Fight the Tip secretary, Sue Crockett

Tip protest awaits answer

by Paul Campbell

The Fight the Tip protest group opposed to a planned landfill in the Dome Valley that’s seen as a threat to the environment and the Kaipara Harbour is still awaiting word from Auckland Council on whether it is democratic to call for public submissions in the current lockdown.

The council wants submissions on Waste Management’s application for the dump to take Auckland’s rubbish to take place online during the Covid-19 emergency.

The landfill would be on a 1,000-hectare site, which is in the catchment area of the Hoteo River that feeds into the harbour. Of huge concern, is the possibility of a breach polluting marine life, including the snapper hatchery for most of the west coast of the North Island and beyond.

FTT executive secretary, Sue Crockett, says Fight the Tip is “very concerned at the effect of the current lockdown on the democratic process.

“Council’s decision is ill-timed with the Covid-19 lockdown depriving many people of the right to be heard. Under these conditions, people no longer have the option of viewing material at the council service centre in Orewa. I know it is possible to connect through the internet but there will be a great number of people who are not able to connect — for whatever reason. Usual ways of communicating through a community are currently severely disrupted.

“I urge the council to take account of the importance of this consent application to the community. To ensure that we have a fair opportunity to have our voices heard given the unprecedented situation we are facing.”