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Collaboration on soils issue welcomed

18 November 2004

Collaboration on soils issue welcomed

Auckland City has welcomed offers of assistance from the Ministry for the Environment to address the issue of possible soil contamination from past horticultural use of the land.

The Ministry yesterday offered financial assistance for a joint-funded testing programme.

John Duthie, group manager of City Planning at Auckland City says the offer is welcome. Auckland City Chief Executive Bryan Taylor has written to the Ministry confirming that the City looks forward to working collaboratively on the issue.

“We appreciate the assistance the Minister has offered and we are looking forward to designing an effective testing programme with the Ministry and the Auckland Regional Council,” says Mr Duthie.

Auckland City is also welcoming an offer from the Ministry of legal clarification of councils’ responsibilities to disclose this information on LIMs.

Barry Smedts, acting group manager for Auckland City Environments, says that Auckland City has followed the requirements as we understand them of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act and the guidelines provided by the Ministry that state “territorial authorities are required to disclose everything they know about a parcel of land, including any information they hold about the ‘likely presence of hazardous contaminants.’”

Mr Smedts says that Auckland City believes its residents have a right to know about past land use and the council has simply followed the Ministry’s guidelines to place information it has about a property on that property’s LIM.

Mr Smedts said: “The LIM wording that Auckland City is using states that the Auckland Regional Council report exists and that ‘there is no evidence that this property is, or is not, contaminated as a result of any former horticultural use.”

Ends

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