Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Measured response continues on soils issue

Measured response continues on soils issue

December 7, 2004

The North Shore City Council is seeking expert advice before speaking out on the controversial horticultural soils issue.

Until Government authorities can answer critical questions and the council itself has clearly identified sites within North Shore City that have been used for horticultural activities, it will maintain a measured approach.

The country's fourth largest local authority has been working closely with fellow councils, environmental scientists and public health authorities on the complex subject, which has attracted comment on everything from pesticides to property values.

North Shore City is heeding the advice of the Ministry for the Environment which urged councils to seek its guidance before making any decisions. MfE is currently trying to clarify its guidelines with the Crown Law Office.

At their first strategic management committee meeting today (December 7), councillors were updated on the project to identify sites within North Shore City that had been used as market gardens, glasshouses, orchards and vineyards.

Committee chairperson, Gary Holmes, says the council's team is inspecting aerial photographs to get an accurate picture of the North Shore situation.

"The time-consuming mapping and cross-checking exercise is critical to ensuring the reliability of the information," says Councillor Holmes.

Just what North Shore City Council will do with that information will depend on how the Government's lawyers interpret the rules that dictate when councils need to disclose matters of public interest or private concern.

Councillors today decided to await the Crown Law Office legal opinion and any subsequent Government response on local authorities' statutory obligations to put on record, through Land Information Memoranda (LIMs), the fact that the land had once been horticultural.

"Like all councils, we're caught between a rock and hard place on this issue," Gary Holmes says. "We want to alert people to any potential environmental or health issues affecting their land but until we're certain of the extent of the problem, we're not willing to alarm the community unnecessarily.

"We all have work to do, and the sooner we have consistent guidelines in place the better."

North Shore City's senior environmental policy advisor, Phill Reid, is leading the council's project team.

He says the relationship of historical horticultural activities to potential soil contamination was first raised through an Auckland Regional Council and Auckland District Health Board report in 2002.

"The study aimed to identify whether regular activities on land used for horticulture, such as weed spraying and the use of pesticides, left a build-up of different chemicals within the soil.

"We will be testing our own city parks, just as our neighbouring council Auckland City has done, and will keep the public posted on that programme," Mr Reid says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why New Zealand Needs To Change Its Defence Habits


In a flashback to the military displays of days gone by, one of our frigates recently joined a Carrier Strike show of force in the South China Sea, en route to a joint military exercise in Singapore with our traditional allies, called BersamaGold21. Reportedly, Anna Powles, from the Centre of Defence and Security Studies at Massey University felt this to be a case of us doing our bit to uphold international law, and the right of free transit through the region in question... More>>

Government: New COVID-19 Protection Framework Delivers Greater Freedoms For Vaccinated New Zealanders


Vaccinated New Zealanders will regain everyday freedoms when the country moves to a new simplified COVID-19 Protection Framework that doesn’t rely on nationwide lockdowns as the main measure to stop the virus spreading. In a suite of announcements that establish a pathway out of restrictions the Government is also providing up to $940 million per fortnight to support businesses through the challenging period... More>>

ALSO:





 
 


Government: Responds To Independent Review Into WorkSafe

The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says... More>>

Government: New Zealand Secures Historic Free Trade Deal With The United Kingdom
New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle the details of a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor... More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>

ALSO:


Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>


Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels