Levin Landfill a decision for the new Council
Published on September 15, 2022
Horowhenua District Council adopted the recommendation to defer the Future of the Levin Landfill to the incoming Council to consider as part of a future Long Term Plan consultative and decision item.
Council's Chief Executive Monique Davidson says, "The Future of the Levin Landfill is a complex and challenging matter and has been the topic of much debate for many years."
In April this year, Council voted to delay the decision on the Future of the Levin Landfill until the incoming Chief Executive had the opportunity to provide an evaluation on the matter.
Following the recent evaluation of the Future of the Levin Landfill Business Case, the evaluation report was presented to Council to guide the way forward on this issue.
"I would like to reiterate the complexity of the issue and the time limitations. While the scope of the work was not to complete a whole new business case, it was to consider whether all practicable options were considered and whether there were other implications that needed to be considered," Davidson explains.
Davidson's advice to Council was that other options could have been considered and were not included in the Future of the Levin Landfill business case. While the basis of the Landfill Agreement provides good reason for why those options were not considered, for Council to meet its statutory obligations, and to address the concerns of the narrowness of the approach to the Business Case, time should be given to consider these," Davidson continues.
The independent report presents an alternative view to the original business case on the economic benefits of keeping the Landfill open until 2037. Davidson though reminded Council that "Regardless of the decision on the future of the Levin Landfill, Council needs to ensure it has met its legal obligations under the Local Government Act - in order for a decision to be made on the Future of the Levin Landfill, Council first must amend its Long Term Plan,” says Davidson, meaning a decision on the Future of the Levin Landfill will now be the decision for the next Council.
The Chief Executive will prepare a briefing paper to the incoming Council, outlining the options associated with the decision. It will include a risk and cost analysis and any other considerations related to whether the decision should be included as part of the 2021-2041 Long Term Plan Amendment or the 2024-2044 Long Term Plan.
“While a decision cannot be made at this stage, Elected Members cannot ignore the very real need for a future decision on this critical issue. The impact of the Levin Landfill on the social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of Iwi and the Hōkio Beach community and catchment will continue to challenge Council’s resources, and require Council to be world class in the way it manages and operates a compliant Landfill, if it was to remain open.”
“Council needs to invest and put its weight behind developing and driving a wider Waste Minimisation Strategy, in partnership with Iwi, hapū and the community, and in doing that, it will have the strategic context to make the necessary decisions on not just the Future of the Levin Landfill but the future service delivery and operations associated with waste services provided by Horowhenua District Council,” Davidson concluded.