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Auckland Conservation Board Opposes Application For Landfill At Wayby Valley

The Tāmaki Makaurau – Auckland Conservation Board has spoken in opposition of Waste Management’s application for a resource consent for a new Class 1 landfill in the Wayby Valley, and against a change to the Auckland Unitary Plan.

Lyn Mayes, Chair of the Board expressed concern about the choice of the site due to several reasons, namely the serious impact on a number of threated species; as well as concerns about the increased risk of sediment flow from the site into the region’s waterways.

“As well as the very serious impact a Class 1 landfill will have on the local environment, already threatened species, and the potential to destroy the fragile ecosystems and waterways of the wider region; the Board has grave concerns as to why the applicant (Waste Management) hadn’t put forward other site options.

“We would expect that the applicant must have considered, and then rejected, other landfill site options. In the absence of this information, it is impossible to conclude why Wayby Valley, which is so close to the Sunnybrook Reserve and the Hōteo River, has been chosen over other sites. In addition, there has been no detail provided about why existing landfills at Redvale, Whitford or Hampton Downs, which already service the Auckland region, have not been selected for expansion.

“It is also not possible for the applicant to provide mitigation for the known cultural and environmental affects, nor the significant risks posed to the Hōteo River,” says Ms Mayes.

Ms Mayes says that urban development across the region is already having a major impact on sediment discharges into waterways; and, adverse rainfall events are forecast to be increasingly intense and more frequent under most scenarios for climate change in the region.

“It is highly unlikely that the applicant could guarantee that a significant rainfall event would not lead to discharge of sediment into the catchment, which ultimately has a flow on effect to all connected waterways, including the already massively overloaded Kaipara Harbour,” says Ms Mayes.

The Board also questions why Auckland Council, that aspires to be zero waste by 2040, supports this development.

“Around the world, Governments are turning away from landfills as a waste management solution and are working towards waste minimisation and more sustainable waste to energy options.”

“We do not consider that it is acceptable for Auckland Council as the unitary authority to allow the re-designation of this pristine area for such a high impact high risk purpose without justification.”

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