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Hodgson comments on Kelly Street

27 October 2004 Media Statement

Hodgson comments on Kelly Street

The Minister for Crown Research Institutes Pete Hodgson, says claims that the site of a former dental school in Kelly St, Mt Eden is not contaminated and questioning the science behind the testing, are wrong.

Remediation of the site is underway to standards set by regional and city council consents.

An accredited New Zealand laboratory tested nearly 240 soil samples at the site. An accredited Australian laboratory undertook duplicate testing. More than 117 of the samples exceeded by more than double the standard of 6.6mg/kg for mercury adopted by Auckland Regional Council.

The standards also state that the only criterion for contamination levels is total mercury levels, immaterial of the form it is. Under the legal consents set by the Council the site has to be cleaned up to meet these standards.

“Some people have requested that I stop ESR remediating the site and also that I investigate a number of claims and allegations they have made about the 2001 sale of the site.

“In response to similar claims made in 2003, I ordered an independent audit of the sale process to be undertaken by the Auditor General. He was satisfied that all legal and ethical issues were addressed and was satisfied with the sale process. I see no need for another investigation."

Remediation of the site is expected to be complete within a month.

ENDS

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