Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Proposed dioxin standard to reduce health risk

11 October 2001

Proposed dioxin standard to reduce health risk

Landfill fires and the 'backyard burning' of such rubbish as plastics and treated timber would be banned under a proposed national environment standard to reduce the amount of dioxins released into the environment. The standard would also set a limit on dioxin emissions from waste incinerators.

The Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, said changing the way New Zealand burnt certain wastes would make a big difference in determining our future health risk from dioxin.

The introduction of a national environment standard is recommended in a Ministry for the Environment report released today ƒ{ 'An Action Plan for Reducing Discharges of Dioxin to Air'.

"Dioxin is highly toxic and almost impossible to remove from the environment once released. A key step in reducing health risks from dioxin is to cut back on the amount we¡¦re releasing," Marian Hobbs said.

The plan looks at the sources of dioxin released to air and recommends reducing these where possible. It also proposes a limit on dioxin emissions to air from waste incinerators.

"It's important that we do what we can to reduce our exposure to dioxin. In this case, everybody can do their bit by simply not burning plastic and treated timber," Marian Hobbs said.

While the health risk from dioxin in New Zealand was low compared with other countries, there was strong evidence linking high levels of dioxin to serious health effects. The Government wanted to take action now to protect future generations.

Market research indicated that 93 percent of respondents would be prepared personally to stop burning household waste if this helped to protect the health of their families. About 67 percent of respondents also supported a ban on the backyard burning of certain types of waste.

Marian Hobbs said the Government would be asking all New Zealanders to support the proposed changes.

"We cannot be complacent. The actions we take now will reduce dioxin exposures for our children and our children¡¦s children," she said.

The national environment standard (NES) proposed in the Action Plan is subject to Government approval and the passing of the RMA Amendment Bill. The Government is seeking public comment on the Action Plan before the end of January 2002.

"What we are proposing is pragmatic, achievable and preventive. But we wish to hear from as many individuals and organisations as possible," Marian Hobbs said.

The Action Plan can be seen and submissions made on a Ministry for the Environment interactive website ƒ{

NB: a comprehensive media pack has been sent to most media. If you have not received a pack and would like one, please contact Karl Ferguson at the Ministry for the Environment


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

General Assembly: Ardern Rejects Trump Call For War On Drugs

New Zealand will not be signing the United States' document calling for global action on the war on drugs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

Ms Ardern is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, along with about 140 other world leaders.

US President Donald Trump is kicking off his week at the UN by holding an event to promote the US document called the Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem. More>>


Hunting v Pest Control: Tahr Control Needed To Protect Alpine Habitats

A cull of introduced Himalayan tahr browsing conservation land in Kā Tiritiri o Te Moana/ the Southern Alps is needed to protect special alpine plants and their habitats, Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage said. More>>


Protest At Sea: Judge Discharges Greenpeace Activists

The judge today discharged Norman and Howell without conviction, saying the cumulative consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion to what was “low level” offending off the Wairarapa coast in April 2017. More>>


Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>


Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels