th - Public meeting. Peer Review Report. Te Anau Wastewater Project Committee. Report includes minutes
from 10th Nov meeting, Action Sheet 16th Nov and Committee summary of sewerage options, advantages/disadvantages.
At same meeting, presentations by FSO Committee members:
.R. Shaw /. A. P-McDonald / P. Hampton .

Southland Times Photograph

2016 Jan 9th

Cardboard race Te Anau's 20th annual event. This year's
event held to raise funds for the Marakura Yacht Club.

FSO's cardboard boat, named "La Crappe" came in
second with a whale of a time had by all. Around
600-700 people attended the event.

Cardboard boat race: Southland Times

2015 Nov 12th -
Peer Review Contractor presents preliminary findings:
Fiordland Advocate

2015 Nov 10th - Film Night & Supper fund raiser at the Manapouri Lakeview Motor Inn. Thanks to everyone who attended.

2015 Sept - Public Meeting held in Te Anau. Purpose of the meeting, for people to speak to the peer reviewer consultants:
Pattle Delamore Partners. Newspaper reports:
Southland Times . Fiordland Advocate

2015 Aug - Peer Review Contractor Chosen by the committee noted above Pattle Delamore Partners (PDP). Engineering
specialists with a focus on environmental issues.
Contractor Chosen

2015 June - Te Anau Wastewater Project Committee: As a result of the Nov 2014 Hearings, SDC formed a new committee
and included Manapouri representatives. The committee met for the frist time:
June 2015. to choose a contractor responsible
for peer reviewing the SDC's proposed sewage scheme.
. Committee Members

Other info:

FSO Chairman Report: Annual General Meeting was held 11th June 2015. Chairman's Report provided.

Newspapers 66 articles and 41 letters from the public re Te Anau sewerage issue. . From 2007 to 2016


Fundraising, past and present

We welcome your ideas as we get our fundraising projects rolling...

        Designer toilet rolls with cartoon wrappers by:.Martin Doyle
see the newspaper report, 4th June:
.Fiordland Advocate

Quiz Nights. A big thank you to everyone supporting this event.
Proceeds raised at the Quiz Nights are donated to FSO. A fun time!
See local papers for schedule, held at:
Manapouri Lakeview Motor Inn

        Decorative illuminations sold at the Winter celebrations were a success!
Thanks to all who made purchases, a big boost to our fundraising!

Firewood Sales. Workbees started August 2015 processing timber
donated to FSO fundraising. Firewood sales commence Feb 2016.
When ready to split & stack, we will need trailers & men to help.
If you can pitch in, please email Zeb:


23 Jan 2015: Consent has been granted to Southland District Council
(SDC), by the Commissioners. Hearing decision report.

1. Commissioners decision on Resource Consent Applications, consent is granted to SDC as follows:

(a) Discharge Permit No. 302625: To discharge treated wastewater onto land from the Te Anau wastewater treatment plant, via a spray irrigation system, onto land known as the Kepler Block legally described as Lot 2 DP 410687

(b) Discharge Permit to Air No. 302625A: To discharge contaminants to air, namely odour and spray drift, arising from the
irrigation of treated wastewater authorised by Discharge Permit 302625.

2. Recommendations to Southland District Council on Notice of Requirement:

We recommend that the SDC confirm the Notice of Requirement for Designation D80 by the Water and Waste Services
Division of the Council to designate land for public utility purposes (sewage works) on Lot 2 DP 410687.

The Kepler Block land sewage disposal site is located approximately 19 kms from Te Anau.

The sewage pipeline will terminate adjacent to the Te Anau-Manapouri Airport.

The Kepler Block is within 2.5 kms from the Manapouri town bounday and less than 1 km from nearby homes.

Photo below (taken 1980's): Area surrounding Te Anau-Manapouri Airport when flooded.

Manapouri township is located in the background of the photograph.

1980's flood Manapouri Airport