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Hutt Businesses part of pollution solution

Greater Wellington is the promotional name of the Wellington Regional Council

News release

17 February 2004

Hutt Businesses part of pollution solution

Businesses in the Hutt Valley will play a key role in the transformation of one of New Zealand's most polluted waterways, according to Greater Wellington regional councillor Chris Laidlaw. Speaking to more than 50 local businesspeople at the recent Waiwhetu Business Breakfast at Industrial Research Ltd in Gracefield, he said businesses can be part of the solution.

"There are two main ways local businesses can do their part by helping with the restoration of the stream and its corridor. The first is by supporting the work of the Waiwhetu Stream Working Group, formed in response to the concerns of local businesses, residents and other stakeholders. The second way local businesses can support this initiative is by not adding any more pollutants to the stream. There is little point in attempting to clean up the Waiwhetu if we continue to let pollutants enter the stream."

To help local businesses reduce pollution and waste, Greater Wellington has launched a pollution prevention programme called Take Charge designed for businesses. "Everyday business actions can impact on the environment, often without anyone knowing. There are a lot of simple things a business can do to help reduce the impact they have. Take Charge is a free tool to improve environmental management. Not only will it help businesses improve their efficiency and comply with the law, it will also contribute to the clean up of the Waiwhetu Stream."

The lower part of the Waiwhetu Stream is regarded as one of the most polluted waterways in New Zealand, with DDT residues 15,000 times above the normal levels, and lead deposited in mineable quantities. Greater Wellington has invested over $120,000 on investigating the problem and on determining whether to remove or isolate contaminated sediments.

Cr Laidlaw says the Working Group is focusing on dealing with the contamination, managing stormwater and streamside planting as part of a 20-year action plan to restore the stream. "The transformation won't happen overnight.

The stream has suffered from 160 years of abuse. It's a long term project, and Greater Wellington and the Hutt City Council are working with local businesses, residents and stakeholders to address this challenge."

He says as well as informing businesses about progress in cleaning up the highly contaminated stream, the event was also an opportunity to hear the views of local businesses on enhancing the area. "Now it is time to restore the stream ƒ{ to make it healthy for humans and wildlife, to restore the mauri or life force, and to restore the community's pride in the stream."


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