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Waikato Greens Reject Hampton Downs Megadump

21 May 2001

The Waikato Province of the Green Party has announced it cannot support the proposed Hampton Downs megadump at Whangamarino in its present form, citing environmental and cultural concerns.

While recognising that waste has to be dealt with somewhere, the local party has resolved that it needs to be satisfied that any proposed waste disposal projects are environmentally safe, culturally acceptable, and part of a longer-term strategy of waste minimisation.

Local Green MP and spokesperson for the Waikato Greens, Nandor Tanczos, said the Waikato Greens would like to see landfill operators required to co-operate with all efforts to reduce, and eventually end, the flow of waste into landfills.

"Waste reduction can be achieved by households separating their rubbish into separate waste flows - most rubbish can be recycled or composted - and by thinking about the amount of waste they produce.

"This is the key to solving our waste problem. Simply building more landfills is not. The Greens have a commitment to waste minimisation and to seeing New Zealand move towards a system whereby we reuse, recycle, reduce and recover all our waste."

Mr Tanczos said that significant cultural issues, which could not be ignored, surround the proposal. Eight iwi and hapu groups have joined the appeal against the superdump in Environment Court.

Mr Tanczos said the proposed site is also of considerable general historical significance. A recently opened riverside walkway connects the New Zealand Wars Pa sites at Meremere and Rangariri.

The environmental concerns cited include the effect of noise and smell on the surrounding area, as operators are applying for consents to dump 400 truckloads of rubbish per day, commencing at 6am six days per week, at the site.

The Waikato Greens also have questions about how leachate, the liquid that discharges from dumps, will be safely managed. This is of particular concern due to close proximity of the site to the flood plain of the Waikato river upstream from the proposed Auckland waterpipe, and to wetlands.

The proposed superdump, if approved, will be the largest in New Zealand. It is designed to be 75 metres high - substantially higher than Hamilton's tallest buildings - and a square kilometre in area.

The Enviroment Court hearing in Hamilton is due to end in June.


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