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Heavy industry retreat near marae investigated

The Whareroa Marae sits at the water's edge in Taiaho Place with heavy industry sitting all around it. File image/SunLive.

A “managed retreat” of the industrial zone surrounding a Tauranga marae which borders residential areas will be investigated by Tauranga City Council.

The Whareroa Marae sits at the water's edge in Taiaho Place with heavy industry sitting all around it including fertiliser plants, log treatment facilities and tank farms.

The marae features a thriving pre-school and has elder housing which has led to residents raising concerns about the pollution.

Whareroa Marae environment spokesman Joel Ngātuere told the council it is unfair for their children to breath in pollutants from the heavy industries.

Tauranga City Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council are working with government agencies such as WorkSafe, Toi Te Ora and the Ministry for the Environment to consider the issues stemming from the proximity of the industrial zone so close to the marae.

This follows a Tauranga Moana Advisory Group recommendation to create and "Commission an independent, comprehensive report to investigate the potential for instigating a managed retreat of pollutant industries from the Totara Rd site south of Hewletts Rd and report back to this committee when completed."

The Whareroa Marae community has called for a cross-agency approach to deal with air quality impacts and other issues arising from industrial activities in its neighbourhood.

Tauranga Mayor Tenby Powell says the build-up of industry around the marae over many decades has clearly had an impact on the Whareroa community’s wellbeing.

“There are a number of issues in play here, such as relationships between councils and tangata whenua, potential human health impacts of the wider community and significant commercial interests.

“It is important that all parties work together to understand the issues and find solutions.

It will also be important to find ways to mitigate any impacts through air quality improvements in the short- to medium-term.”

Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Chief Executive, Fiona McTavish says she acknowledges the importance of the relationship Regional Council has with the Marae.

“The Whareroa community have asked for help and an inter-agency approach will assist with understanding their health needs and the impact surrounding industry has on them.

“We will continue to have ongoing discussions with them to address their concerns. To achieve an outcome that ensures the health and safety of the Marae, we are engaging with the relevant parties to expedite an outcome as soon as possible."

Matt Shand/Stuff.

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Whareroa Marae

Posted on 21-08-2020 20:43 | By Watchdog

I have noticed that the Tall Oil plant emits quite a toxic smelling smoke on occasions. Has this been investigated to see if there are petroleum carcinogens in this smoke. It would be great to have it re-located in time.

I so agree...

Posted on 21-08-2020 20:24 | By groutby

....it is not at all good to have such pollutants have such an effect on the marae.. so...shift the marae...not difficult is it compared to shutting down productive workplaces...win/win for both..easy as...

Fact check?

Posted on 21-08-2020 18:52 | By

Can someone check to see when the zoning for Industry was granted in this area? Seems strange to me that any council would have allowed Industry zoning for these businesses when a residential residence was already in situ.... just saying... maybe the Council created this issue? Or did they issue a zoning for Marae only ( which is not a permanent 24/7 x 364 domestic residence) and someone has extended the terms of that zoning to a level that is now causing issues?