Buller District Council

Media Release-Old Hector Landfill Update

27th August, 2019

The Buller District Council continues to proactively monitor and manage the threat that tidal action is causing to the Old Hector Landfill.

The Council is aware high tides are due this coming weekend. And it is reassuring the public that despite a funding application for $660,000 being declined by the Ministry of Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, and feedback from Minister Sage yesterday that there is no imminent funding package to be made available to Buller District, work continues to prevent erosion dislodging waste and being released into waterways.

Buller District Council Mayor Garry Howard says that while a long-term solution is yet to be determined the Council is maintaining the sacrificial sand bund that was constructed to slow the impact of the sea on the old landfill.

“The sacrificial sand bund has been reinstated five times since April 2018. The most recent work took place earlier in August. We continue to monitor the situation regularly and especially so in the lead up to the high tides that will occur this coming weekend.

The success of the sacrificial sand bund in restricting further erosion will depend on the weather behind the king spring tides that will reach 3.6 metres late Saturday. The weather forecast is not looking too bad, but our concern remains very high as weather can change rapidly,” he said.

“We are keeping Bathurst Resources Ltd and Talley’s informed as they have offered $200,000 financial assistance in the absence of other funding streams becoming available anytime soon to resolve this pending environmental disaster”.

Mayor Howard said feedback received recently from the Minister Conservation and Associate Minister of Environment Hon Eugenie Sage stated currently there is no funding available and that a paper is being prepared for Cabinet.

“The paper will go up to Cabinet later this month. It will highlight the proliferation of dump sites around the country.

It would be extremely disappointing if Government does not prioritise this pending environmental disaster and provide appropriate financial assistance. In the meantime, Council will continue to monitor, and maintain, the sacrificial sand bund while we work towards a long-term solution,” Mayor Howard said.

 

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