To date John Tucker and Tom Watkins have forwarded two “newsletters” to me about post Christmas activities and results. Here is the first (Jan 5)
PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER (5 January – a summary)
Today we’ve offered to help TDC plan and organise the kind of respectful consultation and engagement with affected communities we believe would have been a more constructive approach before their decision to write their 5 December letter (advising what was to appear on LIM and PIM). Representatives of the core group will meet with TDC this week, if possible.
TDC has already agreed to consider re-wording the notice they say must be included in LIM and PIM. (We have sent them examples of “milder”, less alarming statements that other NZ Local Bodies’- including Nelson City – have used.) However, the core group has no authority to act on behalf of those affected and we want TDC to lead wider consultation on the matter before proceeding. We first want to establish that there is in fact a binding legal requirement for LIM and PIM to be “marked” as TDC claims; there is some doubt about this as a legal opinion we’ve seen suggests compliance with the law might be achieved by simply noting the District Plan. There is much that as yet we don’t know for certain.
We want the community consultation we’ve asked TDC to organise as a high priority, to:
- Pin-point the precise legislative requirement for TDC’s inclusion of properties on a Site Contamination Register, LIM and PIM, in order to satisfy community doubts and/or ambiguity about its binding nature.
- Clarify the degree of discretion TDC has in dealing with those requirements.
- Help TDC meet its legal requirements in ways that (a) take account of and mitigate community concerns – especially about the wording of notifications to be placed on LIM and PIM; (b) take account of decisions made by other city/unitary authorities to reflect the concerns of their communities; and (c) are accepted by local (TDC) communities as necessary, fair and just.Other outcomes we seek include:
- Communities understand the basis for TDC choices and decisions about interpreting and applying those discretionary matters referred to above.
- TDC hears, registers and gives fair consideration to whatever levels of community disagreement exist with those choices and decisions.
- Communities understand why current application of the requirements appear to be ad hoc, inconsistent or based on information that is untested, assumed, un-researched or incorrect.
- TDC is helped to itself locate better, more accurate information on which to base decisions about site inclusion or exclusion (by way of, for example, historic records and the accounts of long-term residents especially former orchardists).
- Affected property owners concerned about health implications learn how best to address those concerns – through, for example, more detailed information about the degree of risk and how to mitigate it, how to soil testing at affordable cost, the results of testing already done in the region, where contaminated soil already removed has been relocated, etc.
- TDC understands and addresses whatever other issues concern ratepayers about these matters and with which TDC support, guidance or resources may assist.We (core group) may set up a website page where interested parties can keep in touch with and contribute to progress on these matters. We’ll let you know if/when that is established.
Please let others know that if they wish to be added to our groups’s database, and/or have them contact (John Fountain) here on this website and I (JF) will forward the information on to Tom/John
If you have information or expertise you think may help the organising group or be useful for others to know about, please let us know.
- Tom and John