28 Oct 2014

Deputy mayor says he'll be sacked

2:03 pm on 28 October 2014

South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his community.

A council meeting is scheduled to take place to discuss his future in the role on 4 November.

Mr Ballantyne has been vocal about the effects that the dumping of buttermilk, and milk contaminated with oil industry waste, at the waste-water treatment plant in Eltham last year have had.

He lives nearby, and said in addition to the stench, some residents have been poisoned by the gasses coming from the treatment facility.

He has said that some residents struggle to breathe, others are unable to sleep, while another complains of coughing up blood.

Mr Ballantyne said he has been heavily criticised for speaking out and believes that is the reason he will likely be formally pushed aside.

"The sort of assault on what we breath basically has been very, very hard to accept and devastating for some people," he said.

"I've been laughed at, accused of being a liar and, yeah, generally subject to this passive-aggressive abuse over so many months.

"I can't be removed from the council altogether I wouldn't think, and I better not be. I was voted on by the people, I've been there 15 years or more, so I don't see how I can be removed from the council altogether. But yes, I think that's the plan, [which] is to officially remove me as deputy mayor," he said.

Mayor Ross Dunlop would not be interviewed this morning, but confirmed the meeting next month will discuss Mr Ballantyne's position. The mayor said the public will be excluded from the meeting.