Clean air will be costly
Removing and renovating heating appliances that do not comply with South Waikato District Council’s proposed Clean Air Bylaw will cost ratepayers between $ 3500 and $4500.
The estimation was given by the council last week after questions were asked following Tokoroa lawyer Marin Glucina’s objections to the proposed bylaw.
‘‘Any solution that they’ve got should be the least restrictive and the least punitive on the residents of Tokoroa and they’re going for the most punitive and the most restrictive,’’ he said.
The Clean Air Bylaw, which is open for public consultation until November 9, is proposing restrictions to improve the district’s air quality and comply with national air quality standards by 2016.
It also includes banning the use of solid fuel burners.
The bylaw also recommends that residents must apply for a permit to have a hangi or umu in Tokoroa at least five working days before using it.
‘‘So you have got a hangi right, and you need a permit for it, the council can come and enter your property and seize the evidence and prosecute. Who is going to be paying for these monitoring officers?’’ Mr Glucina said.
He added: ‘‘I don’t think the average councillor down there has understood what they have been asked to sign off on. They are giving the council more power then anyone else. There’s a Bill of Rights . . . I don’t think they have considered the New Zealand Bill of Rights when promoting the bylaw.’’
The council’s communications manager Kerry Fabrie said: ‘‘The council has no intention of taking a hard line with residents. We fully appreciate that there are financial barriers; however as a community we simply have to start moving towards cleaner heat and it is the council’s role to lead this positive change; which we have been doing for the past eight years through our education campaigns and incentive programmes. The bylaw is another such avenue.’’