4 Oct 2013

Residents angry about Raetihi diesel leak

8:43 pm on 4 October 2013

Raetihi residents are angry about a diesel leak which has contaminated a local stream and shut down the town's water supply, a Ruapehu district hapu says.

Up to 15,000 litres of diesel leaked into the Makotuku stream from a tank at the base of the Turoa ski field at the weekend.

Ngati Uenuku chair Don Robinson said the discharge flowed into the source of the Makotuku, contaminating the water locals use for bathing, washing and drinking.

The effects had been significant and locals were extremely angry there wasn't even water for ablutions or cleaning, Mr Robinson said.

Poor communication between the Ruapehu District Council, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts, iwi and town residents had also upset people.

But a meeting of the groups last night was productive, and helped people to come to terms with the contamination, he said.

The contamination had also forced the postponement of the the inaugural Aotearoa Iwi Snow Championships.

The alpine ski and snowboarding competition was to begin on Mount Ruapehu on 14 October but Mr Robinson said it would be delayed until next year.