Environment Waikato has granted resource consents to authorise operation of a hard rock quarry and processing facilities near State Highway 3, Te Kawa.
McFall Enterprises had applied for the consents which were heard before two commissioners. For a number of years McFall Enterprises had been quarrying about 48,000 cubic metres a year from the Te Kawa quarry near Te Awamutu, and late last year purchased the neighbouring quarry property to expand operations. The application attracted four submissions from iwi, the Historic Places Trust and Transit New Zealand.
The Hearing Committee was told expansion would not involve any significant change to the current operation apart from trucking of overburden and placing it into the neighbouring abandoned Pukerimu quarry pit. Expansion plans are constrained by the presence of the Tokanui and Pukerimu Pa sites on top of the hill being quarried.
The hearing was adjourned so consultation could continue with tangata whenua, and agreement was reached with a Memorandum of Understanding developed to address iwi concerns.
The Hearing Committee said the application was unique because the company would be in a position to rehabilitate an abandoned quarry pit left in an extremely unstable and degraded state. If the work could be done without significant effect on the stability and integrity of historic sites, quality of the local waterways, the safety of the roading network and the well being of neighbouring land owners, it was likely to result in significant benefits to the local community and tangata whenua.
Agreement was also reached with Transit, with new conditions attached. The Historic Places Trust was concerned that there had been inadequate assessment of the effects of development on archaeological and Maori heritage values and works should not be done in the area without detailed consultation.
These issues were also resolved and the submission withdrawn once conditions were added.
The Committee said it was satisfied that the discharge of settled stormwater into a roadside drain was unlikely to have any significant effect on the Mangakaeo Stream, dust could be controlled and the overburden would strengthen the lower batters of the Pukerimu pa site. Rehabilitation works were likely to significantly improve the quality of stormwater discharge from the abandoned quarry and enhance the cultural, aesthetic and ecological values of the site.
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