A s be s to s fear s

Central Leader - - News - B y S c o t t M o rg a n

Res­i­dents are an­gry as­bestos at an Hous­ing New Zealand de­vel­op­ment in St Lukes took sev­eral days to be re­moved.

An­thony Honore, who lives near the site be­tween St Lukes and New North roads, alerted the coun­cil on Au­gust 23 af­ter see­ing dumped fi­bre­board on­site.

But it wasn’t dis­posed of un­til Labour Depart­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tors tested the board al­most a week later.

That’s de­spite an Auck­land City Coun­cil offi cer telling site con­trac­tors of the dan­ger.

Mr Honore says the length of time to clear the mat­ter up isn’t good enough.

“I think it’s pretty shoddy. It only takes one as­bestos fi bre to get into your lungs and that’s it,” he says.

He is con­cerned when ex­ca­va­tion of the site be­gins prop­erly, as­bestos could be re­leased into the air.

“It’s been left to get over­grown for many years and has be­come a de facto dump­ing ground.

“ It could just be the tip of the ice­berg.”

Coun­cil re­source con­sent mon­i­tor­ing offi cer Par­vati Prema re­ceived Mr Honore’s mes­sage about the fi - bre­board on Au­gust 25 and told con­trac­tor Kal­mar Construction’s project man­ager of the prob­lem.

Af­ter be­ing con­tacted by the Cen­tral Leader on Au­gust 26, Hous­ing New Zealand act­ing re­gional man­ager Wahid Ahmed also asked prin­ci­pal con­trac­tors Salt­burn Group to in­ves­ti­gate.

In turn the Salt­burn Group con­tacted their sub­con­trac­tors Kal­mar Construction and asked them to look into the mat­ter.

The fi bre­board was looked at and deemed to pose no dan­ger be­cause it was damp and in­tact, Mr Ahmed says.

Labour Depart­ment in­spec­tors called in on Au­gust 28 iden­tifi ed it was likely a small amount of as­bestos was con­tained in two pieces of fi bre­board.

Ex­perts dis­posed of the ma­te­rial the fol­low­ing day af­ter tests confi rmed as­bestos was present.

St Lukes res­i­dents group spokesman Tony Mayes says the dis­cov­ery

o f as­bestos is a con­cern be­cause chil­dren have used the site as a play area in the past.

Mr Ahmed says Hous­ing New Zealand has re­it­er­ated to Salt­burn Group that their as­bestos pol­icy, which lists safety as a pri­or­ity, needs to be “strictly ad­hered to”.

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