Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Further Moanataiari soil testing a priority

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister for the Environment

22 November 2011

Further Moanataiari soil testing a priority

The Government has a contestable fund that the Waikato Regional Council and Thames-Coromandel District Council can apply to for further testing of contaminants at the Moanataiari subdivision in Thames, Environment Minister Nick Smith says.

"The Government shares the concerns of residents and the local Thames community at the levels of arsenic recorded in soil samples at Moanataiari," said Dr Smith.

"I urge residents to heed the precautionary advice of the councils and health authorities to protect their health while more detailed testing is undertaken and a long-term plan implemented to address the contamination."

Moanataiari is built on land reclaimed from the Firth of Thames. The area was filled with mine tailings, mine waste, and clean fill subdivided in the 1960s and houses built in the 1970s.

"Undertaking a subdivision in this way would be unacceptable today," Dr Smith said.

"In May this year I announced a new National Environmental Standard for situations like Moanataiari. The standard applies to proposed developments on reclaimed land and land that has been used for certain activities or industries. If the land is found to be contaminated, steps must be taken to cleanse the soil or contain the contamination, to make it safe for human use before development.

"The Government has a constructive work programme with the Green Party on addressing contaminated sites. We have developed a comprehensive clean-up of the Tui Mine at Te Aroha launched in October. We are committed to working with the Thames-Coromandel District Council and the Waikato Regional Council on developing a clean-up plan for the Moanataiari community once we know the extent and scale of the contamination.

"The residents of Moanataiari need certainty and it is important that testing gets underway as soon as practicable. The Ministry for the Environment will work closely with the Waikato Regional Council and the Thames-Coromandel District Council to ensure their funding application is completed and determined urgently."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Erebus Memorial In Parnell

Social media can be a wonderful tool for bringing people together in a common cause. It can also be a seedbed and spreader of mis-information on a community-wide scale. To which category do the protests against the siting of an Erebus memorial (to the 257 New Zealanders who died in that tragedy) in a secluded corner of a Parnell park happen to belong? IMO, it is clearly the latter, and the reasons for thinking so are explained below... More>>


Agriculture: Government To Phase Out Live Exports By Sea

The Government has announced that the export of livestock by sea will cease following a transition period of up to two years, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high ... More>>


Norman Gemmell: New Zealand’s New Housing Policy Is Really Just A New Tax Package — And It’s A Shambles

Norman Gemmell , Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Economists like to talk about “optimal policy instruments” — essentially, policies that achieve their objectives more effectively or efficiently than the alternatives, and ... More>>

Climate Change: Emissions Report Shows Urgent Action Needed

Every part of Government will need to take urgent action to bring down emissions, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today in response to the recent rise in New Zealand’s greenhouse emissions. The latest annual inventory of New ... More>>


Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

Police: Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint

Police accept the findings of a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to photographs taken at a checkpoint in Northland. On November 16, 2019, Police set up a checkpoint down the road from a fight night event in Ruakaka ... More>>


Health: Drug-Testing Law To Be Made Permanent

Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. More>>




InfoPages News Channels