Protests are continuing for a group opposed to plans for Chinese-owned Waste Management to create a landfill for Auckland rubbish on 1,000 hectares in the Dome Valley.
The group has now formed an incorporated society — Fight the Tip: Tiake te Whenua — and has opened a petition to parliament.
Waste Management has been given overseas investment office approval to buy the property for landfill, and the protesters have banded together to actively oppose the move.
A key concern is their perceived threat to the Kaipara Harbour.
“In China, they are stopping landfills now, so why is that company, based in China, happy to come put a landfill on our land?” says society administration member, Michelle Carmichael.
Local people say hazardous waste from the landfill could end up in the Hoteo River, which runs through the middle of the proposed site.
“Battery acid, rotting rubbish, who knows what will be coming down that stream, it goes into the Hoteo River, it goes into the Kaipara Harbour, which is one of the largest snapper breeding grounds in New Zealand,” says Lee Laughton who owns land near the site.
Waste Management managing director, Tom Nickels, says around 70–100 jobs will be created and that people “won’t see the landfill, you won’t smell the landfill, you won’t hear the landfill, local community, local neighbours won’t even notice it’s there.”
Another cause for concern is the massive movement of trucks carrying refuse through the Dome Valley, already on a dangerous section of SH1.
Land Information minister, Eugenie Sage, says approval was given because of the benefits the landfill offers. Auckland’s current landfills are nearly at capacity, and population growth dictates a new site is required.