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Inaction on lahar puts lives at risk

Inaction on lahar puts lives at risk

The Government's failure to take more action on the Ruapehu lahar could threaten the environment, cost local authorities millions and put lives at risk, says National's Conservation spokesman Shane Ardern.

Cancelled government meetings with local iwi, mayor and councillors, is hindering any chance of finding an acceptable solution before disaster could strike.

"The Conservation Minister and Local Government Minister must get this problem sorted before it's too late.

"Scientists have predicted a lahar, with the current volcanic material on Mt Ruapehu, could be three times as dangerous as the 1953 lahar which took the lives of 151 people," says Mr Ardern.

"There are human lives at risk. No one can accurately predict the time that this disaster could occur. It's criminal of the Government to sit back and postpone meetings when so much is at stake.

"Why can't the volcanic material deposited in the 1995-1996 eruptions be removed? " asks Mr Ardern.

"Nature doesn't wait for Ministers to find time in their schedule to deal with problems. The Government must fix the problem or face serious consequences," says Mr Ardern.

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