17 Mar 2021

Govt still blind on Tiwai Pt contamination - Parker

From Morning Report, 8:10 am on 17 March 2021

The Environment Minister David Parker says he's still blind on contamination at Tiwai Point despite having had reports running to more than 170 pages for months.

Those reports warn that sea level rise will flood the aluminium smelter's landfill within a century, causing irreversible environmental damage and possibly even fatalities.

Minister Parker says the reports only give estimates and he still does not know the state of the soil and water.

The report lists options for dealing with an encroaching sea but these are blanked out.

Reporter Phil Pennington asked Parker if he could reveal what those options are.

The aluminium smelter says it was never consulted about the Aurecon report commissioned by the government and has only just found out about its existence because of RNZ.

It questions the reports accuracy and external experts have told it sea level rise would have no impact on the landfill within the next one hundred to two hundred years.

The smelter says it will take all action to ensure the landfill is not breached as a result of the coastline eroding.