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Petition calls on Govt to accept blame

15 November, 2004

Petition calls on Govt to accept blame for pesticide poisoning

The Green Party is launching a petition, calling on the Government to accept responsibility for the pesticide poisoning of Auckland properties and for the cost of tests and decontamination.

"Successive governments have advocated for the use of toxic pesticides in New Zealand, permitted their use on orchards and market gardens, and assured New Zealanders that these pesticides were safe, even in the face of evidence which showed otherwise," said Green Health spokesperson, Sue Kedgley.

"Anxious property owners need reassurances now that the government will help test and if necessary decontaminate their properties."

The petition will be released by Auckland Green MP, Keith Locke, at a public meeting in tonight at 7 pm. at Avondale College Theatre, which has been called by the Auckland City Council to discuss the contamination of Auckland properties with residues of arsenic, copper, DDT and dieldrin.

Ms Kedgley said the Green Party wants the government to make a firm commitment now to affected property owners that it will help pay for the testing of potentially contaminated properties.

"Having permitted their widespread use on land, and then permitted that land to be converted for residential use, they have a clear responsibility to assist in the testing and clean-up of residential properties that are potentially at risk."

Ms Kedgley said the Green Party wanted the government to acknowledge that people have a right to know whether their residential property is contaminated, and to require all Councils to inform landowners of suspected soil contamination resulting from past contamination.

"The public have a right to know so that they can take steps to mitigate any health effects," Ms Kedgley said.

The petition also calls on the government to fund decontamination where tests indicate this is required and to provide incentives to phase out hazardous chemicals wherever less toxic alternatives exist.

ENDS

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