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Coastal sludge dumping would be “an environmental crime”

Press Release – CORANZ
Dumping sludge in the form of sewerage and waste water into Cook Strait would not only be an environmental crime but would reflect the capital city’s lack of priorities and mis-spending, says the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ).

CORANZ chairman Andi Cockroft of Wellington was commenting on reports that Wellington City councillor Sean Rush has suggested dumping one million litres of sludge per day into Cook Strait to save costs.

Andy Cockroft says the Wellington City Council has failed to front up to the problem.

“As a resident of this spendthrift Council, it comes as no surprise WCC suddenly finds itself facing problems of funding as other revenue sources dry up. Parking now provides zero income, other income from services such as refuse are much reduced,” he said.

Yet money seemed to appear miraculously for projects such as artwork, roundabouts, cycle lane experiments, leisure centre and other “luxury” projects

The Council was recently faced with repairing nearly century old drains beneath the CBD. Primarily Wellington Water carried much of the blame for the urgent need, yet WW were relative new-comers having been formed as recently as 2014.

The age of the infrastructure strongly suggested remedial work should have been undertaken perhaps even decades ago he said.

The latest problems with waste water and sewage spilling into coastal waters was not new. “It’s being happening a long time, and no way forward other than fix on fail seems on the horizon,” said Andi Cockroft. “With an outflow pipe a mere 1.8km out into the Strait, as far as I can determine Wellington Water have a permit to pump 3,000 litres per second of “disinfected” slurry out to sea. It would take a good, fully independent ecologist to establish the true effects of this behaviour.”

There were now obstacles to the failure resulting from city council inertia, among them procuring products from overseas.

Andi Cockroft said the blame for the environmental threat and crisis was due to the Wellington City Council.

“However, Sean Rush has the answer – let’s just pollute Cook Strait,” he said. “That irresponsible cavalier approach has to cease.”

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