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 Government Funding for site investigation

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Corner Bayly and Ocean View Parade, New Plymouth

$160,000 to investigate potentially contaminated site

The Government will invest $160,000 to support the investigation of a potentially contaminated site in New Plymouth. Petroleum production wells were drilled on the site between 1931 and 1945.

The Government’s Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund provides funding to regional councils to assist with the investigation, remedial planning and remediation of contaminated sites that pose a risk to human health and the environment. To date, $42.5 million has been invested to clean-up sites around the country.

Further information on the Fund is available at: www.mfe.govt.nz/more/funding/contaminated-sites-remediation-fund


Asbestos Regulations 2015

dreamstime_xs_3653135.jpgThe Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 is currently under review as part of the Health and Safety Reform Bill with amendments expected in the last quarter of this year. Chapter 4 of the proposed amendments documentation, which runs to some 100 pages of discussions, deals specifically with the planned changes to the regulations governing asbestos materials. While the exact release date and the specific details of the new regulations are still uncertain, what is almost certain is that New Zealand will be updating the regulatory requirements around safely identifying and managing asbestos.
Currently – within the Health and Safety in Employment (asbestos) Regulations 1998 – the requirements for identifying, assessing and managing asbestos is not perfect. In fact, as the MBIE acknowledges, by international comparison they fall well short of any consistent application and good standards. There are considerably more safeguards currently in place for managing contaminants in soil than there are for identifying and managing asbestos in buildings or on sites in NZ.
As recent media coverage in Christchurch and Auckland has shown, industry, landowners, developers, and property managers are largely unaware of the hazards and requirements of these regulations primarily as a result of the Government's failure to educate and enforce over the last 17 years.
So what's changing?

Corresponding with the Safe Work Australia Model Code of Practice, we anticipate the following new requirements:

  • Prior to demolition or refurbishment work on any commercial buildings, a competent independent person will be required to undertake an asbestos material survey to identify the potential risk to human health of asbestos materials in the building or in the soil on the site;
  • Once identified, a plan will be put in place to manage or remove the asbestos materials as required by the demolition or refurbishment plans;
  • During removal, a competent independent person will be responsible for taking air samples and monitoring the removal process;
  • Following removal, a competent independent person will be responsible for conducting the visual and clearance inspections and certification; and
  • The ‘competent independent person’ will be required to be trained and skilled to a certified level – in Australia this person is called an Asbestos Assessor – which we believe will also be the title of this competent person within the new NZ regulations.  This is not to be confused with the current certificate of competency in NZ, which is restricted to those persons actually physically removing the asbestos materials.

GSL already has experience in the identification, monitoring, and management of asbestos materials in buildings and soils on sites and has been involved in a number of high profile asbestos removal projects with sensitive client portfolios.  We are also aware that several commercial projects, which involve the demolition of existing building structures, have been subject to Section 92 responses from Council specifically requesting further information about the potential risks of asbestos in buildings or in soil on actually or potentially contaminated sites.

We advise all commercial building managers or PCBU (Persons conducting a business or undertaking) to investigate all potentially contaminating activities on site in relation to any refurbishment or demolition project which includes provision under the NESCS (contaminated soils), the presence and extent of HAIL activities, and the presence of potentially hazardous building materials including asbestos as either a due diligence investigation prior to purchase, or as an investigative liability exercise prior to development or sale of your existing portfolios.


Housing supply and special housing areas

Auckland Council : Proposed Unitary Plan

From the Rural Urban Boundary Fact Sheet:

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The Rural Urban Boundary "defines the extent of urban development to 2041 and areas to be kept rural.
Its purpose is to help achieve well-planned, efficient urban development, conservation of the countryside and its productive rural landscape, and improve certainty about the sequenced provision of infrastructure to support growth and development in existing urban areas and greenfield areas.
Growth boundaries such as the RUB are commonly used by cities worldwide to achieve these goals. The RUB is one of a number of methods in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan to better manage Auckland’s future development along with structure plans, zones, precincts, overlays and framework plans. 
What does it mean to be inside or outside the RUB?
Being inside the proposed RUB means the land is earmarked for urban growth and the provision of urban services and infrastructure over the next 30 years. This land will be zoned future urban and will need to be structure planned before urban zones are applied to the land and developments can proceed. Not all land within the RUB will be developed for housing; parks, reserves, schools, town centres and a range of other activities will be provided for in these areas."

Read more here: 

 Special Housing Areas

 28 August 2014


ECan hands council toxic-land headache

as reported on Stuff.co.nz 20 August 2014.

The Christchurch City Council is analysing a list of more than 300 properties it owns that may be contaminated.

Affected properties include social housing, parks, reserves and cemeteries identified by Environment Canterbury (ECan) and added to its Listed Land Use Register in May.

 read more..


Christchurch school on contaminated land to get cleanup funding


By: Newstalk ZB StaffNew Zealand News | Wednesday August 13 2014 14:37

A Christchurch school built on an old landfill is getting a cash handout from the Government to clean-up its contaminated land.

Environment Minister Amy Adams has announced an extra $42,000 to remediate land under Rudolf Steiner School in Opawa.

It was built on the Ombersley Terrace landfill which was closed in 1955.

The soil contains lead, and arsenic.

The funding is part of a wider Government grant to prioritise and clean-up the top 10 most contaminated sites in the country.


Our Mission is to facilitate in a cost effective and professional manner the restoration and maintenance of land and water from the impact of human endeavours where these may cause degradation in human health or the environment. 

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