Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Fox River/World Heritage Area clean-up programme extended

18 April 2019


Fox River/World Heritage Area clean-up programme extended while critical search for funds continues

The Westland District Council confirmed today that it will continue to support response and recovery operations for the clearance of rubbish from the Fox and Cook Rivers and South Westland beaches for another two weeks, while it investigates options to fund the massive clean-up that will be required for several more months.

At a meeting today the Council considered a report on the future options for managing the ongoing environmental impact of the record-level 26 March floods entering a long disused Fox Glacier landfill. Rubbish was washed downriver, out to sea and washed back along West Coast beaches from a point about 10km south of the Cook river, to 50km northward. Much of the impacted area is within the UNESCO World Heritage area.

Mayor Bruce Smith said the report makes it clear that Westland District’s 6500 ratepayers simply cannot afford to continue to fund the clean-up indefinitely.

“This is a disaster of national scale,” Smith said. “The area impacted is a major environmental taonga and tourist attraction. It has enormous economic, cultural and natural value for the whole of New Zealand. We will need all of New Zealand’s help to get it back to the pristine condition it once was.

A huge recovery programme involving national agencies, local government, contractors and volunteers has already cleaned up tonnes of rubbish, but Smith said the job is far from completed.

“We are extremely grateful for the help we have received from government and local government agencies and personnel, local business and dozens of volunteers.

“However, what this report makes clear is that there is still a lot of work to do. A lot of the rubbish is in sites too dangerous for volunteer teams, or where specialist equipment is required. We will need professional contractors for that. Also, we now know there is a huge amount of rubbish buried in the riverbeds that normal seasonal floods will continue to wash out into the river, sea and beaches, potentially for months to come.”

Smith said Westland District Council has sought central government advice on where it might access alternative funding for the ongoing clean-up.

“I am very encouraged to hear today from Hon David Parker, Minister for the Environment, that the Government ‘stands ready to help’. I look forward to hearing what that might entail. We have very few ratepayers to fund activity in a massive landscape that is 80% conservation land. We simply cannot afford to continue to be the primary funder of this recovery effort.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>

 

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels