Project update

We have had a very busy first half of 2015. With water use and occupancy records now coming in regularly from ten marae in the upper North Island we have been analysing the data to identify any sign of leaks or instances of extreme water usage.

We are now starting to report back preliminary results to participating marae. This work will provide an accurate assessment of water and wastewater flows in relation to usage across a range of marae. Please keep those marae occupancy records coming in!

In March the team made a splash at the Annual Conference of the New Zealand Land Treatment Collective (NZLTC) held in Wanaka, with four members of the NIWA team presenting work from this project. Jackie Colliar was awarded Best Overall Paper at the conference for her paper entitled “A marae water use monitoring network: Preliminary assessment of water use”. Rebecca Stott was jointly awarded Best Technical Paper for her paper entitled “Influence of shock loading on microbial disinfection resilience of wetland and denitrifying bioreactor ecotechnologies”, and Femke Rambags (PhD student linked to the programme) was awarded Best Presentation by a Junior Professional for her paper entitled “Nitrate and faecal microbe removal in a  denitrifying bioreactor”.

In May I was invited to present information on wastewater management options for Papakaainga developments at an excellent workshop run by Aubrey Te Kanawa for the Waikato Agencies Papakaainga Forum. The workshop provided information to support the design, consenting, project management and construction of Papakaainga on Maori land. The wetland-based ecotechnologies being developed in our research programme appear to be particularly relevant to these types of communal housing developments, providing cost-effective, low-maintenance wastewater treatment options that are not reliant on complex mechanical devices or an external power supply.

I hope that you enjoy this winter newsletter. Please let us know of other projects you are involved in related to this mahi – we would be very interested to learn about and share your experiences.


Principal Scientist - Aquatic Pollution
Kawhia Moana. [NIWA]