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

 

Maritime Union calls on ports to stop spewing methyl bromide

Maritime Union calls on poisonous ports to stop spewing methyl bromide

The Maritime Union of New Zealand welcomes the decision by Ports of Auckland to stop releasing methyl bromide emissions into the air.

The move to fully recapture the toxic gas after fumigation sets a new benchmark for industry best practice.

Methyl bromide, linked to motor neurone disease and harmful to the ozone layer, is used to kill insects in logs before export.

MUNZ National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the decision is an example of what publicly owned ports can deliver, if and when they prioritize community interests.

“We will continue the campaign to stop rogue employers exposing people to methyl bromide for another decade if need be,” says Mr Fleetwood.

“Eliminating the risk from our ports and communities will save lives.”

After fumigation is complete the gas can be recaptured and turned into a disposable salt. However, some ports instead release the toxic fumes into our air, endangering workers and nearby communities.

Maritime Union members working in New Zealand ports that use the fumigant have voiced serious concerns, fearing their employers are not taking health and safety seriously around methyl bromide.

In the Port of Tauranga there is a 200 metre buffer zone put in place during cruise ships visits to protect the tourists.

Port workers, by contrast, are expected to conduct ‘normal operations’ as close as five metres away from the toxic gas.

A union member in Tauranga reports being told the logs are “safe enough to lick”.

MUNZ members describe coughing, light headedness and nasal congestion during gas release, despite being told they were out of range and in no danger of exposure.

The union believes unnecessary rivalry between publicly-owned ports is undermining best practice standards, and driving a race to the bottom in the industry.

“The Government must not allow best practice in some ports to be undermined elsewhere,” says Mr Fleetwood.

“If Wellington and Auckland can do the right thing, all ports must.”

The Maritime Union continues to call for a total ban on the use of methyl bromide.

“The regulatory bodies are toothless tigers,” says Mr Fleetwood.

“The government must stop ports releasing this poison into the air, or live with blood on their hands.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What Triggered The Carnage In Gaza

At last count, 195 Palestinians have reportedly died in the latest round of violence, 55 of them children. Roughly ten times that number have been wounded, and thousands made homeless. On the Israeli side, 8 people have died from rockets fired from Gaza. The imbalance in casualties reflects the vast gap in weaponry between the two sides. The Israelis are carrying out air strikes with impunity on densely populated civilian neighbourhoods... More>>

 

Budget 2021: Boosts Carbon Neutral Government Commitment

· Budget 2021 delivers $67.4 million to support the transition to a carbon neutral public sector by 2025 · State Sector Decarbonisation Fund receives significant boost to support more schools, hospitals and other government organisations to replace ... More>>

Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

KiwiSaver: Default Provider Scheme Improvements Slash Fees, Boosts Savings

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. More>>

ALSO:

Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels