Kaitiakitanga Program and Network
7.2.1 Decontamination of toxic chemical and leachates - Project Details:
We the people of this valley has been left with a legacy of potentially dangerous toxic abandoned industrial sites from saw milling, timber treatment, forestry and possibly historical conservation operations. These were formally identified by Runanga member Doug Rewi in his submission to the Waitangi Tribunal in October 2004, along with other health issues raised by John Hutton our Iwi Researcher.
We have recently had the Bay of Plenty District Health Board and others visit the valley to investigate this and a range of other health issues associated with water sewerage, waste, housing etc. We are asking for a full survey of the abandoned sites, all of which were associated with State Forest and other Forest related operations. This is a problem that has been passed on to our community that is not at all of our own making, so we are expecting those responsible taking the profits from the past operations that created it, to bear the full cost of decontamination and protection of our waterways from pollutants. We do not want our children to grow up exposed to this.
The sites that we know of include but are not limited to:
This project is to drive the action required by those responsible for creating the hazard. We appreciate that these are difficult issues and are independently in contact with some international expertise regarding natural Bioremedial processes that could be used to process the sawdust heaps leachates and perhaps also some of the other toxicity.
From this investigation a lot of questions are being raised about applying the "Precautionary Principal" regarding the use of other toxins used for pest control and other operations in both DOC and forestry companies in the Whirinaki Catchment. For reference we have found the American Forest and Paper Association's Sustainable Forestry Initiative procedures that in section 184.108.40.206.3 quote "Program participants shall minimise chemical use required to achieve management objectives whilst protecting employees, neighbours, public and forest environment.
We gathered the whole community together with appropriate authorities to start some action on 10 Dec 2004. The Old Forestry Compound has been declared a hazardous area by OSH and closed, so we need some urgent testing to determine its state before we can recommence renovation works on the buildings there.
We are frustrated that no one is taking responsibility for this problem and understand from a report "Contaminated Land: Pass the Parcel" produced by the Sustainability Council that Government is attempting to sidestep it.
We were for fortunate to make contact with Paul Stammets at the Sustainable Resources Conference in 2004. He has been pioneering Mycoremediation Technology for toxin and other restoration using mushrooms and fungi which are largely not well understood by the scientific community. We hope to trial some of these techniques in our area. We are also discovering that there is a whole network of fungi threads under the ground in our rainforests that helps connect everything into a complex interdependent "Whanua" [family], exchanging the nutrients that each species needs for growth.
In March 2007 Randal Stensness from Hokianga Harbourcare a member of our Kaitiakitanga network travelling on a learning journey with the New Zealand Youth Voice was able to attend a seminar with Paul Stamets and bring home some groundbreaking natural technology that may be the key to us solving some of our local toxin issues. With our Kaitaikaitanga Network Partners we initiated in May 07 a Mycorestoration Research Project (see video there) that intended to build on this. It was temporarily halted by a lack of official funding support.
On 5th July 2007, we were excited to hear that the Minister for the Environment David Benson-Pope announced a sawmilll and tip remediation project for Minginui which we hope will be a model for many other places.
Toxtown - a site that helps identify and understand toxin hazards http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/
Paul Stamets Fungi perfecti site remediation page
When searching the web try these alternative names Mycorrhiza, Mycorrhysae, Mycelium, Mycology
A clean and safe environment for our grandchildren - Our Kaitiakitanga
Start Date: Oct 2004
We have no budget allowance for this - it is our problem to make sure it is fixed, but not our responsibility to fund it.
Nominal Project Leader:
Piloted by Doug Rewi on behalf of the Runanga. Full community support now behind this project.
Peter Goldsbury is helping us network internationally and collect people and information around myco remediation.
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What Andree a sustainability writer discovered about Kaitiakitanga
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