Kaipara community says no to Auckland's rubbish

By Taroi Black

Kaipara District Council, community and iwi have put a rāhui on the Dome Valley dump site in an effort to stop a Chinese-owned company Waste Management from getting resource consent for a landfill on a 1000-hectare land that contains many waterways.

Ngāti Whatua spokesperson Mikaera Miru says, “Auckland’s rubbish will end up here, carried by trucks and is set near our Hoteo River. The reason for it being a problem is the dumping of rubbish on Papatuanuku.”

A public meeting was held in Wellsford to put the rahui on Dome Valley dump site which is beside their local main Hoteo River. However, this map shows the numerous waterways on the 1000-hectare which is Chinese-owned that is of concern to the wider community.

Kaipara mayor Dr Jason Smith says, “This is a large completely new proposal on a 1000 hectare piece of land beside the very fragile Hoteo River. These are very very sensitive soils. The Onerahi Chaos that's what it’s called which slips all over the place is not a strong soil. So that's one of the challenges here.”

Managing director Tom Nickels said, "The proposal is to develop a highly engineered and environmentally secure modern landfill facility." 

But the prospect of 350 rubbish trucks a day could be dangerous on the main highway. 

“If the local voice is clear then that will send a message to government and to Auckland Council that the people of Kaipara care very much about this issue of the proposed dump.”

Although the company have carefully considered the geological features of the proposed site, the public and mana whenua are concerned that changes will occur and the threats posed to wildlife after a landfill is established must be considered.

Miru said “We’ve fought to the Auckland Council. There is a law passed in Parliament, if you look at the Resource Management Act you’ll see certain laws around conservation that give local hapū every right to dispute this piece of land.”

The rāhui will be placed on the 15 June.