GOVERNMENT DONATES TO GLOBAL FUND - DON’T FORGET TO CLEAN UP AT HOME MARIAN
5 July 2001 – Auckland: Greenpeace congratulates the New Zealand Government for donating funds to the United Nations programme to eliminate deadly chemicals, but reminded Hon. Marian Hobbs that dioxins are still legally being pumped into the New Zealand environment every single day.
“It is great that New Zealand is paying towards the international effort to eliminate persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as dioxins, DDT and dieldrin, however international efforts must not replace action in New Zealand to stop toxic pollution”, said Sue Connor Greenpeace campaigner.
In May this year, New Zealand signed an international treaty, (the Stockholm Convention) which requires all parties to aim to eliminate twelve deadly chemicals, including dioxins from the environment.
At present the Government’s draft policy is to aim to reduce dioxins and will ask New Zealanders, in September, for their opinion on this policy.
“Greenpeace believes there can be only one answer and that is to OUTLAW dioxins, which means all production processes and products which cause dioxins must be banned.”
There are many sources of dioxins around New Zealand, including hazardous, medical and quarantine waste incinerators, dioxin contaminated sites from the treatment of timber, chlorine bleaching of pulp & paper by Carter Holt Harvey’s Kawerau and Tokoroa pulp mills. Other potential sources include alleged dumping by Dow of chemicals around New Plymouth. Recently the dioxin contaminated chemical 245-T was found to be leaking onto the shoreline from an old Dow landfill.
The Government released a report earlier this year stating that up to 1 in 1000 New Zealanders could be dying from cancer caused by dioxin contamination.
“This doesn’t take into account the other serious health impacts on New Zealanders from dioxin contamination, such as birth defects, endometriosis, impaired development of children and diabetes”.
“The Government must implement the Stockholm Convention and outlaw dioxins”. New Zealanders can join the Outlaw Dioxins Network by going to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information call Greenpeace campaigner, Sue Connor on 025 272 4044 or communications officer, Brendan Lynch on 025 790 817.
To see sources of dioxins go to www.greenpeace.org.nz/toxics-map