Face of Dioxins come to Beehive
18 September 2001: Wellington - People from dioxin contaminated communities converge on the Beehive to present their testimonies to Members of Parliament tomorrow.
Dioxin affected communities in Whakatane, Kawerau, Matata and New Plymouth will tell their stories about living with dioxin contamination at the opening of the Face of Dioxins exhibition in the Beehive.
“All Members of Parliament have been invited, however only a handful have indicated that they will take the time to come and listen to New Zealanders tell their real stories about dioxins,” said Greenpeace campaigner, Sue Connor.
The exhibition includes gripping video testimonies from community members, photographs and written stories.
“The communities and Greenpeace have bought this exhibition to the nation’s decision makers so they can see the chilling effects of dioxins. This exhibition must drive politicians to protect New Zealanders health and environment from deadly dioxins.
“The only way to achieve this is to outlaw and eliminate dioxins. This means identifying sources of dioxins, outlawing and systematically eliminating them from our country,” said Sue Connor.
Dioxin sources include incineration of waste, especially waste containing chlorine such as PVC plastics and chlorine bleached paper, chlorine bleaching of paper, secondary steel smelters, and contaminated sites from the former use of dioxin contaminated chemicals such as 245-T and pentachlorophenol.
New Zealand signed the Stockholm Convention in May this year, which aims to eliminate dioxins and as a result the government is on the brink of releasing a policy and action plan on dioxins.
“This policy and action plan must have as its central tenet the goal to outlaw and eliminate dioxins, and to address the health needs of communities living with dioxin contamination,” said Connor.
For more information contact Sue Connor on 025 272 4044, or Brendan Lynch p ress officer on 025 790 817. People from communities are available for comment – contact Sue Connor in the first instance.