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North Shore Council Meeting re Aerial Spraying

North Shore Council Meeting re Aerial Spraying

Rachel Wapenaar

Hi everyone

Just returned from the North Shore meeting between MAF & North Shore Councillors/Mayor. There were just 3 residents present, Sherry, myself & a lady who's distributing fliers in Beachhaven.

But we've made up for a whole troop of West Aucklanders !

Saw Ian Gear (MAF) & Robert Isbister in lobby outside first. Ian Gear recognised me, I told him how irresponsible he is, & asked about organising a meeting with him. He gave me his PA phone # to arrange a meeting, said he'd come to Auckland, though too busy next week. He said he needs to "educate me". I tried my best not to punch him & politely said I need to educate him.

A lady from North Shore local paper asked us a few questions, asked us to hold up placards when the photographer arrives. She noted I'd intended on moving to Beachhaven to leave the spray zone.

We go in. Stand up while Ian Gear is talking with placards, not sure if photographer got the photo, because Ian Gear said "this is a set up". Photographer left, we sat down.

Ian Gear begins to brainwash Councillors, the campaign is working, etc etc. I called out 3 times, a year of pent up frustration, seeing Ian in front of me lying. I am told if I call out once more I will have to leave.

Ian Gear continues, he then says "this spray is only affecting caterpillars" (can you believe this ?) ... I stand up & shout "It's affecting 10,000 people ! Some have been hospitalised, my lungs are still sore from the last spray (I am now verging on tears). I'm sorry everyone, I cannot continue to hear these lies, I'm sorry" ... I left tears welling in my eyes.

One of the councillors came out & hugged me while I bawled. Sherry followed. She gave me a cuppa tea & asked us to return. And if possible give a 5 mins talk to Council !

We go back in. I'm silent & behaving. Ian Gear continues to lie. The Councillors then ask many questions. It's obvious at least 50 % are against the spraying, the majority have many concerns. Ian Gear & when backed up by Robert Isbister, both cannot answer some questions (usual story !). eg. why weren't many residents included in letter drops with info ? How long will it continue ? What's being done to address the biosecurity issues ? How will it affect those on rain water supply ? (couldn't answer that one). Why were felled trees left on the ground, sprayed with Decis, then left for residents to take as fire wood ? etc etc etc

MAF officials are asked to leave by the mayor. We are invited to speak & Sherry gets up. She was BRILLIANT ! Said all the facts. Included that she's an evacuee, effects on her/family. Included the effects on women's menstrual cycles & that she's worried about the effect on her 5 yr old daughter ! Aer' Aqua not providing sufficient health care, just collecting data. Effects on birds (all gone). Everything that needed to be said was said, & well ! She came across knowledgeable, calm & concerned.

They were then having a cuppa tea then meeting with Waitakere City Council Reps.

Despite me leaving the once in tears, I think it showed the stress it puts people under & the fact MAF are quite clearly lying. We couldn't have asked for a better speaker than Sherry.

Let's see if Ian Gear allows me to meet with him ?


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