The NES is aware of the work in question and has been monitoring the activities as they proceed. The NES does not give property owners free rein in deciding what fill material is appropriate for an excavation, but rather provides a range of clean fill options from which a choice can be made. These choices vary depending on the location and size of excavated site.
The motor vehicle parts were not sanctioned fill material and were not placed there by the property owner or those undertaking the work, instead they were dumped there by another party and the NES is investigating this. The contractors on site have taken it upon themselves to remove this dumped material and ensure that it is disposed of correctly.
To strengthen the management of activities in sensitive environments, the NES is close to finalising regulations which relate to development permits and consents and provide greater clarity on permitted and consented activities.
We must continue to work together so as to ensure that our environment is sustained. Together we can achieve this and we thank the concern of our public with regard to these matters.
Be assured it is our mandate to be vigilant with regard to the care and protection of our environment for all the people of the Cook Islands.
National Environment Service