Poison stocks near a school in Marlborough
By Mary Wood
If you took your kid to a fun, charity horse event, you wouldn’t expect it to be where one of the world’s deadliest chemicals was also stored.
But this is what’s happening at Shrawley Equestrian Centre, 121, Thomas Road at Tua Marina, close to the local primary school.
I volunteer for the education charity Clean Green New Zealand and contacted the Kapiti Independent News after I received an Official Information Act (OIA) response from the Dept of Conservation confirming the extremely hazardous Compound 1080 storage facility at Tua Marina.
Suspicions for years about truck movements
For years, residents have been suspicious about heavy trucks coming and going from the Centre.
1080 is a synthetic poison used as a pesticide throughout New Zealand and is banned in most of the rest of the world because of its unknown, deadly effects.
It has no antidote and just two of the cereal baits could kill a child.
Sub-lethal effects are unknown. Many worry about the potential health hazards from toxic dust and possible water contamination from 1080 storage areas.
The OIA response follows recent complaints about storage of tonnes of 1080 poison next to New World in Whitianga, again, apparently without notification to nearby residents or the local fire station.
Rotorua firemen affected by 1080 fumes
This is concerning because back in 2006, at a poison storage site in Rotorua, a serious fire broke out. Fireman were hospitalised after breathing in deadly fumes and smoke.
Residents were also concerned about contamination of water supplies, as the wet, burned toxic waste seeped into the ground through drains.
There have been no known follow-ups by DoC or the Ministry of Health on the environmental impact or the health of those involved in that incident.
Tua Marina risks not publicised
Regarding the Tua Marina site, Kaye McIlveney, Solicitor for Marlborough District Council commented that the council “has no information on health and safety (Worksafe) or MPI requirements.”
She also confirmed that information about the poison storage area was unlikely to be disclosed in a Land Information Memo (LIM) produced for house-buyers.
According to Section 66 of the Health and Safety at Work (Major Hazard Facilities) Regulations (2016) any operators of poison storage facilities like these must take all ‘reasonable steps’ to provide full information to the local community and relevant local authorities.
So why did local paper Marlborough Express (Fairfax Media) refuse to publish this information when I forwarded it to them? Are local residents fully informed about the risks of such a highly hazardous chemical so near to their homes, gardens and schools?