Bromley stench: Council workers booed at community meeting

Tensions ran high and council workers were booed at a Christchurch community meeting last night over the area’s ongoing “Bromley stench.”

Aerial image of Christchurch suburbs for the Earthquake Commission

A rancid smell the city council’s wastewater plant has outraged locals. Photo: New Zealand Defence Force from Wellington, New Zealand, CC BY 2.0

Residents on the eastern side of the city met to address the rancid smell the city council’s wastewater plant has been giving off since it was damaged by fire six months ago.

The meeting was attended by local and regional councillors, MPs and the mayor. Paid healthcare, relocating schools and insurance claims were all discussed.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel profusely apologised to the packed-out Bromley Community Hall.

Dalziel declined a resident’s offer to camp in their backyard and experience the full force of the stench for the weekend, but said she will visit.

Residents affected by the stench from Christchurch’s fire-damaged wastewater plant may get their healthcare and laundry paid for by the City Council.

Councillor Anne Galloway said a community pop-up health centre, rates reductions and paid trips out of town for affected residents are also on the cards.

Galloway said staff have been talking to affected locals and proposals will be put to the council on Tuesday.

One Christchurch resident said her children have stopped going to school because they constantly feel ill from the stench.

The resident said the Ministry of Education has said her children have had too much time off school.

She wants more resources for nearby schools to do what they can to lessen the smell on their grounds.

The council admitted it hasn’t contacted any local schools about the smell, and has promised to do that on Monday.

Another Christchurch resident asked the council to provide extra mental health support for children. They said children in Christchurch had grown up with a constant stream of disaster from the earthquakes to the mosque attacks.

She said mental health services are hard to access but are desperately needed as kids struggle to cope with the pungent stench.

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