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People’s Inquiry Will Document And Remember

MEDIA RELEASE – Immediate - 21st March

People’s Inquiry Will Document And Remember

Following a powhiri this evening, the People’s Inquiry into the impacts and effects of aerial spraying pesticide over Auckland opens to hearings at Waitakere City Council Chambers tomorrow Wednesday 22nd March at 9.00am

At the commencement of the hearings the Inquiry will pause to remember those people that were involved in the community efforts to get recognition of the health effects of the spray who have since died. Two of the named people had pre-existing but stable liver conditions which with exposure to the spray accelerated into a chronic condition and three of the involved community people died of motor neuron disease.

"They will be remembered not only for their efforts, but for their concern and care for others in the face of their own declining health" says Inquiry Convenor Hana Blackmore.

On Wednesday, testimony will be made by members of the community who will relate health, social and economic concerns. Many people have chosen to send written testimony, while some have opted to give oral testimony in front of the commissioners. All testimony will be recorded and documented.

Thursday afternoon will see technical testimonies presented by an epidemiologist, an entomologist, scientist and community public health expert who will give their understanding of the impacts of the spray on community. This will be followed by a forum discussion.

Participants and visitors to the inquiry have been asked to be considerate of those amongst the affected community by avoiding wearing chemical based cosmetics such as perfumes, aftershave, deodorants and hair products. The council chambers have been made free of commercial cleaning products in the last week as a lead up to the inquiry. This is in respect of those affected by multiple chemical sensitivity, including Inquiry Commissioner, ethicist and philosopher, Dr Tom Kerns.

Hearings will continue until Tuesday 28th March.

Where: Waitakere City Council Chambers,
6 Waipareira Ave, Lincoln.

When: Wednesday 22nd March – Tuesday 28th March.
Wed, Thurs, Fri, and Monday 9.00am -5.30pm
Tuesday 28th 9.00am -12.00pm

Contact for comment - Dr Meriel Watts: 025 602 3194

Contact to arrange feature interviews with commissioners, participants and overseas guests - Sue Berman 021 0414427

Timetable detail information and press releases available from tool bar at www.peoplesinquiry.co.nz

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