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The Rebel: Dump The Dump Hikoi!

The Rebel: Dump The Dump Hikoi

Save the Waikato River!

To be held on Thursday 20th July Time 7.00 a.m. start Meeting at Laverne Orchards, Te Kauwhata Road, Just off State Highway One Proceeding to Huntly and Ngaruawahia to Council Buildings. DRIVE ALONG STATE HIGHWAY ONE UNTIL YOU MEET US scheduled to meet Mayor Angus Mc Donald at Ngaruawahia at 3pm.

Poisoning Aucklands Drinking Water (and it ain't LSD, its toxic goo)
by Joe Carolan, aka The Rebel

A proposal to build a huge Megadump beside the Waikato River is meeting fierce resistance from a coalition of Tainui Maori, local environmentalists, Auckland's Water Pressure Group, socialists and others. The Megadump, owned by EnviroWaste, will destroy 360 hectares of beautiful valley in Hampton Downs, near Meremere, creating a toxic melting pot for 300 million cubic metres of rubbish.

Socialist Worker spoke to local anti-Dump activist Wendy Finlayson-

"The great fear is that this will enter our ground water with time. The Megadump proposes to "co-dispose" domestic, industrial and hazardous waste, which will create a lethal toxic goo. Chemicals and toxins will mix to create new, unknown poisons, with dangerous leachate to be trucked up to Auckland's sewerage works by road. The "footprint" shape of the Megadump will be five to eight hundred metres from the Waikato, and it's already a water catchment area for the local hinterland. This is happening 2 kilometres upstream from the main water catchment pipeline intake from the Waikato for Auckland's drinking water supply."

"There are already 14 landfills between Hamilton and the water intake pipe, at Horotiu, Huntly, Cambridge etc. At a recent public hearing I attended at Huntly, it was exposed that 70% pf the local landfill's leachate has entered the aquifier below which flows directly to the Waikato. Terry's, the waste management company, have pumped leachate directly into the river. Yet Auckland is unaware of the consequences this is having on their drinking water."

Jim Gladwin, of the Water Pressure Group who has been tackling Metrowater's privatisation of water, is, however!

"This will be the largest dump in the whole of the country, and no matter what big business says, the thin membrane between the Waikato river and the dump means there is a huge danger of leachate leaking. We're joining the coalition opposed to this dump for two major reasons. First, because of the huge effects it will have on the safety of our drinking water in Auckland. The river will be the major source of the city's water when the pipeline is completed in 2002. Two, because we see this as another example of big business attempting to make billions out of what should be a publically owned and democratically controlled utility. The privatisation of waste and water services are prize pickings for major corporations, and this is a wake up call to New Zealand. I urge everyone to in Auckland to show their support for the Hikoi."

"We're up against big business here", concurs Wendy, "Fulton Hogan, the company that owns 50% of Envirowaste, has backing from a prominent multinational oil company. Peter Drummond, who is a director for Watercare Auckland, which is supposed to guarantee the quality of the city's drinking water, is also a director for Envirowaste!!! The local council shouldn't have heard this case, as they are not independent, they have commercial interests in waste management. There were 324 submissions against this, only four in favour, yet the people and the environment have been ignored. The lack of consultation has been shocking, which is why we're marching on State Highway One."

Socialists will join the Hikoi, and are raising concerns in Hamilton and Auckland amongst students and trade unions. Big business in its lust for short term profits threatens to destroy the Hampton Downs valley and the Waikato river, poison our water supply and create a toxic melting pot that will pollute our earth long after their "30 year aftercare" budget runs out. Huge pollution taxes should be put on guilty corporations, and used to fund gigantic investment into sparse recycling facilities. Unnecessary commercial packaging and the use of plastics should be scaled out, but to do this, we need a wider challenge to the system, from our unions, student bodies and local organisations.

The fight against big business at the Megadump is the same fight against the World Econic Forum in Melbourne, the fight we saw last November at the Battle of Seattle. It is one of polluting, arrogant undemocratic corporations against people and our planet. The Hikoi marks the start of a new alliance in the Waikato against their power, one we will fight tooth and nail, one that we will win. "The consequences of this dump and its poisoning effects merits the need for civil disobedience" says Jim Gladwin- " if it takes a coalition of activists and encironmentalists to join local cockies sealing off State Highway One with their tractors, then so be it!"

People before profits. Dump the Dump!

For details phone Wendy Finlayson (07) 8263458 e-mail oxlea@xtra.co.nz or Ann Epiha (07) 8264258

The Water Pressure Group http://www.water-pressure-group.org.nz/ email: greenleaf@pl.net

Socialist Workers Organisation, Waikato 025 6048955 email socialistwaikato@hotmail.com http://roads.to/swo/

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