3 Aug 2022

Christchurch residents whose health and wellbeing continues to be affected by the smells coming from the fire-damaged wastewater treatment plant will receive more targeted support.

Christchurch City Council has today committed a further $180,000 to provide more support for schools, and targeted help for residents still affected by odours from the wastewater treatment plant.

The new wellbeing response plan includes:

  • Extended support for schools and early learning centres, including those in the Southshore and South New Brighton areas, so they can provide activities and events to help children and their families manage the effects of the odour.
  • Discretionary funding to support people affected by the smell to access health and wellbeing supports.

Acting Mayor Andrew Turner says the additional funds will enable the Council, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, to extend support to more schools in the area.

“Until now the support has been focused on schools and early childhood centres close to the plant, but we are now further extending our support to education providers in South New Brighton and Southshore,” says Acting Mayor Turner.

“The funding will also help develop a science education programme for schools, in partnership with the Ministry of Education. This will help students understand how the Christchurch wastewater treatment plant works, and how its operation was impacted by the fire.

“Another purpose of this new response plan is to remove any barriers that people might face in accessing health and wellbeing services.

“We will work closely with Pegasus Health’s partnership community workers to identify people whose health and wellbeing continues to be negatively affected by the wastewater treatment plant odours.”

On 30 May, the Council approved a $1 million community support package to help residents living in the immediate vicinity of the fire-damaged treatment plant. Part of that package included offering residents within a set geographical area a one-off payment of $200 to help them deal with the impacts of the fire.

Today, the Council agreed to end those payments to in-zone applicants on Friday 12 August as the uptake has plateaued. More than 2600 households have received the $200 grant.

Out-of-zone applicants can contact CommunityGrants@ccc.govt.nz until Wednesday 31 August to be considered for a support payment.

Council staff will also report back to elected members with options around a possible free house cleaning service for affected properties, and if an assessment is required on internal property damage due to odours. 

For more information and updates on the Wastewater Treatment Plant recovery, visit ccc.govt.nz/wastewaterfire.