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Environment Minister's Comments Misleading

Environment Minister's Comments Misleading

New Zealand First says that recent comments by Environment Minister Marian Hobbs with regard to contaminated sites are confusing.

“The Minister’s remarks about councils needing to ‘manage the problem’ of contaminated sites do not take into account the immediate and long-term financial implications for regional councils,” said local government and environment spokesperson Jim Peters.

“Managing the problem, especially the escape of contaminants and continued discharge which is happening from some sites, means a huge impost upon ratepayers now and into the future, especially as the polluter of most sites has long gone.

“The Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund is too slight, and totally inadequate against the emerging nation-wide problem of contaminated land and sites.

“The development of national standards without adequate central government financial help will not overcome the now known significant risk.

“The $1 million annual national allocation to deal with this problem is laughable, given that the clean-up of one site alone, at Mapua near Nelson, cost millions.

“The Government simply cannot continue to pass the buck on environmental issues while simultaneously parroting our clean green brand to all and sundry. The buck needs to stop somewhere, but unfortunately Ministers in this Labour government are disturbingly immune from taking any responsibility for anything,” said Mr Peters.


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