The Minister for the Environment needs to step in and provide tangible Government support for the West Coast landfill spill, says National’s Environment spokesperson Scott Simpson.
“So far the Government haven’t done enough to address the issue, and ten weeks on we’re continuing to see tonnes of waste spewing into the Fox River and washing up on the coast in what has been described as the biggest environmental disaster since the Rena oil spill.
“Despite the magnitude of the situation Environment Minister David Parker has palmed the job off to Associate Minister Eugenie Sage, but she is failing to make any headway into what is becoming an increasingly big issue.
“The job has been left to a handful of dedicated volunteers who are trying their best to clean up but are lacking resources. The local Westland District Council have already spent more than a million dollars but can’t fund further work. They need serious and urgent Government assistance.
“If a disaster of this magnitude was taking place in a less remote part of the country there would have been a huge public outcry for action already. The Government is taking an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach that’s entirely unacceptable.
“My colleague based in West Coast/Tasman Maureen Pugh has started a petition calling on the Government to address the situation, and I encourage you to sign it by following the link on my Facebook page.
“This is a Government that often tells us how much they care. Now it’s time for them to walk their talk and do something meaningful to help the people of Westland, New Zealand and our environment.”