Hauraki iwi Ngāti Hako are jubilant as plans to expand the Tirohia landfill have been rejected.
By Te Karere's Bronson Eruera Perich
Waste Management own the Tirohia dump which is on Rae o Te Papa mountain, located between Paeroa and Te Aroha.
They applied for consent to expand Tirohia by three million cubic metres.
It was denied by commissioners who looked at the issue for the Waikato Regional Council and Hauraki District Council.
Ngāti Hako felt this violated current covenants and hoped the independent commissioners appointed to oversee the matter would agree.
Ngāti Hako leader Josie Anderson said the decision reflects public sentiment on councils and environmental management.
"Today's decision is recognition of a movement and widespread opinion that New Zealanders have serious concerns about how councils are dealing with rubbish,” Anderson said.
“And the negative impact landfills have on whenua and how simple education can provide immediate solutions to household waste minimisation."
Waste Management provided a statement saying it's "disappointed in the decision to decline Waste Management’s resource consent application to build new landfill cells at Tirohia Landfill & Energy Park".
"The growing Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne regions require a solution to safely and economically manage waste and extending landfilling operations at Tirohia is the best solution with the least environmental impacts.
"At the current rate of filling, the existing landfill at Tirohia will be full within the next two years, and resource consent was sought to build new cells (lined area which contains the waste) at a second site within the boundaries of the land owned by Waste Management (known as "Phase C").
"Ngāti Hako are mana whenua and we acknowledge they have concerns, we have listened closely to those and will continue to engage constructively," Waste Management says.
Their team is now reviewing the decision in detail.