By Carol Sawyer
Richard Healey says:
“It’s a tale that illustrates an important and irrefutable point, the organisations that New Zealanders believe are there to protect them from the sort of dishonest sociopaths who are behind this sordid mess are actually only there to make them THINK that they are protected.
Where in God’s name should you start?
Where were the “democratically” elected councillors when the West Coast District Council ignored their constituents’ widespread and well publicised opposition to the use of 1080 in order to bankroll this commercially, morally and scientifically flawed enterprise?
Where was the office of the auditor general when $272,549 was slipped out the back door as an “impairment” to avoid scrutiny of what would otherwise be very questionable business decision?
Where were ECAN while all of this was taking place under their noses? The site is still not listed on their register of land use information to this day.
Where were Worksafe when this witches’ brew of toxic chemicals was deposited upwind of a densely populated residential zone without even a rudimentary warning sign in place?
Where was ANYONE when the council, in what I can only view as a barefaced attempt to slink out from underneath its responsibilities for site decontamination, sold off its shareholding at a massive loss?
Where were ECANZ, FENZ and WorkSafe when the job of ensuring that the site was made safe in a timely manner was discussed?
Where were the courts when the task of holding the, frankly despicable, perpetrators of these events promptly to task arose?
The only people who come out of this with any credit are the foot soldiers on the ground who went in to clean up this unholy mess, the ESR team, the FENZ fire-fighters and the ambulance crews and medical staff who saved the life of the worker involved in the original explosion.
Outcomes like this don’t happen through laziness or incompetence. They happen by design.”
Email from WorkSafe NZ forwarded by Asst Area Commander, Steve Kennedy, Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ), to ?, January, 2020.
Here is the text of that email for clearer reading, though I have attached the screenshot too:
“Completed by Steve Kennedy Just a quick follow-up from the operation we mounted with both FENZ and ESR assistance at the Pest Control Research NZ Limited worksite at Unit 1, 56 Wickham Street, Bromley, Christchurch in June last year (Wednesday, 12 June and Thursday, 13 June 2019). The site remains sealed under WorkSafe direction and has not been entered since Thursday, 13 June 2019 the site remains contaminated and the same hazardous substances remain in situ. We continue to work with Pest Control Research for them to developed and produce an adequately robust decontamination and site recovery plan, while there appears to be some reluctance on their part to move this along. I have been ask to confirm our understand that FENZ continues to flag this site/address in your CAD systems as a contaminated hazardous substance location containing quantities of: Sodium Hydroxide [CAS 1310732 ] (solid) Ethyl Fluoroacetate [CAS 459-72-3] (liquid) Ethanol [CAS 64-17-5) (liquid) Sodium Fluoroac by Steve Kennedy”
Also attached is the email that says fire officers must not enter the building. A photo of this email is attached, but for ease of reading I have copied out the text here. It was also sent by Fire Service Asst Area Commander Steve Kennedy, again in January, 2020, and says:
“This message was sent with High Importance.
In June 2019 FENZ, in conjunction with Worksafe, was involved in an incident at Pest Control Research, 1/56 Wickham. The site remains contaminated following an industrial incident involving the manufacture of Sodium Fluoroacetate.
No entry is to be made to this building. The site report and Dispatch Safety Alert have been updated.”