Clean air will be costly

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

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.’’

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