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Oratia homes safe from new water plant

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/05/2017

Auckland's water supplier has scrapped plans to build a $300 million water treatment plant in Oratia, saying it will affect too many home owners.

Requiring a replacement for its Huia Water Treatment Plant built in 1928 west of Auckland, Watercare earlier shortlisted four locations, including in Parker Road in Oratia.

But plans for the Oratia plant quickly met fierce resistance, with a Save Oratia campaign group saying 30 families were living in fear of potentially losing their homes to make way for the facility.

However on Tuesday, Watercare chair Margaret Devlin said the new plant will instead be built next to the old plant in Manuka Road in Titirangi.

She said there had been little difference between the Oratia and Titirangi sites, apart from the fact Watercare could not adequately compensate those who would have lost their homes in Oratia.

"Simply put, those affected residents in Parker Road could not be relocated locally," she said.

Ms Devlin said the new treatment plant would treat 15 per cent more water than the old Huia plant, providing a critical boost to Auckland's supply.

The Huia plant, which is fed by the Waitakere Ranges, earlier this year played a crucial role in supplying Auckland during its water shortage.

The city faced water restrictions in March when output was restricted from the Ardmore plant to the city's south-east became clogged with silt and debris brought by heavy rains and flooding.

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