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Where Do The Parties Stand On Soil Contamination?

Where Do The Parties Stand On Soil Contamination?

In November last year, thousands of Auckland homeowners were rocked by claims that their properties may be contaminated with chemicals from past horticultural use and that local councils were planning to dump testing responsibility and clean up costs on them, regardless of a lack of evidence of proof of contamination.

Since that time, three pressure groups, the Soil Contamination Action Movement, Residents' Action Movement and Panmure Community Action Group, have campaigned relentlessly to ensure that innocent and unsuspecting landowners and ratepayers are not made liable for a problem which they did not cause.

It is the firmly-held view of our groups that total responsibility for testing and remediation of soils previously in horticultural use is, and always has been, the responsibility of central government, as such contamination would have occurred primarily under government direction.

In the 10 months since this issue surfaced, central government has declined to accept its responsibility and the burden still hangs over innocent landowners.

As the general election looms, we call on all parties to state clearly where they stand on the issue of soil contamination resulting from past horticultural use, and if they accept that full responsibility lies with central government.

Thousands of Auckland voters would no doubt like to hear from party leaders before the election.

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