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Lake Manapouri, Fiordland New Zealand. Click for Membership Form.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

Our Story . . . sewerage project history

Fiordland Sewerage Options Incorporated . - evolved from a group of people who have met regularly since July 2014 to share
their concerns regarding the Southland District Council (SDC) proposed Te Anau sewerage scheme. The group registered as an
official non-profit organization: 18th Aug 2014

Our purpose?

To represent residents who have a common interest in the development of an appropriate, sustainable, safe sewerage scheme,
and, in doing so, protect the environment, protect our health and protect the bedrock of our local economy - tourism.

Our objectives?

1. To persuade Southland District Council:

  • to re-think the proposed sewerage scheme, and
  • to recognize Manapouri area residents as key stakeholders in the project.

2. To increase public awareness of the risks surrounding the sewerage scheme:

Sewerage project, issues

  • affordability: rates blow-out
  • safety: airport-bird strike.
  • Public health risks: from sewerage spray to land and air
  • pollution of: groundwater, surrounding waterways, Lake Manapouri and Waiau River
  • sewerage odour: degrading quality of life and property values
  • negative visitor experience: feedback going global - destroying tourism income
  • our clean, green image: . What's It Worth?

What we are doing

  • speaking with residents to encourage participation and involvement
  • organizing presentations at local clubs/associations
  • building community support by signing-up members (no fees required)
  • addressing key issues with adverts in newspapers and updating our Facebook Page
  • investigating alternative sewerage schemes and sharing our findings with SDC


- sewerage project


Te Anau Community Board (TACB) instruct Southland District Council to investigate a site location for Te Anau's sewerage.
Investigations result in the selection of the Kepler Block of land near the town of Manapouri as the sewerage site.

Kepler Block location: 18 kms from Te Anau, 4 kms from Manapouri, less than 1 km from nearby homes,
and is adjacent to property SDC bought in 2002 from the Mt Cook Airline.

At the outset of the sewerage investigations TACB formed an Infrastructure Working Group (IWG),
but did not notify, advise, or include Manapouri representatives in the group.

2008: SDC purchase land at the Kepler Block. Manapouri residents are informed that the land is purchased
in order to build a new airport. Airport Resource Consent is granted. Airport completed 2009.

Nov 2012: SDC publish the "Proposed District Plan." Included in the Plan, SDC lodge a recommendation for the
Kepler Block land to be designated as a Public Utility (for the discharge of sewerage).
. . Designation Process

Note: SDC, as the authoritative body, would be ruling on their own recommendation (above). Before any
decision is made by SDC, the designation requirement is to be heard by an Independent Commmission. *

Once the designation is in place it exempts SDC from applying for further resource consents, even if
the activity contravenes a rule in the "District Plan."

Feb 25th 2013: Deadline for public to send in a submission on the District Plan. Manapouri area residents who
notice the re-zoning item, send in submissions opposing the land re-classification.
. Submissions - Designation 80

Nov 15th 2013: Environment Southland post a notice on their website:
. Notice

Application from SDC for permits to spray sewerage from Te Anau
onto land at the Kepler Block
, and to discharge sewerage odour into the air

Dec 2013: Manapouri area residents who sent in submissions opposing the re-zoning of the Kepler Block land,
are advised that the above Application for sewerage discharge has been filed.

Manapouri area residents hold a meeting to inform the community
about the sewerage issues and they go door-to-door alerting residents.

Jan 2014: SDC hosts two Open Days. Several residents complain that they are seeing details of the sewerage plans
for the first time. A SDC official explained that due to an office error the plans were not delivered to PO Boxes.

Feb 14th 2014: Final date for the public to send in a submission on the sewerage scheme.

July 1st 2014: Te Anau and Manapouri residents meet and form a core group of people to address their concerns
regarding the proposed sewerage scheme.

July 14th 2014: Hearing held in Te Anau. SDC's recommendation to designate the Kepler Block as a Public Utility,
is to be
."jointly heard" .along with their Resource Consent Application.

July 18th 2014:
. The Joint Hearing is.adjourned by commissioners. Further research is to be carried out by SDC,
the results to be peer reviewed and sent to submitters for comment.

Oct 10th 2014: New information due to be sent to people who "spoke" on their submissions at the July 14th Hearing.

Nov 17th 2014: Hearing resumes. Hearing ends Nov 20thth 2014: Decision from commissioners due January 2015.

Jan 23rd 2015: Decision letter released, consents granted to SDC by the commissioners.

Jan 31st 2015: Fiordland Sewerage Options Inc., start the appeal process to the Environment Court.