HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Upgrades underway in Muri
Upgraded residential sanitation systems are now going in the ground in the Muri and Avana areas under a programme designed to improve the quality of groundwater flowing into the Muri Lagoon.
On Tuesday morning, Infrastructure Minister Hon Teariki Heather and New Zealand High Commissioner John Carter along with Acting Secretary for Infrastructure Donye Numa and other MOIP officials, visited Muri to inspect the work in progress.
One of the first properties to have a new system installed is Lily Peyroux Henderson’s residence in Muri, her daughter Michelle Williams, currently residing on the property, said the programme represented an accessible and affordable method for people to bring their systems up to scratch.
“The process to complete the work has been easy to understand and quick from start to finish. It’s a good feeling to know that our property is now all up to standard and we have taken the right steps to protect the future of the lagoon,” said Michelle Williams
Through the Waste Management Initiative (WMI) approximately 200 properties in the Muri/Avana area will have their sanitation systems upgraded, or in many cases totally replaced, at a cost of just $1000 for the property owner.
These upgrades are essential to ensure that sanitation system upgrades comply with legal requirements under the Public Health Act and Regulations.
Minister responsible for the project Hon Teariki Heather, who visited sites at Muri today, said the reduced cost represents a huge incentive for property owners to take part in the scheme.
“The average cost of the work for each property is $10,000 to $15,000 – under the pilot our people are paying only 10% or less of this. WATSAN has also developed a range of ways owners can pay This means being part of the scheme is affordable and realistic for property owners.
Research has demonstrated that old and poorly maintained residential sanitation systems are significantly contributed to pollution of ground-water and eventually the lagoon, and ocean.
“We have to do something now – and taking responsibility and action is what this work is all about.
“I personally encourage all Muri/Avana property owners who are not yet signed up for the scheme to get in touch with WATSAN and play their part,” said Minister Heather.
WMI is a $3 million partnership between the Cook Island Government and the joint New Zealand and Australian aid programme.

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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