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Greens back inquiry into Kate Valley Landfill


12 July 2002

Greens back inquiry into Kate Valley Landfill

The Greens Party support calls for an inquiry into the controversial Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) behind the Kate Valley landfill proposal.

Green MP from Marlborough, Ian Ewen-Street, said the lack of transparency and growing disquiet over the proposal was reason enough for a select committee inquiry.

"We believe the public has a right to know how and why the proposal has been able to get this far, when there is a growing demand for a waste policy based on minimisation," he said.

"The underlying issue is why the public has been denied the opportunity to influence the proposal, and why the councils have entered into a highly secret agreement that guarantees a continuing flow of waste, and profits, for their joint venture partners.

"Instead of being presented with a landfill proposal, the public should have been asked what they want to do about waste, with genuine consultation on a full range of options," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"This country's official position on municipal solid waste, as set out in the New Zealand Waste Strategy, is to aim for zero waste to landfill and to proceed in that direction as swiftly and thoroughly as possible.

"The Kate Valley proposal has been overtaken by a growing demand for sustainable alternatives. The councils should accept that their idea has quickly become out of date and return to the drawing board."

Mr Ewen-Street acknowledged that the Christchurch City Council had made some progress with its waste minimisation efforts, but said those efforts needed to be doubled.

"If the landfill proposal is allowed to proceed it will allow the local authorities to dawdle along and fall further behind our main trading partners.

"In the next Parliament we will support a full inquiry into how the public of Canterbury has been rail-roaded into such an ill-conceived venture."

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