Relations between Fonterra and residents around their Hautapu plant remain frosty in the wake of approval being given for the dairy giant to build a wastewater treatment plant.
The company said last week it was committed to working with neighbours, but residents’ spokesperson Grant Eynon says since the green light was given, the local community have heard nothing.
He says the community disagrees with the commissioner’s findings in approving the plant, “but they are not able to launch an appeal in the Environment court.
Eynon warns Fonterra can expect vocal and public opposition to any problems that arise.
He claims Fonterra’s attitude is already “showing blatant and public disregard towards its neighbouring communities”.
“Hautapu and Bruntwood residents are unhappy with approval of the wastewater treatment plant in their vicinity. Fonterra had a very viable option to site the plant away from any Cambridge community,” he said.
Instead the company “ignored their own initial research and advice that Hautapu was too populated, and instead went for the easy consenting option”.
Eynon said Fonterra staff told community members at the beginning of the Hautapu process they had been given an unlimited budget to push the project through, “but it transpires were not prepared to spend money on investing in a site away from a high residential and business population”.
He suggested ease of consent and money were more important than neighbours.
He says the community believe Fonterra should reassess their production location strategy because of the continued growth of residential and businesses properties on their boundary.