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Call for Holcim to engage in dialogue on emissions

The Waiareka Valley Preservation Society

Press Release

Society calls on Holcim to engage in a substantive dialogue on likely air emissions

Today Dr Rodwell, Chairman of the Waiareka Valley Preservation Society, commented that:

“To our surprise Holcim continues to avoid meaningful dialogue, and instead persists in making baseless accusations via the media. On Saturday Holcim took the extraordinary step of placing advertisements in local papers defending its level of consultation and attacking the Society for supposedly circulating misinformation.

Holcim has no basis for these claims, nor has it attempted to establish a basis by indicating areas where our data is wrong. As we have said all along, our Society does not have all the answers, but we have a lot of questions.

In Saturday’s advertisement Holcim describes the RMA process for their cement plant as if it were a small property subdivision in Queenstown. It is not. It will be the largest industrial plant in the South Island, with an enormous level of air emissions. These effects cannot be avoided, remedied or mitigated. What matters is sustainable economic and environmental management, our obligations to people and communities, and our obligations as a community to future generations.

It is barely three months since Holcim informed the community of the enormous size of this project. It was only at that point that the members of our Society came to appreciate that Holcim’s cement plant represented a real and enduring threat to our local environment and our community. Since then we have formed the Society, engaged one of the best RMA legal teams in the country, hired a full-time scientist, and engaged environmental consultants and scientists in New Zealand and Australia.

We have prepared for substantive dialogue. Instead Holcim prefers a tit-for-tat through the media. Regrettably Holcim has yet to respond to our written request for samples or data.

Although Holcim claims a connection to the region via Milburn’s long history, the reality is that Holcim is a 100% foreign owned company – with no substantial New Zealand shareholders – that only operates in New Zealand courtesy of our country’s liberal foreign investment laws.

It is time Holcim started treating our local community and our Society with the respect it deserves.”


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