July 25, 2008

Smoke From the Water

Sir, Your July 21 news item concerning the Tasman "burn-offs'' resulting in 261 complaints casts serious doubt on the ability of the Tasman District Council to protect our environment.

Over several weeks, smoke from the Carter Holt burn-off was taken out to sea in the morning at a low level. By midday, a sea breeze developed, resulting in the sea smoke drifting around and back over Rabbit Island to mix with the smoke from industrial and rural burning in the Waimea Plains-Redwood Valley area.

I have photographs taken on the afternoon of June 16, showing the Carter Holt burn-off with low-level smoke drifting in from the sea over Rabbit Island and the extent of the mix over Brightwater and Wakefield.

The council response: "In accordance with rules'', "four resource consents issued'', "little that compliance officers could do''. The prize for ignoring the problem must go to the councillors who, after discussion, "decided not to take any further action''.

How about some investigative journalism to get to the bottom of this matter? The council rules and consents, or the administration of them, appear to be seriously flawed.


Richmond, July 22.

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