Environmental protection measures are detailed in the Environment Act (2003) and may require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be completed for “specific areas of concern”, including sloping lands, and areas near to freshwater streams.
An EIA identifies risks and involves the community in decision-making. EIA documents are distributed through local shops, etc. The proposed development will also be investigated by regulatory authorities; and permission may be refused. An EIA must be completed, and a permit issued before any groundworks or construction can commence.
The locations of 10 Te Mato Vai waterworks are in “areas of concern”, and the proposed water treatment methods continue to be subject to public debate.
An Environmental Impact Assessment includes detailing: “proposed action to mitigate adverse environmental effects”, a “plan to monitor environmental impacts”, also “the alternatives to the proposed project”.
None of Te Mato Vai waterworks or the proposed treatment methods have fulfilled these requirements.
The recent letter (“Fears of waterways contamination”, November 22, 2019) is an example of why an EIA is necessary.
The Project Management Unit have denied the use of “disinfection chemicals”, but without a monitoring programme they seem unable to measure, quantify, or investigate environmental impacts that may have occurred. Action plans and monitoring are also needed to prevent unintended damage to the other freshwater streams.
This is the latest example of the inability of our administration to responsibly manage large-scale infrastructure development.
On behalf of the public, and in defence of our island, we call for the implementation of chemical treatment processes to cease until Environmental Impact Assessment processes have been completed.
Te Vai Ora Maori.