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Government supports Waiwhetu Stream clean-up

Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Associate Minister for the Environment

25 February 2008 Media Statement

Government supports Waiwhetu Stream clean-up

Associate Environment Minister Nanaia Mahuta today reaffirmed the Labour-led government’s commitment to the environment and the clean-up of contaminated sites.

Nanaia Mahuta visited the site of the Waiwhetu Stream project, in the Lower Hutt region, where a clean up trial has started to remove contaminated sediment from the stream bed in preparation for major flood protection work to be done.

The contamination sediment, which includes lead, zinc and copper metals, is the legacy of untreated industrial discharges pumped into the stream for decades.

“This community has worked hard alongside councils, councillors and the government to form a partnership committed to cleaning up this stream. For many locals it will be a welcome relief to rid the neighbouring residents of foul smells arising from the sedimentation” said Nanaia Mahuta, who is also Minister of Local Government.

“The Prime Minister has clearly stated the Labour-led Government is committed to a sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand, and clean streams and rivers build towards that goal.

“It’s significant that the Government, through the Ministry for the Environment has committed more than $2.9 million to this project from the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund. This is the single largest amount given out of the Contaminated Sites Fund since it was established in 2003.”

Nanaia Mahuta said the Government will continue to work towards setting out a programme to address how New Zealand manages contaminated land.

“This work is important and will inform activities later down the track to remove contaminated sediment from streams and rivers. This work also highlights the $9.8 million special Budget funding for the pending clean up of the Tui Mine site near Te Aroha.

“I want to congratulate Hutt Council and Greater Wellington Council for their contribution which demonstrates their partnership with communities and Government to deal with this issue,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

ENDS

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