Auckland Council working to control asbestos in Rodney
Auckland Council has spent roughly $1.25 million on asbestos-related work in the past two years.
Information provided in an Official Information Request revealed asbestos work, including control or removal, had taken place at 17 locations in 11 local boards around Auckland between June 2015 and April 2017.
Six of those locations were in the Rodney Local Board area and the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board area.
The information noted asbestos-related costs were often not separated from overall capital or repair and maintenance costs and may only involve laboratory testing, with no further work if results were negative. In other cases, it may have involved control measures like removal or sealing.
‘‘Asbestos control and removal is regularly carried out on council facilities as a precautionary measure to prevent potential
‘‘Whatever your situation, you have a responsibility that no one is put at harm.’’
risks to the community, as required by health and safety regulations,’’ the information revealed.
Secretary of the New Zealand Demolition and Asbestos Association Terry Coleman said the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations, introduced in April 2016, meant all commercial properties built before 2000 needed to be surveyed for asbestos. This included schools, charities and any premise being used to make money.
Coleman said building owners had a responsibility to know where asbestos is and what state it was in.
He said not all asbestos is dangerous or a risk but, if asbestos was found, the highestrisk areas would be dealt to first.
Information in the Official Information Act request said asbestos was only harmful when airborne, breathed in and settled into the lungs.
It said 95 per cent of asbestos in New Zealand was embedded in cement and when the asbestos was not friable, is easily crumbled, it was harmless.
Exposure to asbestos had been linked to several lung and respiratory conditions including mesothelioma cancer. The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance aims to raise awareness about this and the dangers of asbestos exposure.
- Gabion at Omaha Beach (seawall) in Rodney - Sanctuary hut at Tawharanui Regional Park in Rodney - Garden sheds at Wenderholm Regional Park in Rodney (since demolished) Nursery building at Arataki Depot in Waitakere Ranges - Griffiths Building in Waitemata (since demolished)