Going down the drain again?
In another rush of blood, the Auckland not-so-super-city has added yet another proposed regulation/bylaw/dusty old idea – already rejected once – into the list which in recent weeks has added, then dropped, fireplaces from its weapons against voiceless citizens.
Your roof could be the next target of mindless councillors and their draconian advisers to convince even more people that Auckland is actually high on the black list of less-than-good world cities to live in.
A declared intent in the weird council unitary plan is to make painting of galvanised and copper roofs compulsory to stop any metal elements leaching into waterways.
Similar moves for a ban by the then Auckland Regional Council in 2005-07 went down the drain.
Then, research by New Zealand Steel and the New Zealand Metal Roofing Manufacturers, Tonkin and Taylor and other technical investigations pulled the ladders out from under the proposal, showing the bans were ‘‘ecologically unnecessary’’.
The ARC report was withdrawn.
Or perhaps simply put into a desk bottom drawer to be produced by a council gnome as newthinking years later.
A good contact of this column blew the whistle. He sent the notso-public details with a question: ‘‘Which will cost more – blocking off fireplaces or the forced painting of thousands of metres of unpainted roof?’’
Scope, the roofing industry’s magazine, has listed its members’ concerns and referred to the submissions by New Zealand Steel and the New Zealand Metal Roofing Manufacturers those years ago.
From the latest industry response: ‘‘In the now very large Auckland Council area, most agricultural buildings are unpainted as appearance is unimportant and many warehouses, commercial buildings and factories are also unpainted.
‘‘All would be affected by the proposed regulation. There are also a very large number – far more than will be built in the next 10 years – of houses up to 100 years old with galvanised roofs in various stages of decline.
‘‘Target levels of zinc from roofs are not substantiated. Coating has not been defined.
‘‘Treating existing, more effective targets like car tyres have been left out.
‘‘Significant cost to Auckland home owners cannot be ignored.
‘‘The industry has cut the amount of zinc in stormwater from unpainted roofs by 90 per cent over the last 20 years with a cost saving to the building owner.
‘‘The industry is continuing to improve technology and is currently reducing the amount of zinc in the coating of mild steel by another 20 per cent with a longer lifespan.
‘‘New roof construction should be left to industry. If Auckland Council is serious about reducing zinc levels in stormwater there are other areas contributing far more that can be easily addressed.
‘‘The industry is achieving greater results for the environment at lower cost to the country than could ever be attempted by restrictive material use regulation.
‘‘Criticism of a proposed regulation or standard should always be accompanied by a recommended change to improve it.’’
When and how are Auckland’s citizens going to end persecutions from their elected councillors? In the mailbag:
‘‘Thank you for your courage in printing the plea for prayer received by the Salvation Army. It has certainly brought me to my knees daily since.
‘‘I am an ‘active’ Presbyterian – and have many Muslim friends, who are as horrified as we are with the actions of people claiming that they are Muslim which are so completely at variance with that religion’s basic tenets. ‘‘They, too, are praying! ‘‘In an age when the mention of prayer or faith of any monotheistic kind raises anxiety in so many – your decision to print this is remarkable and appreciated.’’ – Faye Clark, Pohutukawa Coast Presbyterian Church
‘‘Outside of a ratepayer revolution down Queen St, how do we get our old councils back? Lucky Noosa, unlucky Auckland.’’ – Murray Hunter, Titirangi
Roofing rules: A paint job could become compulsory in Auckland.