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Impacts Of Toxic Chemicals And Poisons Across New Zealand Are Overwhelming And Disturbing

NZ People’s Inquiry publishes submissions ahead of the final report.

The committee of the citizen-led People’s Inquiry have today publicly released written submissions into the impacts and effects of toxic chemicals and poisons on the people, wildlife and environment of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Spokesperson, Asha Andersen said that written submissions sent to the People’s Inquiry, together with oral testimonies given during three days of public hearings in late 2021, form a large body of evidence showing overwhelming and disturbing harm.

“From the Far North to the Deep South… It’s all there” she said.

“Legacy poisons across the country include 50,000 contaminated sheep dips, 700 toxic timber mill dump sites and lead contamination in homes and industry, all of which are persisting in our environment and affecting our health.”

“Add to this current roadside chemical sprays, aerial poison operations over our forests, horticultural chemicals used to grow our food, and the toxic industrial pollutants poisoning Marae and other communities - the consequences are devastating.” she said.

The committee says the evidence provided to the Inquiry is detailed and documented in thousands of pages of personal stories, reports, official government papers, letters, articles, affidavits, research data, academic papers, several books, as well as 22 videos and 3 documentaries.

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“These are all publicly available now on our website together with links to interviews and the oral testimonies, on the Inquiry YouTube channel,” said Committee member, Hana Blackmore, commending her fellow committee members for their years of hard work to bring this about.

Ms Andersen said that working on the Inquiry over the last 4 years had been a challenging, difficult journey for each of the five committee members as well as the independent commissioners tasked with bringing this all together in a final Report.

“Listening to, and reading people’s personal stories of harm was especially hard as it often involved accounts of chronic illness and suffering, including effects on jobs and family life” she said.

“We feel the burden of pain that continues to be caused by outdated, harmful policies and practices. Like many of those who shared their harrowing experiences with us, we are driven to work towards positive change in Aotearoa New Zealand and the wider world.”

“As our fellow committee member, Hira Hunapo, has reminded us throughout this Inquiry, the essence of life and wellbeing is very sacred and must be respected. He tino tapu te Mauri, he tino tapu te ora.

“It is our hope that these submissions, and the forthcoming Inquiry Report, will help to bring about a paradigm shift towards a genuinely clean, green and safe, healthy environment for us all and indeed, future generations yet to come.”

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