Sand mining raises serious issues

Friday August 18, 2017 Published in Letters to the Editor

Recently I have been riding my bike into town past the old Turangi recycling centre where there have been diggers sand mining for some weeks now. 


As I ride alongside, I am able to see into the trenches that have been dug, and the sand removed. About three weeks ago my niece rang the National Environment Service and asked if they knew the trenches at the site were being filled with the concrete rubbish from the Club Raro tennis court. 

The answer was it was up to the owners to decide what fill they used when sand mining.

She asked if there wasn’t a law or protocol that has to be followed when sand mining that ensures clean fill and not rubbish is used, especially when the mining is taking place so close to the lagoon and with all the problems of reduced filtering allowing rubbish to leach into our lagoon. 

She was told there was a loophole in the law and that they were looking into changing it. Then a few days ago, I was riding past I saw the concrete rubbish in one trench and old car bodies and car parts in the other. I was shocked to see this so, because I know it is not allowed.

I rang NES they passed me from person to person. Finally, I got to the compliance department and I asked them to investigate. They said they would look into it. I was not informed of the result of my phone call, but I do see they have covered over both trenches now, so you can’t see what is inside them.

NES told my niece it is up to the owners to decide what goes into the ground. This sounds wrong, because why do we have a NES body if not to prevent the mismanagement of our Ipukarea?

            Dennis Tunui

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