Bylaw put on back burner

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

South Waikato District Coun­cil’s pro­posed Clean Air Bylaw, which has an­gered lo­cal res­i­dents, has been shelved for the next elected coun­cil to clean up. Jour­nal­ist Aden Miles, who sat through the emo­tion­ally-charged two-day hear­ing, re­ports.

South Waikato res­i­dents are elated that in­tro­duc­tion of a pro­posed Clean Air Bylaw has been de­layed.

The con­tentious bylaw would have seen res­i­dents re­quired to re­move and ren­o­vate non­com­pli­ant heat­ing ap­pli­ances this year, cost­ing home own­ers be­tween $3500 and $4500.

The Clean Air Bylaw, which closed its pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion process on Novem­ber 9, 2012, pro­posed re­stric­tions to im­prove the district’s air qual­ity and com­ply with na­tional air qual­ity stan­dards by 2016.

Kel­son Dif­fey, who made a ver­bal submission against the bylaw is pleased with the out­come.

‘‘It is good news to hear,’’ Mr Dif­fey said.

‘‘I just could not see the town (Toko­roa) be­ing able to com­ply within the short time given.’’

Mr Dif­fey said he felt coun­cil was try­ing to rush the bylaw through.

‘‘It was pushed too hard, too fast but I feel good it has been put on hold even though it does seem to be pass­ing the buck.’’

The sug­ges­tion to de­lay any ac­tion was raised by Mayor Neil Sin­clair dur­ing the de­lib­er­a­tion last week.

‘‘I don’t be­lieve that the com­mu­nity is be­hind us in ac­cept­ing that, at this stage. In terms of our ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme that has been go­ing (it) did not give the trac­tion,’’ he said.

Mr Sin­clair did note the drop in em­mi­sions.

‘‘By let­ting it lie on the ta­ble and at­tack­ing the wet wood prob­lem doesn’t make a dif­fer­ence. We have dropped down from 33 to 16 (PM10 emis­sions), can we drop it fur­ther?

‘‘I per­son­ally be­lieve that we would be fight­ing for some­thing that they would rebel against and not ac­cept un­til we can show them the ef­fects,’’ he said.

Mr Sin­clair said the bylaw would be picked up by the next coun­cil.

‘‘It can be picked up (in) six months time by the next coun­cil. But I recog­nise that the bad part is we are go­ing to lose that fund­ing we got from ( Waikato) Re­gional Coun­cil.’’

That fund­ing is es­ti­mated at $150,000 for heat­ing ap­pli­ance re­place­ment in Toko­roa.

Coun­cil­lor Brenda Watkins was un­aware the coun­cil could de­lay a de­ci­sion and was stunned at Mr Sin­clair’s sug­ges­tion.

‘‘ Well, I am ac­tu­ally quite floored by this sug­ges­tion,’’ she said.

‘‘We have had all of th­ese sub­mit­ters, with the bylaw as it stands, my thought was that we’d ex­tend the time, in­stead of hav­ing 2013 we ex­tend it out­wards.’’

Ques­tions were also raised about coun­cil’s ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme with coun­cil­lor Adri­enne Bell sug­gest­ing it should have been bet­ter.

‘‘From a com­mu­ni­ca­tion point of view, if you are try­ing to change peo­ple’s be­hav­iour you need to say ‘if you don’t do this by this then this will hap­pen’ and I don’t think peo­ple were given that mes­sage. I don’t think we used enough of the re­sources to get the word out there.’’

Coun­cil­lor Her­man van Rooi­jen was shocked by those that made sub­mis­sions blam­ing lo­cal in­dus­try.

‘‘My re­ac­tion is one of shock,’’ Mr Van Rooi­jen said.

‘‘Over the last cou­ple of days I have been shocked by the num­ber of peo­ple who tried to pass the prob­lem onto in­dus­try when we have had all of the in­for­ma­tion from the ex­perts and peo­ple in the know that the prob­lem is ac­tu­ally domestic fires.’’

See fur­ther cov­er­age of the two­day hear­ing on pages 5, 6 and 7

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.