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Search Warrant Executed At Pukemiro Landfill Site

A search warrant led by Waikato Regional Council is being executed at a construction and demolition landfill site at Pukemiro, south-west of Huntly, this morning.

Any information gathered will form part of an ongoing investigation by the council into possible breaches of the Resource Management Act (RMA) at the Puke Coal Ltd site.

Council regional compliance manager Patrick Lynch said 23 people are involved in the “very detailed scene examination”, which is expected to take up to two days.

“We are completely open minded as to what activities have been occurring on site. This search warrant is simply a regulatory agency working to establish the truth of what has happened here.

“To protect the integrity of this active investigation, no further information is able to be released at this time,” Mr Lynch said.

The council has been responding to complaints of smoke and odour from the Pukemiro and Glen Afton communities since a fire broke out on the site on Sunday, 16 August. The investigation was launched at the time to look into the circumstances.

The RMA investigation is separate from the multi-agency incident management team (IMT), which was established by the regional council at the beginning of November to ensure a joined-up and coordinated response to the fire and its effects on the community.

The IMT is continuing to operate and is now led by Waikato District Council. It is monitoring the situation, as well as coordinating ongoing soil, air and water quality testing.

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