17 Oct 2009

Maori plan appeal against paper mill's waste consent

4:15 pm on 17 October 2009

Maori in the Eastern Bay of Plenty plan to appeal against the consent given to Tasman Paper Mill at Kawerau to continue discharging waste into the Tarawera River river for another 25 years.

Tipene Marr from Ngati Rangitihi says consent issued by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council this week puts no pressure on the owners Carter Holt Harvey and Norske Skog to clean it up.

He told Waatea News Maori argued for a 10-year consent and he thinks 25 years is too long.

"It just makes you feel sick, we've got to wait another generation of children to have our river even looked at again, and then they'll give them another extension," he says.

Mr Marr says its a case of big business winning out over the environment.

He says Ngati Rangitihi will be lodging an appeal with the Environment Court.

Robin Ford, a regional councillor and one of four commissioners who approved the consent, says it was a reasoned decision.

Mr Ford says the regional council will monitor the situation, with the owners required to produce regular reports of the river's condition and the mill's activities. He says if there are any disasters, the mill's owners could face prosecution.

Norske Skog says it will work with the community to improve water quality and exceed its compliance conditions.