Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Owen McShane: The Smell of Things to Come?


The Waikato Settlement Bill will legitimise this "spiritual" approach to sewage treatment over the whole country. The Bay Buzz newspaper reports on problems with Hasting's new sewage treatment plant here:
Part One - Stinkin’ Pipes! By Kathy Webb
A monumental waste of money, or a marvel of science and cultural sensitivity?
 The jury is still out, but one thing is sure: Almost since the day it was switched on nine months ago, Hastings ’ new $27 million sewage system has produced a seriously nauseating smell it wasn’t supposed to.
Some days it’s so bad John Robertson loses his breakfast as soon as he steps out the front door. The stink from Hastings ’ new $27 million biological trickle filter sewage tanks at East Clive “has to be smelled to be believed,” he says. “It gets right down into the back of your stomach.”
Read the whole of part one here:

This extract from Part Two of the Bay Buzz story confirms that we now have an officially authorised religion in New Zealand which I would have thought was a constitutional issue requiring consideration by Parliament:

The Council’s legal adviser, Mark von Dadelszen, is more effusive. In a written article he describes the consultation and co-operation that led to the construction of Hastings’ novel take on bio-trickle filtering as an historic blend of Maori spirituality and modern science.
The Papatuanuku channel was the solution, he said, by invoking the sons of Papatuanuku ( Maori God of the Earth) to purify and spiritually cleanse the sewage, with “Tanemahuta providing biomass to transform kupara (faeces) by removing the mauri (spirit) of human wastes.

Tangaroa (the sea god) receives the transformed waste after passage through Papatuanuku and heals himself through movement of the ocean, and Tawhirimatea (god of the winds and weather) agitates the surface of Tangaroa and through a synthesis of air and water completes the cleansing process.”
Des Ratima, a member of the District Council’s Maori Joint Committee, is less than impressed by the lateral thinking and consultation that led to the construction of a waste disposal channel named Papatuanuku.
In fact, he’s horrified. “It’s not respectful at all. It’s totally inappropriate, almost to the point of being offensive.” Papatuanuku (Mother Earth) is a concept of support and nourishment resulting in a cleansing, “not to take dirty water and make it less dirty,” Mr Ratima says.

Read the whole of part Two here:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Putting up with a little odour is the least one can do to promote racial harmony.