Recently (August 5) Dr Murray Wallis advised Te Vai Ora Maori that Dr Paul Truong had been engaged to conduct a feasibility study on the use of vetiver grass as a disposal field crop. The benefit of this unique grass is that it is highly absorbent, grows on steep slopes and would enable a land based option to be located on otherwise less-desirable land.
Dr Troung is yet to present his findings, however, working from a comparable Australian case study, a vetiver solution may only require 1-2ha of sloping land. A reticulation that uses existing household septic systems for the separation of solids would also not require a treatment facility in Turangi.
At the same time the project management unit’s media guru has told Cook Islands News the discharge of septic waste over the reef is the only option, unless they can find suitable property for land-based disposal.
The reef absorbs 97 per cent of the wave action. A compromised reef would expose the Cook Islands government to liability for any damage to the properties along the Matavera coastline and joint action by owners of Ocean Escape, the new KAPS Petrol Station and further north Club Raro, Coastal Kitchen, and Tamarind House.
It’s time that government washed its hands of this batch of consultants.