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Bombshell re. Moanataiari 

Herewith the relevant extracts from the documents that Denis Tegg has unearthed under the OIA.

It is a disgrace that it has taken this long to disclose this information - probably nothing more than bureaucrats deciding to bury the report and hoping that the whole problem would die with it. There are a number of inconsistencies to which I will draw attention in due course, but the central issue must remain the obvious and deliberate attempt to suppress the information contained in the December 2006 GHD Report on Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund (Prioritisation Exercise) .

I have reproduced here the relevant part of the Introduction of the relevant report, and the particular section (3.3.4) relating to Moanataiari. I have placed the specific sections relating to confidentiality in bold for easy reference.

What it shows is that Moanataiari was rated 3 out of 54 on the National Priority List. Equal first on the Health and Environmental Risk Criteria List. Second equal on the Health Risk Criteria only. Second on the Environmental Risk Criteria Only List. If that does not place Moanataiari at the top of the overall priority list, one has to wonder what else is requited. And yet nothing was done until 2011 in regard to the  testing that led to the December Civic Centre meeting.

It remains to be seen just how our elected representatives respond, and what will be done to test other allegedly contaminated sites around Thames, and the Peninsula. The facts outlined here do not provide any confidence that any of this will done in a timely manner. We were told that the reason for the delay at Moanataiari was because of testing required at Tui and Cambridge, and that EW could only afford one site a year. None of this adds up, and we have surely had the wool pulled over our eyes.

Denis is to be congratulated for having doggedly followed this issue through, and located the document that some would prefer have remained secret.

1.3 Purpose of the National Priority List

The objective of a National Priority List of contaminated sites is to enable a proactive approach to national funding through the CSRF. The list is intended as a first step in MfE’s decision making process and a starting point for discussions with Regional Councils and Unitary Authorities (hereafter we refer only to Regional Councils) about action on high priority sites. The list is not intended to be used as the principal decision making tool for funding contaminated land projects using the noncontestable portion of the CSRF – the results of the list should be a starting point for discussions with Regional Councils on priority sites.

In order to develop a ranked list GHD developed a quantitative ranking system based on MultiCriteria Analysis (MCA – see Section 2). The nature of the MCA scoring system means that there is a certain amount of subjectivity in the resulting scores and prioritised ranking – the scores are based on a high level assessment of available data from reports and telephone surveys. As such we recommend that a more rigorous risk assessment is undertaken as part of any decision making related to sites on the National Priority List included in this report. In addition, the relative ranking of contaminated sites on the list is indicative only.

GHD has taken reasonable steps to maintain the confidentiality of the data provided as part of telephone surveys and other discussions. This report should not be provided to third parties without the express written consent of GHD, except as provided for under the Official Information Act 1982.

No sections or components of this report (e.g. the National Priority List of contaminated sites) should be quoted or cited separately to the remainder of the report – this is important as an explanation of the purpose of the list should always be included in any use of the report’s contents.

 3.3.4 Moanataiari Reclamation

The lowlying Moanataiari subdivision on the Thames foreshore is built on an area of reclaimed land. The reclamation was progressively formed over the past 100 years through the dumping of mine tailings, part dredging, and mullock over the intertidal flats. The dumped material is capped with a layer of weathered clay and rock. Testing by Environment Waikato has shown elevated levels of contaminants, including mercury, in the sediments nearby the subdivision.  

Staff at Environment Waikato have not done extensive testing of the soil under residences in the subdivision but there is potential exposure of people to a number of contaminants. It is important to note that the residents of Moanataiari have not been formally informed of the investigations to date and therefore this site should be kept confidential.

Environment Waikato would like to do further testing to gain an understanding of the levels of contaminants in soil and marine sediments with an aim to carrying out a health and environmental risk assessment for the area.


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Reader Comments (2)

wait there is more---read the latest epistle fromTCDC re aquaculture: no wharf to be built at Kopu - because of the high mercury content in the marine sediment' - would COST $80 million IF remediation was carried out!!
It apears that Sugarloaf to be the first choice- not sure if the nearby residents will agree - and watch for huge increase of trucks and trailers on the coast road-that alone will sort out the 'freedom campers'!!

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercyclops

Interesting Cyclops. What a great idea the Kopu wharf is. $80,000,000.00 What crap. And we have to endure this nonsense from the powers that be.
Notwithstanding the disclosure controversy, this arsenic issue is going wreak havoc. It is a monster that has the potential to eclipse all others. Coromandel Watchdog pursue this at some risk. Ratepayers only have so much patience with issues that have the potential to dump exponential costs on them, even Thames ratepayers.

February 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

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