Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Greens say it’s only fair that polluters pay costs

18 June 2009

Greens say it’s only fair that polluters pay costs

The Green Party welcomed today’s acknowledgement of responsibility for historic contamination by a chemical company, but called for clear financial liability and a fairer contribution to the clean-up and health costs.

Dow AgroSciences has offered a $50,000 contribution to the clean-up costs of contamination from its products dumped 20 years ago at Marfell Park in New Plymouth.

“It is only fair that polluting companies have a responsibility to pay for the clean-up of contaminated sites like Marfell Park, as well as a fair contribution to the health costs of affected communities,” said Green Party Toxics Spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“It is completely unfair that the burden of paying to clean-up polluted public places falls on tax and rate-payers.”

“We call for this company to make a fair financial contribution to the health care of all exposed communities,” said Ms Delahunty, “and the clean-up of all environments affected by the toxic production processes and the dumping of waste from their factory.”

A former National Party Minister for the Environment, the Hon Simon Upton, proposed a change to the Resource Management Act (RMA) in 1999 that would make anyone responsible for historic land contamination liable for cleaning it up.

“Today the Minister for the Environment Dr Nick Smith agreed in Parliament that better policy is required to address the problem of liability, and has instructed his Ministry to investigate options, including the 1999 proposal for the RMA to clarify responsibility,” said Ms Delahunty.



“Establishing liability for historical contamination is not always simple, but where there is clear evidence of a company’s products contaminating land, the costs should not fall on the public.

“The Marfell Park remediation has already cost more than today’s $50,000 offer by Dow, and further testing has yet to begin, so this is clearly inadequate.

“However, Dow’s offer does indicate some recognition of responsibility for the serious environmental and health effects the company’s past activities have had on the community.

“It also acknowledges that chemicals from the Dow plant were dumped outside of the Paritutu area where residents are receiving some health assistance as a result of exposure to the chemicals.”

Overseas, companies like Dow have paid out millions to assist with clean-ups and health costs. In New Zealand, taxpayers and ratepayers cover these costs – the Government has spent and allocated $33 million since 2001, and Councils have spent millions more.

Ms Delahunty also used Parliament’s question-time to renew her call for a public register of known contaminated sites on public land.

“While the Minister for the Environment agreed that the public had a right to know, he shirked responsibility by saying that only Regional Councils have the information,” said Ms Delahunty.

“Unfortunately, the Regional Councils have refused to release the lists of contaminated sites on public land. The Minister needs to step in to require this information and publish a national register.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Open White Nationalism

At one level, this has been the week that the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln – which once led a civil war that ended the slave economy of the South – has now defined itself openly as being the party of white nationalism.

By telling those four elected, American born and/or raised women of colour to “go home”, US President Donald Trump’s racist agenda has come out of the shadows. More>>

 

RNZ: Trades Hall Bombing Case Re-Opened, Evidence Released

The cold case has been reopened and the police have recently revealed more details about the bomb's components - including that it was wrapped in a 1977 edition of The Evening Post. More>>

Safety: Govt Targets Fewer Deaths On The Road

“Most roads deaths and serious injuries are preventable and too many New Zealanders have lost their lives or been seriously injured in crashes that could have been prevented by road safety upgrades,” said Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Rise Delay: Teachers Unions Plan Legal Action Against Novopay

Both of the teachers unions - NZEI and the PPTA - have confirmed they will be taking legal action against Novopay. More>>

ALSO:

Emission Statement: 'Consensus Reached' On Agriculture

Today the Government launched a consultation document, informed by the work of the Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC), on how to bring agriculture into the emissions trading scheme, a key part of the Government’s plan to tackle climate change and reduce New Zealand’s emissions. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What’s Wrong With Wellington

For many Wellingtonians, it hasn’t been the normal hardships – the workings of central government and the lousy weather – that have recently pushed their tolerance into the red zone. It has been the inability of local government to maintain even the basics. More>>

ALSO:

$1m Compensation Paid: First Gun Ban Event In Christchurch

The Police Minister says the first ever firearms collection event in Christchurch over the weekend was a huge success. But Stuart Nash had concerns about whether the participation reflected the number of weapons in the region. More>>

ALSO:

The Kids: Youth Parliament 2019 Event Kicks Off

120 Youth MPs and 20 Youth Press Gallery members have gathered in Wellington to attend the two-day Youth Parliament event ... More>>

ALSO:

Friends Like These: Foreign Minister To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. today for talks with senior members of the US Administration, and to attend the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Aussie Banks’ Latest Fee Hike Excuse

When the Reserve Bank sought feedback on its plans to require the country’s major banks to raise their capital reserves then you might have expected the banks to whine and complain. And so they have. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels