11 March 2014 Here is the latest from the Chronicle (Wanganui) regarding an outcome and the submissions hearing regarding Midwest Disposals’ landfill at Bonny Glen near Marton.
In the hearings I attended the independent commissioner chairing the proceedings, said, ‘When the consent …. if the consent is granted ….’ He quickly corrected himself by adding, ‘ Of course there are no guarantees…’ or words to that effect. My life experience tells me that this is as near to a Freudian slip a person can get. Basically he is saying what is really in his head. I’ve written to three editorial columns now about this fact and none have printed my emails. Well two haven’t, we’ll see on the third as I only sent it this morning’. (An hour ago, still not approved).
This is a sign of the times I believe. Big business is in bed with government in terms of money & profits, and any rhetoric about protecting our environment, are probably mere window dressing. I’ve been reading increasingly that there has to be a compromise between maintaining the economy & considering the environmental effects of industry. Very convenient with a loose directive like this. Who is really policing it? Certainly with the Marton evidence to date, the RDC & Horizons appear to have been in collusion. If they’re not, then why have Horizons not meted out some kind of penalty for the RDC’s negligence resulting in pollution of our waterways? For NINE years? (See previous articles here on the Tutaenui Stream’s pollution by leachate by going to ‘categories on left side of site page).
So no, I’ll not be a bit surprized ‘when’ the consents are granted. The hearing will allow the company in question here to concede to provide some of the needed mitigation of damage … and the locals will be left to complain accordingly should the fallout they suspect will continue to happen … continue to happen. And should you have problems getting through to Council, just go to the Community Committee Meeting, and Council may accept their recommendation … or they may not … as Mr Hamish Allen discovered when he tried to raise the leachate issue in the first place.
Here is the Chronicle article anyway… and watch this space as I will be writing further about the ‘independent’ commissions & who comprises the panels.
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.
From the Wanganui Chronicle … article by Zaryd Wilson as the submissions hearing continues in Feilding …
Company expects tougher rules in landfill expansion
By Zaryd Wilson
6:44 AM Wednesday Feb 18, 2015
“Bonny Glen is an essential piece of regional infrastructure and new consents will provide greater environmental protection – that’s the view of Midwest Disposals, which wants to expand its waste operation there significantly.
The consent hearing for the expansion of the landfill near Marton began in Feilding yesterday in front of three independent commissioners, with the landfill company putting its case first.” ….
Submitters on the extension to the Bonny Glen landfill are having to “put their lives on hold” because they haven’t been given a time slot to speak at a resource consent hearing.
A hearing is under way in Marton on the proposed extension of the landfill near Marton.
Rangitikei District councillor Soraya Peke-Mason, who on Monday said the decision to hold the hearing outside Rangitikei was an “insult”, has again criticised the process. She said many submitters in her Turakina Ward were still waiting for a time slot…. read the full article HERE
I agree with the concerns outlined to date. The venue to begin with is totally impractical for people who are working or unable to travel this distance daily for the 9 days of the hearings. As has been pointed out in this article, folks are waiting around for a time slot. All of this works against a fair and democratic process. The professionals involved in this process, the people who have spent $1.5 million investing in it and defending it … their salaries will continue and time off work for them is not required. It is their work. The folk who will have to live with these important decisions being made here, are having stumbling blocks put in their way. How many employers are going to freely give these folk time off their work to participate? Who is going to take valuable vacation time off to tend to business? Ordinary people need to survive. Having negotiated these obstacles they are now forced to wait around in uncertainty to speak.
And how difficult can it be to arrange this locally, within reach of the participants, with a practical timetable made well in advance of the event so folks can prepare accordingly? Clearly the decision to hold the even in Feilding has come as a complete surprise going by Cr Peke-Mason’s criticisms on Feb 16th. Let’s face it, these decisions involve not only the lives of those making submissions, but the lives of their children and grandchildren. Midwest is seeking for consents for a quadrupled landfill with a life span of over 30+ years. It’s very clear here who is the dog and who is the tail in this process.
This article is from the Wanganui Chronicle regarding the venue for the submission hearings …. Rangitikei District Council’s Soraya Peke-Mason has slammed the decision for hearings to be held in Feilding ….
Monday Feb 16, 2015
“Soraya Peke-Mason has slammed a decision to hold a hearing on the expansion of the Bonny Glen landfill outside the district, calling it an “insult” to Rangitikei ratepayers.
Midwest Disposals Ltd, which runs the landfill near Marton, has applied for resource consents with Rangitikei District Council and Horizons Regional Council to expand the operation…..” read the full ARTICLE HERE