To: Auckland Council
Clean up toxic dump sites on horticultural land
Launch an investigation into chemical contamination on ex-horticultural sites, and develop a strategy for remediating toxic contamination on these sites.
Why is this important?
Old toxic waste dumps are all over New Zealand, including Auckland. Illegal tip sites in Auckland contain contaminants like pesticides, oil from machinery, refrigerants, household waste, old plant equipment etc which is leaking into estuaries then into rivers which flow into the Waitemata and other Auckland harbours.
Horticultural sites especially, used and dumped stores of chemicals. Old dumps weren’t necessarily sealed properly and risk leaching into the environment, especially now with more extreme weather events.
Auckland has old farms, wineries, and orchards that used toxic chemicals as pesticides and fungicides, in the decades before proper controls.
It is important to manage these old dumps to protect our fresh and coastal waters and flora and fauna from contaminated waste leakage.
We call on the council to review historic and current horticulture sites in the region, whether still operational or not, and investigate the sites for contaminated waste. This can be done and funded as part of the next Unitary Plan review.
Where they find a toxic dump Auckland Council needs to take action. They could do this in a number of ways:
🌱 Urgent remediation of existing sites
🌱 Give the owners an ultimatum to clean it up, or the council/ government will appoint contractors to do the work, at their expense.
🌱 Ask people to report toxic dumps through an anonymous phone line
🌱 Offer a six month grace period for owners of land with private dumps to come forward without penalty
There should be penalties for the owners of private dumps who do not disclose contaminated sites on their land. People who buy land in good faith and subsequently discover contamination, should be able to remove the contaminated waste when found, at the cost of the previous owners who passed the problem on, and those people be liable for penalties.
Until old dumps are cleaned up then they will sit there doing damage to ecosystems. If they remain on site without people knowing they also risk human health.