A public meeting to discuss the results of an audit commissioned by the Ministry for the Environment into the clean-up of the contaminated Fruit Growers Chemical site in Mapua left questions unanswered - literally, said Green Party Toxics Spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
A standing room only meeting held at the Mapua Boat Club last Friday included many residents affected by the clean-up process. Despite this questions were cut off at 6pm with a promise that further questions would be answered during a follow-up meeting on 10 August.
“Along with many of the locals I would have liked to keep discussing some serious issues,” said Ms Delahunty.
“There has been no testing of fish in the estuary. The rationale given to the residents was that fish are mobile but locals are concerned about the fish that stay in the Mapua estuary. People want to know whether it is safe to eat the fish and they remain unsure.”
Soils from the affected site have been tested for a narrow range of chemicals but not for all of these chemicals that were used at the pesticide plant.
Ms Delahunty said it was good that some of the officials present apologised to the local community for what they have endured.
“It is also great that the Minister for the Environment has committed more money for monitoring the site but those working on the clean-up process need to listen carefully to those affected,” said Ms Delahunty.
“If trust between local residents of Mapua and those involved in the flawed clean-up process is to be restored the residents of Mapua need to be listened to.”
Link to the audit report commissioned by MFE