Michelle Carmichael and her son Hayden upload the letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Kaipara clean-up ‘ignores landfill’

by Paul Campbell

The government’s decision to fund a major clean-up of the Kaipara Harbour ignores the plan to create an Auckland rubbish dump in the Dome Valley, according to the Fight the Tip movement, which says the planned landfill puts the entire Kaipara harbour at risk of toxic pollution.

The project by Waste Management awaits a government go-ahead after the Overseas Investment Office approved the sale of 1,000 hectares of Dome Valley land for the landfill, in a catchment for the Hoteo River that flows into the harbour.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced Kaipara will get a ‘share’ of $12 million as the first stage of its planned $229 million restoration of the nation’s waterways.

Fight The Tip spokesperson Michelle Carmichael has emailed the prime minister, saying:

“The single most effective action you can take in support of this announcement is to please stop the proposed huge landfill being developed in the Dome Valley.

“The proposed landfill site sits on a tributary to the Hoteo River, and this area is recognised, even by Waste Management’s own environmental engineering consultants, as having the highest rainfall in the Auckland region. Our own group’s ecologist knows that within 10 hours, floodwaters from this catchment will be in the Kaipara. If that water is ever contaminated — you will not have the time to stop it.

“You must be aware of the huge ecological importance to the species that rely on this harbour and catchment: snapper, fairy terns, whitebait, black stilt, longfin eels, etc.

“Landfill siting criteria via the Ministry for Environment and Waste Institute NZ state that waterways, high rainfall areas, freshwater supply, and at-risk fauna and flora should be avoided. All of these are present on the Dome Valley site.

“Landfill liner systems do not last forever. Are you willing to risk this ecological area for burying rubbish enclosed in a liner system when Waste Management themselves cannot guarantee the length of its lifespan? So, at best, eventually that liner will break down. Local community along with Iwi from east to west coast and north to south Kaipara who placed a rahui on the site, because so far our government has failed to do the right thing and stop this in its tracks, are not wrong to be extremely concerned and determined to protect this important environment for future generations.”

For more information visit facebook.com/groups/SavetheDome.