Category Archives: Horizons

Wellington stream a brown, bubbly industrial dump that is killing the eels

More sustainable development from our LG folks. I challenge you to examine LG websites (Councils, Regional Council, Horizons) – they’re replete with a ton of rhetoric about sustainable this and sustainable that … all of which they pay mere lip service to. Note the comment from them in the article when whose responsibility it is is being followed up:

“T&T Landfills manager Sophie Gray said all information was available on the council’s website. When asked when the drainage problems would be fixed, she said it was a matter between “me and the council” before hanging up.”

In my opinion placed there to lull you into thinking all this toxic pollution is not their fault.  One gets the impression these DCs are fully in bed with the respective industries. Examine also though some of the events that transpire in the various other regions where the life in the waterways is dying off. Recently we had a huge die off of pipi and tuatua at Waitarere Beach. We hear a flurry in the news of ‘yes we are testing’ etc etc etc, and unless you pester them you’ll likely hear no more of it. Or when you do it is some curious thing to blame like I read recently, ‘pine pesticide’. Then they blame floods or high temps. All ‘natural’ phenomena of course so industrial pollution can’t be blamed. But here in this video, the stream is said to stink of chemicals, to which the likely reply will be the usual mantra of ‘it can’t be proven’. Not without extensive and expensive testing at least. Which predictably nobody will feel responsible enough to stump up with the costs for. Industries/corporations manage to let themselves off the hook in terms of responsibility for clean up. They have succeeded in reframing all of that by calling the damages externalities and making the public pay. Really the must watch as I always recommend is, ‘The Corporation’ doco. The profits of corporations are generally so large they pay for any fines out of their lunch money. If they get any fines that is. Largely they create carnage then move on leaving the locals to suck it up … get poisoned … whatever. They are rarely made to pay. So here we have dying eels as the canary in the coal mine. How long will it be before there is nothing left? We can’t swim in these streams and rivers any more, many more we can’t even wade in they’re so toxic. So why would we be expecting eels to survive in them? The regional authorities need to step up & enforce their consents properly instead of turning the proverbial blind eye.

EnvirowatchRangitikei

Forget clean and green – this Wellington stream is brown, bubbly and litter-strewn

As Jane Poata walks beside Wellington’s Owhiro Stream, the toxic stench rekindles childhood memories of holidaying beside New Zealand’s most-contaminated site.

It is a metallic smell she described as ammonia and lime, rising from the brown and bubbly stream, a tributary of which passes through T&T Landfills before running behind a primary school and homes then into Taputeranga Marine Reserve off the capital’s south coast.

Greater Wellington Regional Council has confirmed the contamination came from the T&T Landfills, which was in the process of diverting the tributary to Owhiro Stream and creating a filtering wetland so it no longer picked up debris and contaminants when flood water rushed through.

READ MORE:
* Criticism at lack of action over rising contamination in Wellington’s Owhiro Stream
* Wellington stream brown, swollen and frothy
* The new ‘swimmable’ fresh water target: Nick Smith defends his plan
*Editorial: We must clean up our waterways to prove we are clean and green

“Any contaminant can be toxic and harmful to the stream ecology and people coming into contact, but it depends on the levels we find.”

The landfill was fined following a similar incident in November. Cross said further fines had not been ruled out but the council was more focused now on fixing the problem.

T&T Landfills manager Sophie Gray said all information was available on the council’s website. When asked when the drainage problems would be fixed, she said it was a matter between “me and the council” before hanging up.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/91441533/Forget-clean-and-green-this-Wellington-stream-is-brown-bubbly-and-litter-strewn?cid=app-iPad

 

 

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Local Govt corruption: why local citizens have no rights & local government has no rules … privatization, secretive roundtable groups & the rise of unelected, unaccountable officials

 

Vinny Eastwood Episode 2 of PARADIGM broadcasted on Face TV Sky Channel 083 on September 14th 2015 at 9pm NZT

TOPIC: Local Governance & Corruption
GUESTS: Bruce Rogan from the Mangawhai Residents and Ratepayers Association with activist and Mayoral candidate Penny Bright.

•How privatisation and secretive powerful roundtable groups (comprised mostly of large companies) have led to the rise of unelected, unaccountable officials.

•The utter refusal of EVERY SINGLE AUTHORITY in New Zealand to investigate corruption.
The police, the judiciary, the ombudsman, the minister for local government, the auditor general, political parties, the list goes on, every authority whose job is to investigate, prevent or punish corruption actually supports it!

•Why local citizens have no rights and why local government has no rules.

FACE FACT KIWIS
Believing NZ is corruption free was the very mechanism by which criminals took control of our country. The only reason NZ is #2 on Transparency International’s “perceived” least corrupt countries in the world list, is we’re the 2nd best in the world at concealing our corruption.

To learn more go HERE

Had enough of Govt corruption Kiwis? Here is a venue for reporting, exposing & taking action: the “Citizens Government Corruption Watchdog Commission”

By making these reports you are adding to a database of complaints that documents multiple violations. This makes the case for change much stronger and if the department concerned doesn’t act then we can take it to media for publication and to pressure change. Mainstream media will probably be either forced to print our exposes or lose their place as Mainstream Media and those who DO share it will become the new “Mainstream Media”!

Those of you who think beyond the mainstream media … or even those who don’t … you’ve probably noticed a few things are not ticking the boxes lately regarding democratic processes.

Local Government

One example would be the way District Councils appear to have minds of their own and increasingly they are failing to consult those who elect them regarding decisions that will be affecting them. Recently the Whaleoil blog featured the growing problem of local government breaking the law and points out that they get away with it because nobody is policing it. Check out the blog as there are many examples cited of things folks are encountering with their DCs.

Here is a recent example in Shannon where locals were consulted by their representing Councillor Ross Campbell on whether they wanted yet another liquor outlet licensed … overwhelmingly more were against than for (309 to 3) … yet the DC has gone right ahead and issued the liquor license anyway.  So who is this council  batting for? Their constituents, or the liquor industry? No prizes for guessing. Shannon has also had recent issues with discharge by Council of raw sewage into the local waterways, an ongoing issue with many DCs NZ wide. Cr Campbell was  trespassed for two years by HDC for filming the discharge of raw sewage into the town’s waterways. Shutting down dissent!

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The street poll by Cr Ross Campbell in the Horowhenua district … the poll overwhelmingly against the issuing of yet another liquor license in Shannon, and the DC has gone and issued the one anyway

The Rangitikei DC was also exposed last year with regard to their long standing non compliance in relation to pollution of its waterways with leachate. They too shut down dissent by failing to accept the recommendation of their own Community Committee!
For further examples of local government corruption see our Local Govt Watch pages.

Health and Related Services

Then we have many services (formerly ‘government’, now ‘corporate’ departments) that blatantly ignore the rules and run rough shod over people. I heard of one for instance just recently. An older woman who was admitted to A & E at a public hospital, left in a cold corridor, no warm blanket, no buzzer, calling for the toilet, left for hours in her own feces then loudly told off! The patient was too sick to respond.

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With recent events in our corporatized government departments we need a watch on our health care providers and their protocols, particularly with the elderly and the dying

Also, on the hospital subject, I heard recently of a dying patient on ‘nil by mouth’, without the family’s knowledge. On this horrific subject please google ‘Liverpool Care Pathway’ the thin end of the wedge in my opinion, to euthanasia. Now there’s huge debate as we know about that, however, since when do we administer ‘nil by mouth’ without explaining the rationale to the distressed relatives, whose loved one is crying out for water? And since when has this become the ‘norm’? Dying of thirst? I don’t recall any public discussion around this.

Weather Modification Practices

Marton NZ, 1 Oct 2014, 9:31 am
Trails over the Rangitikei, here in plain sight in 2014

The other glaring elephant in the room on the topic of flagrancy is the practice of geoengineering … ie spraying us all daily with toxic chemicals then telling us it is only steam or condensation. Or worse, “nothing doing here please move along you ‘conspiracy theorists'”.

There will be many more issues and other departments that spring to mind that need policing. 

Reporting and Taking Action

man-211505_1280
What to do!?

When these various events happen we’re often left standing, mouth open, grasping for who to tell, or, we’re so deep in grief we’re unable to act. And from my experience, often nobody knows just who to tell anyway. Many have tried for instance in the geoengineering domain to approach the various authorities charged with protecting us from unhealthy toxic environments only to be told there’s nothing doing. Denial, yet all the while scientific testing is revealing high levels of toxic chemicals in water and soils. These authorities need to be held to account.

So here is a venue for you to report these various incidents. It’s easy to do, simply go to the site (links below) and fill in the appropriate form online (more forms to come).

corruption

The reports will be collated to reveal the extent of the respective complaints, all documented in reports and kept for evidence when confronting the department concerned, and/or for timely publishing on this and other websites, and on social media. Since our so called mainstream media is displaying a growing reluctance to fully air the truth, we can become a force to be reckoned with. This is people power!

By making these reports you are adding to a database of complaints that documents multiple violations. This makes the case for change much stronger and if the department concerned doesn’t act then we can take it to media for publication and to pressure change. Mainstream media will probably be either forced to print our exposes or lose their place as Mainstream Media and those who DO share it will become the new “Mainstream Media”!

Here are links to both the site and the new Facebook page (head there and ‘like’ the page, and get reporting. You can also report historic incidents).

EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

 

Petition: CLOSE THE LEACHATE LEAKING LEVIN LANDFILL

Here is a Horowhenua petition about the local landfill you may like to consider signing … all info contained herein, and click on the link at the end to take you to the petition site to sign. The petition was not created by EnvirowatchRangitikei, however we are advertising it on the campaign creator’s behalf.

TO: HOROWHENUA DISTRICT COUNCIL

Close the Levin Landfill as the uncontrollable toxic leachate has started to contaminate the Hokio stream.

Why is this important?

Levin LeachateHorowhenua District Council is hell bent on keeping the Levin Landfill open despite the huge environmental and financial costs. HDC has admitted they cannot contain the landfill leachate that seeps into the Hokio Stream. Their approach is to change resource consent conditions so they can legally pollute the wider environment including the stream.
It begs the question why?
As a member of a community group who have been keeping an eye on the landfill operation for over 17 years I have come to the conclusion it’s all about politics, as nothing else makes sense.
About ten years ago Mayor Duffy campaigned that he was going to make half a million dollars per annum by importing Kapiti’s rubbish into the Levin Dump. They made a secret contract (they say this is commercially sensitive) with Midwest Disposals. Although they have been telling the public that all is well the truth is the landfill has been losing vast amounts of ratepayers money and is now over $4.5 million in debt.
The reason they are in debt is because the landfill is located in the worst spot imaginable, in permeable sand-country, near a stream and beach, upstream of a township, on shallow ground water and on sensitive ex Maori occupied land. Any of these points should have been a reason not obtain a resource consent but it was pushed through by Horizons Regional Council and HDC in 2002 without proper process which was later investigated by the Parliamentary Commission for the Environment who gave both councils a damming report. Unfortunately the culture hasn’t changed.
Because of the landfills location on sand country, millions of extra dollars has to be spent on trying to contain the toxic leachate which has proven to be impossible.
A five yearly review is now underway with Horizons imposing a new set of conditions. These conditions are being contested by HDC.
So we have the two councils fighting each other, wasting hundreds of thousands of our dollars, when it could have all be resolved if Horowhenua District Council would come clean and discuss the option of the alternative landfill at Bonny-Glen which is far more cost effective and environmentally efficient.
With enough people power we can get rid of this disgraceful polluting dump from our backyard and start to restore our once pristine environment so please sign the petition.

Campaign created by
Malcolm Hadlum

“HDC is a top drawer polluter” says another Horowhenua District Councillor who filmed similar pollution to Shannon’s 14 months ago – he says HDC’s recent take was “misleading & full of half-truths”

“HDC is a top drawer polluter. This is not the first time accurate film footage has been taken of wilful contamination of the Manawatu River … I took extensive film footage 14 months ago and was ridiculed at the time”
Cr Michael Feyen

In recent posts we have highlighted the ongoing pollution of Horowhenua’s natural water resources (see posts here and here). Now another Councillor,  Michael Feyen, has backed the claims of Councillor Ross Campbell about the Council’s role in this pollution, and says he made similar video footage to Cr Campbell’s 14 months ago for which he was ridiculed.

“… council’s take on the issue was misleading and full of half-truths”
Cr Michael Feyen

Seventy year old Shannon resident John Andrews, who was with Cr Campbell recently while filming the sewage discharging into Stansell’s Creek, featured in news headlines shortly afterwards when he received a late night bashing by 3 to 4 men. There may or may not have been a connection between the two incidents, however, you can read the article and draw your own conclusions about that. The matter will still of course be under Police investigation.

Cr Feyen has been reported by the Herald as saying: the “council’s take on the Shannon issue was misleading and full of half-truths”.  He himself has posted around 80 other videos on Youtube  (watch these at the link) documenting the deliberate pollution of both Horowhenua and Manawatu waterways with both sewage and farm effluent. (The above video features pollution of the Manawatu).

The people mandated with protecting our environments, our District Councils and Horizons, who all adhere (on paper at least) to the goals of sustainable development, are in fact complicit in polluting them. This is happening both NZ and world wide.

“Two-thirds of more than 160 monitored river swimming spots in New Zealand have been deemed unsafe for a dip”   NZ Herald  30/1/2015

And further food for thought … your local District Councils are registered on Dun and Bradstreet’s website as companies. (Check this out for yourself). A company is:

“… any formal business entity for profit which may be a corporation, a partnership, association or individual proprietorship…” SOURCE

So we need to be asking ourselves, to whom do our Councils (that are really companies) owe their allegiance? To you the ratepayer/citizen? Or to corporate/company interests, given they exist ‘for profit’? 

Stand up people and make these folks accountable. Our clean water is almost gone. Few rivers are clean enough to swim in any more. Your silence is taken as acceptance of the status quo.

On a final note, these courageous Councillors who have put their heads above the parapet and spoken truth deserve our thanks. Do consider emailing them in that regard, or leave a comment here. And the same goes for the local residents, in particular Mr Andrews,  who have also stood up and been counted.

 

EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

If you agree with this article please like our FB page and share – help us to expose lies and promote truth.

 

RELATED: 

Exposing the pollution of your waterways may well incur a violent backlash as two Horowhenua residents found out – the ongoing lip service councils pay to Iwi, the RMA & ‘sustainable development’

Horowhenua District Council’s pollution whistleblower has been served a trespass warrant – so what’s to hide?

“On two occasions Horowhenua District Councillors given a clear message by Mayor Brendan Duffy ‘to toe the line’ and deny any pollution by the HDC” – a former HD Councillor speaks out

“The whole thrust of one workshop was aimed at undermining the credibility of WECA members” … More revelations from a former Councillor on Horowhenua DC’s “long-standing & insidious” tactics

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marton Residents Report Wind from the Bonny Glen Landfill Direction 6-7 km Away Smells ‘Obnoxious … like sewage’

I was contacted this week by residents who live in town reporting a foul, sewage-like smell blowing from the direction of the Bonny Glen landfill situated some  6-7 km away. This is in addition to the smell of passing trucks which, as previously reported, drop bits of refuse on the roads. Two of those people who gave feedback on the truck situation had this to say:

  • truck numbers are static but there are bigger and heavier truck and trailer units
  •  3 went past within 5 minutes this morning at 7.10am, empty, and making a really loud crash sound as they hit the bumps and manhole covers outside our house, shaking the house
  • The tankers taking leachate to the wastewater treatment start about 7-7.30am and continue until approx. 4pm, making about 7-8 round trips per day (also report 12 pday). However since this report of last year, these days the leachate tanker is seldom seen (so have they changed routes?)
  • How that is affecting the plant is unknown, but I understand that RDC are to spend upwards of $1million to upgrade to cope with this leachate, a good example of the ratepayers subsidising a corporation? (Yes indeed)
  • Doors and windows are warped and sticking due it’s believed, to the continual earthquake-like house shaking that goes on with the passing trucks
truck-333251_1280
Some Marton residents hear up to 3 trucks in the space of 5 minutes drive past, shaking their homes like an earthquake

Comment:

Is the leachate tanker now taking a different route given it’s not seen any more? At late last year’s reporting by community members the leachate tanker count was 12 sometimes 13 trips on average per day. This is a considerably higher than the mere 2 to 3 figure bandied around last year and signals cause for concern at the volume being dumped in the WWTP, given the plant was not coping with 2-3 loads.

P1160034
Leachate is dumped into Marton’s WWTP in unknown quantities under a ‘gentleman’s agreement’, regularly exceeding consent levels

Readers may recall the submission made to the consent hearings last year (2015) by a (then) local man, Hamish Allan, on the issue of leachate and the Tutaenui Stream’s pollution. At the time he was a member of the Marton Community Committee (MCC – a conduit for action between the public and Council) and he said that:

“…a member of the public came to us because they were concerned about ‘Enviro Waste’ trucks disposing of industrial waste from Bonny Glen down a manhole in ‘the junction’. “

Mr Allan outlines the difficult process he experienced in getting any action on this issue. He said that: “…by bringing up the issue of the leachate in our recommendations we were genuinely endeavouring to be an effective liason with the community so…

What could be a relatively simple & democratic process – providing straight-forward answers to straight-forward questions – became an opportunity for Council to tell us off about small-scale procedural matters, with only one councillor voting against the motion, to her eternal credit.

What’s more, the minutes of the Community Committee meeting in February 2012 detail Council’s deliberate attempt at avoiding any direct response to the issue of the leachate…”

… they simply refused to accept the recommendation of the MCC! You can read the submission yourself here. You will find there also,  full details of the ongoing and shocking non compliance issue regarding the pollution of the Tutaenui Stream.

In conclusion, the MCC appears to be giving merely the illusion of a democratic process.

Clearly from Mr Allan’s report of 2011 and 12 events, that avenue for addressing pertinent issues didn’t work. I attended one of the MCC meetings last year to ask when an in-stream biota survey would be conducted to assess the aquatic life of the stream. They should be made three yearly according to the consent, however in Mr Allan’s submission he points out that there hadn’t been one since 2002. At the meeting I attended the Mayor Andy Watson was present and spoke to my question. There was no date given for a survey nor any indication there would even be one. In answer to my query, what action should I take as a member of the public or words to that effect, I was advised to email the Council (ie the Mayor and Councilors). I did that subsequently and have heard NOTHING since.

Clearly also, the democratic processes within your democratically elected council are not working in favour of you the public who incidentally are funding the whole machine with your rates.  Whom it does appear to be working for are the Bonny Glen Landfill owners, Midwest Disposals. 

To read more on historic feedback on the vagaries of the landfill go here.
For the history of the landfill and the quintupling (almost) of its original size go here.

EnvirowatchRangitikei

Chronicle again highlights a decade of consent breaches by RDC and pollution of the Tutaenui Stream

As previously reported here, RDC has failed to meet consent conditions for all of a decade, and Horizons has failed to deliver any penalties. Now Horizons, according to this latest article by the Wanganui Chronicle, has written to the RDC (after 10 years?) asking why it has been consistently breaching.

“Horizons has written to RDC seeking a formal explanation as to why it is consistently failing to comply with ammoniacal nitrogen standards and what steps it is taking to ensure this matter is addressed. A response was to be provided to HRC this week. A Horizons spokesperson said it was received.”

So ten years pass, and all of that time, it has been quite within the power of Horizons to deliver some kind of penalty regarding these breaches, and now it is asking questions? Closing the gate long after the horse has bolted. You can read the actual compliance/non compliance reports at this link.

In December we had RDC saying there would be a report on why at the end of January. Here we are in mid March with still no real answers.

Read THE WANGANUI CHRONICLE’S ARTICLE HERE

Wanganui Chronicle reports on the leachate submission

28 Feb 2015 The Wanganui Chronicle has reported on the submission by Mr Allan. Commissioner Brent Cowie has said it was a waste of everyone’s time. Not surprizing given they had taken, this along with the other important issues like land values and truck nuisance effectively off the table. Not a word by Mr Cowie on the fact that the submission is very damning of Horizons and the RDC. The submission provides documented evidence of total negligence in their care of the Rangitikei waterways, in particular the Tutaenui Stream. If you have not already, you can read Mr Allan’s full submission, including all of the reports that were made available at his request, (many were missing). Many show non compliance and yet the RDC have received little more penalty from Horizons than a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket.  The reports are uploaded onto the Rangitikei Environmental Health Watch website. Judge for yourself if they have not been very remiss in their responsibilities in caring for the environment as the Horizons website claims they do.

I attended the hearings the day of Mr Allan’s submission (and would have gone every day were it held in the actual home of the proposed extended landfill). Cr Soraya Peke-Mason slammed this decision early in the piece. One could be forgiven for thinking the whole process is mere window dressing for an already foregone conclusion/decision. One of the independent commissioners made a glaring Freudian slip during the proceedings, saying …. “once the consent … well if the consent is granted”….. One would hope the local people will take this matter up with Council & Horizons “once the consent is granted” because nobody else is going to. Not even these independent experts who purport to care for the environment.

Read the Chronicle article HERE

SUBMISSION REVEALS NEGLIGENCE BY AUTHORITIES REGARDING LEACHATE DISPOSAL

 Submission on RDC’s Leachate Disposal into the Waste Water Treatment Plant in Marton

On February 24th Hamish Allen, a Marton resident, presented a submission to the panel on a topic that is not considered to be part of the consent hearings. (For a background to the consent applications to quadruple the size of the Bonny Glen landfill go HERE). Neither, as was pointed out prior to the hearings, were property values or trucks.  Ironically, since these are the very concerns which automatically arise when a neighbouring landfill announces plans to quadruple in size.  Nevertheless, Allen’s submission concerns the leachate that is disposed of through Marton’s Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) and has been for nine or so years (deemed the RDC’s concern, not Midwest Disposals’) . This has been, rather than a formal arrangement on paper … a ‘gentleman’s agreement’. The levels have been poorly reported and only sporadically tested with many non compliances, as Allen’s submission demonstrates. He has supported his submission with documented evidence. There have been by all appearances, no penal consequences issued by Horizons for these failures in compliance by the RDC. Following is Allen’s submission which outlines the history of how the Marton Community Committe (MCC) of which he was a member at the time, tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to address this in 2011. There needs to be accountability here … as Allen points out in his submission

‘there can be no economy on a dead planet’. 

The consistent placing of economic interests over the environment is NOT sustainable. The very principles our regional authorities are purporting to pursue … Maintaining and enhancing our Region’s land, water, air, coast and habitat protection” (from Horizons’ website) …  are being held in flagrant disregard. These electedrepresentatives need to be held accountable. You can assist with that process by attending the Marton Community Committee Meetings and lodging your objections there: 

MARTON COMMUNITY COMMITTEE
Location: Youth Club, Centennial Park Pavilion, Humphrey Street, Marton
Wednesday 11th March 2015 7.00 pm

At the end of the submission below here, the original compliance and non-compliance reports will be available to access by this weekend, 28th Feb 2015. Any inserts of photocopied evidence within the submission can be clicked on to enlarge. 

READ ALLEN’S SUBMISSION HERE

WATCH FOR THE ORIGINAL COMPLIANCE REPORTS WHICH WILL BE UPLOADED TO THE SAME PAGE THIS WEEKEND …. 28TH FEB 2015