Agree­ment will speed com­pli­ance re­sponse

Ruapehu Press - - Farming - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

It is hoped the sign­ing of a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing be­tween Ruapehu Dis­trict Coun­cil and Hori­zons will re­sult in quicker re­sponses to pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.

Un­der the MOU Ruapehu com­pli­ance of­fi­cers are now con­tracted to pro­vide-on-the­ground re­sponse to any is­sues as­so­ci­ated with the en­vi­ron­ment.

Those is­sues in­clude dump­ing of refuse, dead stock, aban­doned ve­hi­cles in riverbeds and air qual­ity com­plaints.

Ruapehu Group man­ager for Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Mar­garet Hawthorne said Hori­zons will as­sess the call and de­cide if an on-the-ground re­sponse is re­quired from a Ruapehu com­pli­ance of­fi­cer.

‘‘The RDC com­pli­ance of­fi­cers at­tend­ing the call­out will man­age the event to stop or pre­vent any fur­ther nui­sance or dam­age be­ing caused and col­lect any ev­i­dence if re­quired.’’

John Chap­man from the Na­tional Park Com­mu­nity Board said the mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing is a small step to­wards clamp­ing down on peo­ple dam­ag­ing the en­vi­ron­ment but a more ap­proach is needed.

‘‘Our pol­icy of waste min­imi­sa­tion has in large mea­sure created the is­sue by us­ing the now-dis­cred­ited user-pays sys­tem to re­duce the amount of waste we pro­duce.

‘‘It sim­ply trans­fers the bur­den on to those that can least af­ford it when in fact it is the man­u­fac­tur­ers who are the prob­lem.’’

Chap­man said re­duc­ing the cost of rub­bish bags to peo­ple on low in­comes in­clud­ing ed­u­ca­tion and get­ting busi­nesses such as su­per­mar­kets to re­duce plas­tic would be more ef­fec­tive.

Hori­zons strat­egy and pol­icy group man­ager, Dr Nic Peet said holis­tic any de­ci­sions re­lat­ing to en­force­ment ac­tion will still be made by Hori­zons.

Staff will still un­der­take planned in­spec­tions of con­sented ac­tiv­i­ties in the Ruapehu Dis­trict, such as veg­etable wash­ers, waste­water treat­ment plants and farm ef­flu­ent.

‘‘As a dis­trict with an econ­omy built on and around its nat­u­ral re­sources, the MOU helps brings the com­pli­ance end of en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment closer to­gether be­tween Ruapehu’s two ter­ri­to­rial au­thor­i­ties.’’

Re­ports can call Hori­zons on the free 24/7 pol­lu­tion hot­line on 508 800 800.

JOHN CHAP­MAN

It is hoped more re­sources by the Ruapehu Dis­trict Coun­cil and Hori­zons will re­duce peo­ple dam­ag­ing the en­vi­ron­ment il­le­gally.

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