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Keep The Pipeline Off - Greens

24 September 2002

Keep the pipeline off - Greens

Auckland Green MP Nandor Tanczos today said the Waikato Pipeline should not be re-opened, after it was shut this morning following a spill of highly poisonous chemicals into the Waikato River.

Last night a truck carrying thousands of litres of dangerous chemicals including formaldehyde, pesticides and paint caught fire, with chemicals flowing into the Waikato River upstream of the intake for Auckland's drinking water and for the drinking water of both Huntly and Ngaruawahia.

"I am pleased the pipeline has been shut down. Anything less would have been an outrage. However I am worried about those people in Ngaruawahia and Huntly who do not have alternative supplies," he said.

Mr Tanczos said Waikato River water should never have been mixed with Auckland's daily drinking water while much cleaner sources are available.

"The quality of Waikato River water is appalling to begin with without day-to-day accidents and discharges like this. Aucklanders should never have been drinking Waikato River water in the first place while their world class, clean catchment damns in the Hunua and Waitakere ranges are full.

"The Waikato Pipeline takes filthy water from the Waikato River and treats it heavily in order to supply it to Aucklanders' homes. The water damns in the Auckland ranges contain much cleaner raw water and the Greens have always said this should be used for drinking water wherever possible.

"Despite the promises by Watercare that we would not notice any difference, Auckland's water now tastes crap.

"Aucklanders do not need to be drinking Waikato River water. There is no need. The Waikato Pipeline should be used for industrial uses only or used for drinking water in emergencies. Now that it has been turned off, lets keep it off until it is needed," said Nandor.

ENDS

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