Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Lake Benmore Gets Clean Bill Of Health

30 September 2005

Lake Benmore Gets Clean Bill Of Health

Lake Benmore has been given a clean bill of health after four reports all confirmed mercury levels in the lake are well within safety limits, the Treasury announced today.

The reports were undertaken after information emerged last year that drums containing porcelain mercury arc valves were disposed of in Lake Benmore by the New Zealand Electricity Department on two occasions, in 1969 and 1973-74.

Environmental management specialists URS New Zealand were commissioned to assess the potential risks from mercury in the valves.

“The URS report concluded that while there may be some residual mercury in the valves, the levels are likely to be very low and pose no environmental risk,” said the Treasury’s Manager of Commercial Investments, Chris White.

“As a further precaution, separate reports were commissioned from Transpower, the Institute of Environmental Science and Research, and Landcare Research. Every report has confirmed that the risks are negligible and no remedial action is needed.

“There has been no disposal of mercury arc valves in Lake Benmore since 1974 and we are not aware of this happening in any other lake or waterway in New Zealand.”

The Landcare Research report involved catching and testing trout from Lake Benmore to measure mercury concentrations. The mercury levels were 0.162 milligrams per kilogramme (mg/kg) in female fish and 0.153 mg/kg in male fish. These concentrations are well below the conservative safety limit of 0.5 mg/kg prescribed in the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Code.

Environment Canterbury, as the agency responsible for monitoring soil and water quality in the region, has been involved in the Landcare Research study.

Ministry for the Environment Standards Senior Advisor Jonathan Coakley commended the responsible approach taken to risk assessment since the disposal of valves in Lake Benmore came to light.

“The potential risks have been investigated promptly, cautiously and thoroughly. Based on the current findings in the reports, we have confidence that mercury levels in Lake Benmore fish are safe and pose no health risk,” said Mr Coakley.

There will be ongoing periodic tests of mercury concentrations in Lake Benmore trout to ensure mercury levels remain within strict safety limits. These tests will include comparing mercury levels in fish from other lakes in the area.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Ongoing Problems With Abortion

Despite Christopher Luxon’s assurances to the contrary, there is no such thing as “settled law” in New Zealand. Apart from the six provisions that are constitutionally entrenched, legislation can always be amended or overturned by a simple majority vote within our single chamber of Parliament. Luxon’s repeated use of the term “settled law” has been particularly tone deaf, given that several of the US Supreme Court justices used that very same term during their confirmation hearings...


Government: Joint Press Release With President Of The Govt Of Spain Pedro Sánchez & PM Of New Zealand
On June 28, 2022, a meeting took place in Madrid between the President of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, who was visiting Spain... More>>

Winston Peters: Issues Judicial Review Proceedings

Winston Peters has issued judicial review proceedings against Speaker of the House the Rt Honourable Trevor Mallard, challenging Mr Mallard’s issue of a trespass warning against Mr Peters on 28 April 2022, which the Speaker then withdrew on 4 May 2022... More>>

Government: Electoral Changes Will Bring Greater Transparency For Voters

Changes to electoral law announced by Justice Minister Kiri Allan today aim to support participation in parliamentary elections, and improve public trust and confidence in New Zealand’s electoral system... More>>

Government: Wellington’s Rapid Transit Option Progresses To Next Stage
The Government is progressing a preferred option for LGWM which will see Wellington’s transport links strengthened with light rail from Wellington Station to Island Bay... More>>

NZ Republic: Charles CHOGM Speech Green Light For Change
“Prince Charles had made it clear in his speech to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda today that even the Royal family think it’s time for change” said Lewis Holden, campaign chair of New Zealand Republic... More>>

National: Goodfellow To Retire As Party President
Peter Goodfellow today announced he will not seek re-election as President of the National Party at its Annual Conference. Mr Goodfellow will remain as a director on the board for one final term to assist in the transition... More>>




InfoPages News Channels