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Government in denial over botched clean-up

Hon Dr Nick Smith
National Party Environment Spokesman

31 July 2008

Government in denial over botched clean-up

The Government has its head in the sand in refusing to accept the findings of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment over the botched Mapua clean-up, says National’s Environment spokesman, Nick Smith.

“The commissioner’s conclusions are thorough and unequivocal. Anything but full acceptance of the conclusions is unfair on Mapua residents and runs the risk of the same errors being repeated.

“Environment Minister Trevor Mallard is refusing to accept that his Ministry breached the conditions of its resource consents and exceeded the tolerated levels of contaminants despite the overwhelming evidence discovered by the commissioner

“He is also refusing to accept that the Government was wrong in allowing the Ministry to be put in the position of a serious conflict of interest by holding the consent. It was also wrong to ignore the Tasman District Council and Environment Auditor's request to address these breaches.

“It is not good enough for the Minister to fudge these issues, given the seriousness of the risks to the community.

“The Mapua community deserves an apology for the errors that have been made.

“This is not possible while the Government ducks and dives over the conclusions reached by the commissioner.

“Denial runs the risk of these serious environmental failings happening again.”


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