Doacme Valley tip hearings due

by Paul Campbell

The Fight the Tip protest movement, opposing a planned Dome Valley dump for Auckland’s rubbish, adjacent to and threatening the Kaipara Harbour, is now awaiting public hearings by Auckland Council into the proposal by Waste Management New Zealand.

With additional information from Waste Management still not provided, hearings are now expected within a few months.

The FTT movement opposes the proposed 1,000-hectare landfill in a Hoteo River catchment for the harbour. It has a petition to parliament and submissions to Auckland Council opposing the perceived pollution threat to the harbour and its fishery from the Chinese-owned company.

Kaipara iwi have declared a rahui over the area and opposition to the landfill has support from Kaipara Mayor, Jason Smith, and Whangarei Mayor, Sheryl Mai.

Dr Smith has said the project is “an unacceptable risk of poisoning the Kaipara Harbour as well as a threat to the Kaipara and Northland economy.” He has made this known to Auckland Council, which is charged with deciding on resource consent after the Overseas Investment Office approved the land purchase.

Fight the Tip member Michelle Carmichael says the Department of Conservation also opposes the landfill and asks “when is the government going to step in on behalf of the environment.”

Auckland Council’s principal project lead, Warwick Pascoe, says council made a formal request last year for more information in order to complete the review of the technical assessments provided with the landfill proposal.

“We are expecting the last instalment of additional information from WMNZ within the next month or so, following which, we will notify the public who will then get an opportunity to have their views considered through a formal submission process.”

The decision to approve the WMNZ’s proposal will be made at a joint hearing by a panel of independent commissioners.

“It is hard to give exact dates at the moment, as it will depend on when we get the information from WMNZ, and how long it takes to assess it all.

However, notification should occur within the next few months, and the hearing will probably occur around the middle of the year.”