INDEPENDENT NEWS

Evidence of adverse impacts becomes overwhelming

Published: Wed 18 Dec 2002 01:01 PM
MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release – 18th December 2002
AERIAL SPRAYING MUST STOP
Groups invoke Health Act as evidence of adverse impacts becomes overwhelming
As the aerial spray operation against the Painted Apple Moth moves ever deeper into Auckland, desperate community campaigners are taking the battle into the legal arena in search of protection.
Waitakere City Council at its last meeting before Christmas closedown, will tonight receive a deputation from nine groups opposing the aerial spraying. They will be petitioning Council to exercise its statutory obligations under the Health Act and protect its citizens.
Leading the deputation, Hana Blackmore of the Painted Apple Moth Community Coalition (CC-PAM), says evidence of overwhelming harm and adverse impacts on the life of people in the spray zones cannot be ignored any more.
"For the last six months, in co-ordination with the Community Advisory Group we have been recording the health impacts and incidents being experienced in the spray zone, and I hope to present a brief interim report to Councillors tonight" says Hana
"Quite frankly I have been shocked to the core. The individual stories are bad enough, but the sheer volume of significant effects that are repeated over and over again, disprove all official MAF risk assessments that the spray is 'safe'. These effects are real, and they are not just trivial, transient irritants."
In spite of the limitations involved in gathering this information, three hundred and eighty seven incidents have been reported to date says Hana, with over a thousand specific health effects detailed.
"These range from complaints of an irritant nature, through serious exacerbations of pre-existing conditions like asthma, to such severe effects that some people's lives and livelihoods have been quite simply devastated."
Hana believes that on this evidence alone this is now a public health emergency and one that should not be ignored.
"But when the non-health impact of this eradication programme on the lives of people and the community are also taken into account - this is simply an outrageous violation of peoples rights."
Who protects the people? - is the question she will be asking Waitakere Council tonight.
Contact:
Hana Blackmore 09 528 8811 - 025 688 7049
Bmore@iconz.co.nz
CC-PAM - PO Box 25743, St Heliers Auckland

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