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Agreement on Mapua reached

Agreement on Mapua reached

What was once New Zealand's worst contaminated site – the former Fruitgrower's Chemical Company property at Mapua – will become a safe local attraction once remediation work is completed, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs says.

Agreement has been reached between the Ministry for the Environment and Tasman District Council that 40 percent of the site will be set aside by the council for public open space. The site will be developed to a high standard of amenity including some carparking to ease current congestion near the waterfront.

Marian Hobbs said the outcome was a 'big win' for the community.

"It's great that the Mapua site which has been a headache for so many for so long will not only be cleaned up, but become a place where people can have fun and appreciate our great environment," Marian Hobbs said.

Initial estimates of a $3m cost overrun for the clean-up have been negotiated down Marian Hobbs said, with additional costs likely to be less than $1m depending on contingencies. The overrun was the result of increased compliance costs following extra environmental conditions on the project.

Tasman District Council's contribution of $2m will be funded by way of a loan which will be recovered through a uniform annual charge across the district.

Marian Hobbs said the remediation of the site was progressing thanks to the success of cutting-edge soil decontamination technology developed in New Zealand.

"This is the first time the technology has been used in New Zealand on such a large scale," she said. "Initial tests have shown that the technology is performing beyond all expectations."

The process is being extensively monitored throughout its duration to ensure that the impact on surrounding residents is kept to a minimum.

Tasman District Mayor John Hurley said he was pleased the Government and Council had managed to agree on a funding formula for cleaning up the site.

"There will be a lot of interest in ensuring the project progresses to a successful completion," Mr Hurley said.

The Council intends to consult further with the community to identify specific end use options for the land when the remediation work is completed.

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