NOTE; for the second time now I see these videos are ‘unavailable’ or ‘cannot be played’. A regular occurrence these days. If you find they cannot be played please give me a heads up in comments below the article. Also, try refreshing the page, that sometimes works.
NOTE: Watch this post as I will add updates as they become available
Alan Gurden has filmed this factory in Rolleston in the South Island that manufactures 1080 baits. These are a Class 1A Ecotoxin with no known antidote. Air vents in the roof it’s been noted by neighbouring workers, emit dust into the atmosphere. These staff when interviewed were shocked and had no idea what was being manufactured in such close proximity to them. The question asked is how were the consents granted without neighbouring businesses knowing about it?
Jim Hilton has advised “that the Selwyn District Council (SDC) were the consenting authority for this factory. They colluded in secret with the West Coast Regional Council (WCRC). This is a $1.2 M investment in a POISON BAIT factory (manufacturing plant) 92% of West Coasters don’t want. It is the Council’s biggest cash cow. The voting public have a asked a lot of questions (OIA’s) about the reasons this “investment” was kept secret. Surprise surprise …. they are not being answering quickly!
Ratepayers do not give permission to Councils to secretly invest in products which Councils then use to poison their ratepayers, their food and drinking water.”
As Alan suggests, get in touch with your local Council and ask some pertinent questions. You should familiarize yourself with safety precautions in the event of a fire & in the event of dust blowing out of the air vents.
For more info on the manufacturers of 1080 around NZ go here.
For articles relating to the regulations around 1080 storage hazards go here.
Know also that 1080 manufacture is big business.
(Note the Pest Control Research sign has been removed from the building).
If you are new to NZ’s 1080 poisoning program here is a good article to start with …
Controversy over 1080 erupted this month, with five protesters arrested for interfering with a poison drop. In Taupo, a fake bomb was discovered at a firm behind the drops. In the middle of the debate is Taupo mayor Rick Cooper, who believes a 1080 `gravy train’ is making a small group of people rich. Special investigation by Tony Wall.
RICK COOPER looks uncannily like the figure in the oil painting in his Taupo District Council office, right down to the open-neck blue shirt and grey blazer. The subject is not an ancestor or a former mayor, but TV mob boss Tony Soprano. The inspiration? “He shot the bastards, encased them in concrete. He is my mentor – `just get on with it’.”
He is joking, of course, but you suspect His Worship wouldn’t mind meting out some mob justice to those he believes are poisoning the environment with the aerial spread of 1080.
Although Cooper “hates” 1080 – “if I was prime minister I would ban it by lunchtime” – he has no problem with ground control, where the poison is laid by hand in bait stations, targeting possums only.
What enrages him is “indiscriminate aerial bombardment”, which he says is causing “carnage” in our forests, killing everything from insects and plants to birds, pigs, deer and domestic farm animals, as well as threatening waterways.
Cooper’s council has passed a resolution – six for and four against – to advocate for the abolition of aerial 1080 poisoning and to seek alternative possum eradication methods. The Westland District Council has passed a similar resolution and the mayor of Kaikoura has called for a 1080 ban, as a groundswell of opposition to the deadly poison, banned in most countries, builds.
The Department of Conservation, regional councils and the Animal Health Board use 1080 to control possums in order to protect forests and birdlife and to prevent the spread of bovine TB. In 2007, after a lengthy submissions process, the Environmental Risk Management Agency (Erma) found 1080 was safe and decided to allow its continued use, including aerial operations.
But that has not silenced opponents such as Cooper, who fired off emails to all the agencies involved, as well as Prime Minister John Key, in a desperate attempt to halt a 1080 drop over 26,000ha of the Kaingaroa State Forest east of Taupo this month.
The operation was unnecessary, Cooper says, as the terrain was easily accessible – “it’s flat country my grandmother could ride her bike around” – and could have been done by foot. He says the obsession with aerial operations is denying work to possum trappers and undermining the trade in meat and fur.
A 1080 “gravy train” keeps the aerial drops going, Cooper claims. There is too much money being made for them to be abolished, he says, conspiratorially. He talks of closed-door deals, conflicts of interest and a lack of transparency from the agencies involved. “I think it’s a bit like something died in the back paddock and hasn’t been buried.”
Cooper points to multimillion-dollar contracts awarded to a local firm, Epro Ltd, to spread 1080 from the air. Its director and co-owner, Roger Lorigan, used to work at Environment Waikato, which issues resource consents for 1080 work, in its pest management unit. A former colleague, Kevin Christie, also has his own firm, Ecofx based in Otorohanga, which has also won big contracts.
Their boss at Environment Waikato was John Simmons, now the biosecurity and natural heritage group manager at the council, in charge of pest management. In the late 90s, the council sold its possum control business to Lorigan and Christie, and Cooper claims they have been milking it ever since. However, his concerns were not shared by the auditor-general, who in a 2004 report found no evidence of any conflict of interest.
But Cooper remains suspicious. “It doesn’t matter where you go with this stuff, you keep finding the same people, the same names, and no one you can independently trust. My question is, what methodology did they use to sell those companies?”
Cooper has been challenging Environment Waikato chairman Peter Buckley on the issue. Buckley says he initially had concerns about how the companies were set up, but since becoming chairman has been satisfied that everything was above board. Lorigan says they were simply management buy-outs of pest destruction businesses, no different to those conducted by several other councils around the country. He says that 1080 contracts awarded to his firm are won fairly. “We just tender along with everyone else.”
Simmons says allegations of bias and closed-door deals were raised by a rival operator in 2004, and dismissed by the auditor-general. “It is disappointing that this has again surfaced unnecessarily.” He says Epro and Ecofx are experts in their field and, “I am sure the majority of ratepayers… have a high level of assurance in the professional manner in which the work is undertaken.”
A copy of the auditor-general’s report, provided to the Sunday Star-Times, shows that, while there was no evidence that Simmons had ever had any financial interest in Epro or Ecofx and there was nothing to suggest their relationship was inappropriate, there was another conflict, involving an “independent consultant” employed by the council to act as moderator and recorder in the 1080 contract process.
The person had a business relationship with both Epro and Ecofx, and while the council knew this, it had done nothing about it. Figures released to the Star-Times by Environment Waikato show it has paid around $2 million to Epro and Ecofx for aerial 1080 contracts over the past 10 years, but most of the contracts the firms won were with the Animal Health Board, which refuses to reveal payments for reasons of commercial sensitivity.
Epro and Ecofx recently applied for 10 and 20-year consents to continue aerial 1080 operations on a non-notified basis, although they later withdrew the applications and settled for year-long consents. (Their current 10-year consents are due to expire next month.)
“We kicked up such a stink they had to back out,” Cooper says. “That’s protecting your business isn’t it? Non-notified consents, 10 years for a poison. You can’t even put a bedroom on your house without a resource consent.”
Lorigan says Cooper’s allegations and inflammatory comments are inciting threats against his firm. Just a day after the Star-Times visited Epro this month, staff discovered a suspicious package – a 20-litre container with a clock and protruding wires – on machinery at its depot. Bomb disposal experts were called in and houses evacuated, but it was a hoax.
The incident came a day after two dogs died, apparently after eating 1080 pellets by the side of the Napier-Taupo highway. A friend of the owner later paraded the body of one of the dogs through the middle of Taupo in a wheelbarrow.
Lorigan says the bomb hoax proves anti-1080 protesters are “terrorists”.
“You just get sick of it, where’s it going to end? We’ve had threats and stuff like that, at the end of the day we’re just a contractor. That’s what drives me nuts, we’re just a business.
“Rick’s taking it very personal and that’s quite a shame. We’re a business that has employed 50 people, I find it very disappointing that a mayor can do that in his own town. Why isn’t he worried about how the town is going and promoting tourism?”
Cooper does not condone the bomb hoax, but says he understands the anger of whoever was behind it.
“There are a lot of disappointed people around this district that know the truth behind this madness. I’m glad I have no part in this diabolical 1080 nonsense because if I did, I fear I would have been tarred and feathered.”
COOPER IS an unlikely crusader against 1080. Your typical protester is a bearded, Swanndri-wearing bushwhacker, but Cooper made his fortune selling cars, owns half of the commercial real estate in Taupo – “I’m the biggest ratepayer in this town… $280,000 a quarter” – and races Mustangs in his spare time. He gives his $81,000 mayoral salary to charity.
But he is also a keen deer hunter and has “hated” 1080 most of his life. Soon after he won the mayoralty for the first time in 2007, Epro bungled a 1080 drop at Turangi.
“They were spraying 1080 all over the place down the bottom of the lake… they threw it across this place where these kids’ ponies were. I go down there… can you imagine the scene? You’ve got four horses thrashing and dying on the ground, one takes four days to die. I was going, `What is going on in this country? How in God’s name did a helicopter pilot biff this shit here, in this horse paddock?’ To this day those kids haven’t even had an apology.”
Epro, which failed to tell the owners to move the horses, was formally warned by Environment Waikato and a year later the regional council finally paid the owners $9100 compensation.
The incident convinced Cooper to campaign for the abolishment of aerial 1080 drops. He has spent so much time on the issue the past three years he has had to employ a “mayoral support officer”, Graham Sperry, who is chairman of the anti-1080 New Zealand Wildlands Biodiversity Management Society, to take up some of the 1080 workload.
Documentary maker Clyde Graf, whose film on 1080, Poisoning Paradise, has been nominated for awards in the UK, is a hunting companion of Cooper. He says for 1080 opponents, having the mayor in their corner has been invaluable.
“He’s a fairly staunch, brave sort of a guy,” Graf says. “He doesn’t get pushed around easily, he just stands up for what he believes in. His position as mayor, he’s not trying to defend , he’s not sucking up to bureaucracies and the big bullies, following government policy – because 1080 is locked into government policy.”
But others are not so impressed.
The Conservation Department says it is “disappointed” the council has not recognised the “key role” aerial 1080 plays in protecting vulnerable wildlife such as kiwi, while the Animal Health Board, which spent $53m on possum control the past financial year, claims inaccurate comments have been made about the aerial use of the poison. Board chief executive William McCook disputes Cooper’s claim the east Taupo drop zone was flat country that could have been covered by foot.
He says the area is extensively forested and poses some “serious health and safety risks” for ground control operators. Aerial control is the most cost-effective method, he says, and provides even coverage. McCook says 80% of the operations in the region are ground based, using traps and poison.
Ailsa Gathergood, a Taupo district councillor and farmer who voted against the resolution to advocate for the abolishment of aerial 1080, says farmers are generally in favour of it to protect their cattle from TB. Birdlife in bush areas she has visited has bounced back after aerial drops, she says. Gathergood says farmers are feeling resentment that they did not get to put their side of the story before the council passed its resolution.
Will it cost Cooper votes? “We’ll see what happens at the next local body elections [in October],” she says.
Cooper claims not to care. “It could go either way, but I am true to my beliefs and I don’t give a shit if it sees me out of here – I’ll just go fishing.”
AT EPRO’S base on Broadlands Rd, there is a framed notice on the wall from Environment Waikato, praising the work the firm has done to prevent the spread of bovine TB.
Lorigan says in the mid 90s, Taupo had 250 cattle herds on movement control because of TB – today there are none. “Isn’t that pretty damn good?”
He confirms 1080 contracts have been worth millions to his firm, but denies it has made him wealthy. “Do you know any millionaire possum hunters?” Costs include helicopters, poison, staff and vehicles, he says.
Lorigan says aerial 1080 drops are more cost effective than ground control – helicopters can cover 20,000ha in two days, but the average man only 20ha a day. He believes 1080 is safe. Cooper claims a hunting estate Lorigan owns near the southern end of Lake Taupo has never had 1080 dropped on it, but Lorigan says that is simply not true. “I’m a mad-keen hunter, and I don’t have a problem with it .”
Lorigan says incidents where pets and domestic farm animals have died after eating 1080 were “human error”, and he’s not talking his own.
“It’s not the poison’s fault. It’s like if a dog runs out on the road and gets run over, is it the car’s fault? It’s the owner, and that’s what the story is with most of the problems with 1080 – people don’t take responsibility for their own dogs or for their domestic animals, keeping them under control.”
That comment shows Lorigan’s lack of compassion, Cooper says, and points out that the horses Epro killed in 2007 were in their own paddock.
Cooper questions the need for 1080 at all. He says possums simply aren’t there any more. He recently went spotlighting and in four hours, saw just two possums. He and other 1080 opponents have tried to prise data from the AHB showing possum numbers before and after aerial operations.
The board refuses to supply the information, McCook telling the Star-Times: “The AHB does not provide data like that requested by Mr Cooper because it forms just one aspect of the decision to undertake a pest control operation.
“This data may be interpreted in isolation from other contributing and often complex technical information, which has the potential to give an incomplete and even misleading perspective of why an operation is to take place.”
This just adds fuel to Cooper’s fire. He suspects the numbers are being “cooked” to justify further drops and keep the gravy train running.
“A lot of focus has been on `these anti-1080 radicals’,” Cooper says. “The funny thing though, is the anti-1080 people have got none of this [money] at stake, and people who like 1080 have got lots of it at stake – the helicopter operator, the farmer, the Animal Health Board guys on a hundred and fifty f—— thousand a year, the guys with their three-piece suits driving around in their BMWs, and the Epros the Ecofxs.
“If we all put the flag up now and said, `we’ve got this under control, possum populations are right down, we don’t need you [aerial operators] any more’, what would happen? The gravy train would stop.”
For all his strong words, Cooper has been powerless to stop the drops – this month Epro completed the east Taupo drop, on behalf of the AHB. Environment Waikato and other regional councils issue resource consents for aerial drops, and each operation has to be approved by the medical officer of health for the district. Local councils can make submissions, but essentially are cut out of the decision-making loop.
Cooper says he will keep up his vocal campaign against the poison until those in power start listening.
“My job is to protect the environment and the inhabitants therein. How do we stop it? It’s a real good question. It’s a bit like starting on P – how do you get off the shit? The only way is people power – that’s all we’ve got.”
1080 – a controversial killer
Sodium monofluoroacetate, or 1080, has been used for about 50 years in New Zealand to control possums. It is a chemical reproduction of a naturally occurring, biodegradable toxin which exotic plants produce. It has accidentally killed dogs, deer, horses, cows, and birds after being dropped from the air.
The SPCA is against the poison because of the cruel way it kills – animals can take days to die. Proponents of its use say it breaks down in the environment – opponents say it is a threat to our waterways, not to mention our “clean, green” image. Possum numbers are estimated to be the same today – about 70 million – as decades ago.
Opponents of 1080 say this is evidence the poison programme hasn’t worked.
Supporters say without it, possum numbers would be even higher. New Zealand uses most of the world’s supplies of 1080, and it is banned in most other countries. It is imported from the US by Animal Control Products Ltd, a state-owned enterprise, which mixes the poison into cereal bait and sells it to contractors such as Epro.
The contractors are hired by the Conservation Department and regional councils, which want possums eradicated to protect birdlife and forests, and by the Animal Health Board, an incorporated society tasked with eradicating bovine tuberculosis, which could cost farmers billions if it gets out of control. For this reason, the powerful lobby group Federated Farmers supports the use of 1080, as does Forest and Bird. In 2007, the Environmental Risk Management Agency reviewed the use of 1080, taking submissions and eventually ruling the poison was safe and could continue to be used. Opponents say the review was a whitewash and relied on dodgy science. Some 1080 protesters have been labelled “terrorists”, after a 1080 contractor’s dog was deliberately fed 1080 on the West Coast in 2008, and just this month a fake bomb was left at Epro’s depot in Taupo.
Taupo man Chris Short epitomises the lengths 1080 opponents are prepared to go to make their point. In 1995, he hijacked a crop-spraying helicopter and forced the pilot to fly him into Tongariro National Park. He spent eight months in jail. Last year a terminally ill Short spent six days on Mt Tongariro protesting 1080. He vowed to die on the mountain but was eventually persuaded to come down.
Last year Environment Canterbury (aka ECan) issued consents to two water bottling companies that allow them to bottle over 24 million litres per day of precious Canterbury aquifer water from bores in Belfast, North Christchurch.
The consents are based on historical permits for the Silver Fern Farms works and the Kaputone Wool Scour. Those industries used only a tiny fraction of the consented water ‘take’ but the bottling companies will be using every last drop.
The aquifer is fully allocated and ECan doesn’t understand the potential effects of the increased extraction on artesian pressures and water quality; on freshwater ecosystems; on neighbouring bores; or on the community water supply, because there have been no assessments. Despite this they’ve bent over backwards to find a process that will enable the bottling to go ahead without public consultation. We’ll be challenging the legality of that process.
At the time of writing this nearly 90,000 people had signed Genevieve Robinson’s petition calling for the consent to be revoked.
However, construction is going ahead and a new bore has been drilled.
We don’t want NZ to stop at protest when we can use the law to protect our water. We have an opinion from a top Queen’s Counsel that we have a strong case and we’re ready to bring legal proceedings to overturn the Belfast bottling consents. But we need your help…
Please click on a reward (to the right) to pledge. If you have any trouble pledging please let us know so we can fix the problem.
For deposits direct into our bank account use: Aotearoa Water Action Incorporated 38 9019 0530141 00
Cheques can be made out to Aotearoa Water Action Inc. & dropped at Linwood Law’s offices at 15 Buckleys Rd Linwood, Christchurch.
A revisit of the Manawatu’s pollution. And it’s not getting any better! Considering we can now only swim in 40% of our rivers. The article is from 2009, from an interesting NZ site that gives us some insight into historical pollution of our once clean green paradise. Not pretty. (Note: the link to the TV coverage is outdated so the content is no longer there).
In light of recent media coverage concerning the polluted state of the Manawatu River [click here to view TV news coverage], it is insightful to look back at the river’s history. Even a casual perusal of Papers Past indicates that the vexed issue of pollution of the Manawatu is certainly not a new one.
An article in the Manawatu Herald of 30 May 1890 reports on a meeting held by representatives of local bodies alarmed about Palmerston North Borough Council’s decision to let a contract to discharge the town’s sewerage into the river. The following are two excerpts:
“[Foxton Mayor] Mr Gower said : The business for this meeting to discuss is the fact that the Borough Council of Palmerston N. have let a contract to convey the sewage of that town into the Manawatu river. It will be for us to consider what steps shall be taken to…
This is right on topic and worth a re-visit in light of recent goings on around the country. We as a nation have adopted such a time worn clean green image, it doesn’t occur to many that the reality of the image died long ago, especially with only 40% of our rivers now clean enough to swim in. The clean and green has spilled over long ago into every area of our lives to the extent most Kiwis wouldn’t dream of believing corporations lie to us. Invited over a year ago to speak to a group of senior cits about Smart Meters (aka here as Advanced Meters) my information was greeted in some corners with snickers and whispers. We are a very trusting nation, particularly that generation. That was great three and four decades ago. It isn’t any more. If you are that trusting now you are fair game and seen as simply a sucker. I watch with angst as I see it played out before me … the elderly treated as cash cows by enterprising and unscrupulous business people, and particularly real estate agents. If you’re snickering now please go and watch The Corporation documentary (halfway down the ‘Corporations’ page). That will make you stop. Not to get off topic here (I could say much more but I won’t) … our District Councils have come under much scrutiny of late with many particularly savvy people holding them to the lip service they tend to pay on their websites. Check out our Local Government Watch pages on the site menu for some of the happenings around your country Kiwis. All is not as good as many believe. Listen to the story of the man in Rodney who exposed the corruption in his District Council. He lost his home and business. Certain ones will deal to those who rock the boat it seems.
The following article is from the Whale Oil blog and raises some important data to ponder on. EnvirowatchRangitikei
by Cameron Slater on August 21, 2015
With three officers from Auckland Council CCO – Auckland Transport – now set to go on trial for bribery it is a convenient opportunity to raise the issue of corruption in local authorities.
Most ordinary citizens have no idea that corruption is rife. But there are varying types of corrupt behaviour and unless one is familiar with the law they can be overlooked.
Two of the most common forms of corruption occur so often you think it’s normal.
These two particular forms of corruption do not result in personal gain – such as back pocketing cash. But they do result in breaking the law, and they happen daily.
The first is ‘malfeasance’ and the second is ‘misfeasance’.
Both are the abuse of authority – or the position of authority.
These generally occur by breaking the rule of law. In NZ the laws that generally govern Local Government are the LGA (Local Government Act) and the RMA (Resource Management Act). Some other laws like the Public Works Act are part and parcel as well.
Breaking the law for ordinary citizens results in penalties. If caught it can do the same for those in local government but nobody is policing them so nothing happens.
More indiscriminate poisoning of paradise, the no longer clean green Aotearoa. As the farmer points out, “they do the drops, and they walk away. They never see the aftermath like we see.” If you feel 1080 is safe and nothing to worry about, please watch the Graf Boys’ videos on Youtube (see our 1080 pages for links). Real eye openers! And remember the NZ corporation parading as a government has vested interests in its continued use with recently revealed investments in the poison.
On the 3rd Of July 1080 poison bait was spread across 50,000 hectares of the Hauhungaroa Ranges, which are situated on Western Bays of Lake Taupo.
Beef and sheep farmer Lance Aldrige was informed by a farm hand that he had found four poisoned deer laying on the farm four days after the aerial operation was completed. A field trip was arranged so that Waikato Regional Councillors could be shown the impacts of the resource consents their Council issues.
Many more poisoned deer were found as the group made their way around the farm and bush edges. Lance Aldridge has had to endure the impacts of aerial poison drops for over 30 years ” This is the sort of thing a lot of people don’t see. They do the drops, and they walk away. They never see the aftermath like we see.” He goes on to explain on camera how the operations are difficult to live and work around.
Recent news in February 2016 highlighted the state of Shannon’s waste water treatment plant. This has all been denied (the pollution that is) by the Horowhenua District Council. The footage and photos don’t lie however. To see the original videos posted see links below. We now have a FB page devoted solely to Horowhenua issues in the interests of disseminating the info and supporting those who are standing up to make changes to the status quo. Note, to see all ten videos, go to the Youtube icon on the bottom right of the video and watch on Youtube. You will see there plenty more footage of Horowhenua and Manawatu pollution by what appears to be partially treated sewage and farm effluent.
Cr Michael Feyen is one of those and has stated today on Facebook:
“As a Horowhenua District Councillor I want to make it very clear that Central Government, Horizons Regional Council and Horowhenua District Council are most definitely serial polluters of our water-ways and vast improvements in the governance are necessary if we are to leave anything for future generations. Please post and share and the word will get there.”
“In early December 2014 Ngati Whakatere had called me out as a Horowhenua District Councillor to look at their concerns of pollution to the waterways from the Shannon sewage treatment plant.
The following sequence of films clips was taken by myself, Horowhenua District Cr Michael Feyen – of waste water being pumped from the Shannon sewage treatment ponds into the Otauru Stream and into the Manawatu River. These clips back up Councillor Campbell’s (link below) recent film of the same type of disgusting practices of pollution to our waterways by HDC with Horizons Regional Council’s blessing. Both organizations are serial polluters. Please take the time to watch all the videos. When called, Horizons did not send anybody out to investigate. Obviously nothing has changed and no one was held accountable.
Chinese plastic clothes baskets are the filters used by Horizons and HDC & their contractor”.
See our other Local Govt Watch pages for more info & links, &/or search categories for further related articles (at left of any page).
Please also consider liking our FB page &/or following our blog (right of any page) and do spread the word on all the untruths we have been told! Use the share buttons!
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?
Horowhenua 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.
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
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.
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.
An article by Zaryd Wilson from the Wanganui Chronicle on the waste water treatment plant that has featured greatly throughout the whole recent process of the consent hearings. The matter being the company Midwest Disposal’s disposal of leachate from its Bonny Glen landfill into the plant. Amounts dumped have exceeded consents and been the subject of a long standing status of non-compliance. You can read about that process on the Bonny Glen page.
(The Bonny Glen landfill was sold to Midwest by the Rangitikei District Council around a decade ago and a leachate-dumping agreement was informally put in place – a gentleman’s agreement – that has been far from satisfactory going by the non-compliance history).
A local has contacted the site recently reporting that there are 7-12 round trips on average per day by the leachate tanker. Sometimes two are operating.
“A multi-million dollar upgrade to Marton’s wastewater treatment plant has been endorsed by councillors.
The plan, which includes a second anaerobic pond, new storage tanks and community involvement in the process, was discussed by Rangitikei District Council’s assets and infrastructure committee last week.
A contributor to the current plant’s failure was leachate (landfill run-off), which was trucked to the treatment plant from Bonny Glen landfill…
Councillor Nigel Belsham said if it was trade waste causing problems to the plant and not domestic waste, the bill should be picked up by industry.
“I don’t believe that ratepayers in this area should be paying to allow trade waste to be dumped into this plant,” he said. “Opus [consultants] have said that we’ve got a plant that can handle what it was designed to handle.”