5 Aug 2011

Greenpeace says Pacific should be concerned by toxic waste exports

1:24 pm on 5 August 2011

Greenpeace New Zealand says the Pacific should be concerned about exports of toxic waste from New Zealand to the Phillippines and South Korea.

Greenpeace says it has obtained official documents revealing New Zealand's exported at least 50,000 tonnes of acid lead battery waste in the past three years.

In the mid 1990s, Pacific Island nations, New Zealand and Australia signed the Waigani Treaty which committed them to deal with their own toxic waste within their own countries.

Greenpeace New Zealand's Executive Director, Bunny McDiarmid, says if New Zealand isn't breaking the Treaty it is at least compromising its spirit.

"Because the spirit behind that is to minimise what you send away and deal with it environmentally soundly in your own backyard. So I think the Pacific should be really concerned that their lead batteries are maybe coming to New Zealand, stopping off here and then going on to a facility in the Phillippines that may not be up to scratch."

Greenpeace's Bunny McDiarmid.

Greenpeace has called on the New Zealand government to come clean about the exports.