In the proposed South Taranaki District Plan, landfarming, the practice of spreading oil/gas wastes on farmlands, is a Permitted activity in the Rural Zone.
Climate Justice Taranaki, and other submitters, are strongly opposed to this, stating that landfarming should not be Permitted in the Rural Zone or anywhere else, especially on food producing land and within the Coastal Protection Area or catchments of Significant Waterbodies and Wetlands.
“As Frack Free Manawatu Action Group aptly pointed out: a sheep farm produces sheep, a dairy farm produces milk, so it is only logical that land receiving contaminated wastes from the oil/gas industry is likely to become contaminated wasteland. The only way to prevent farmlands from becoming contaminated wasteland is not to put contaminated waste on farms in the first place,” said Catherine Cheung, researcher for Climate Justice Taranaki.
Disturbingly, the district council proposes to halve the Coastal Protection Area from 10,401 hectares to just over 5,000 hectares. One of council’s justification is that much of the coastal environment has been heavily modified due to landfarming and agriculture.
“To be clear, three euphemistically-named landfarms, in reality toxic waste disposal sites, were consented by council within the Coastal Protection Area after 2009. By doing so, these areas have now become so extensively modified that they are no longer worthy of protection – a justification the district council now uses to substantially reduce the overall Coastal Protection Area,” said Lyndon DeVantier, member of Climate Justice Taranaki.
“This approach is counter to the NZ Coastal Policy Statement under the RMA which requires councils to protect the natural character of the coastal environment, and to restore or rehabilitate degraded or contaminated areas. If council continues with this planning approach, we can expect further degradation of our coastline, with devastating consequences as extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, the result of climate change. Protect it or lose it,” said Cheung.
Top left: BTW Oeo landfarm, in TRC report 1379742 (2014)
Top right: BTW Vanner Kakaramea landfarm, in TRC report 1273973 (2014)
Bottom: Waste Remediation Services Symes Manawapou landfarm, in TRC report 1551929 (2015)
Call for end to Taranaki Landfarming, 29 June 2016 Radio NZ