The Waiareka Valley Preservation Society
Society calls on Holcim to engage in a substantive dialogue on likely air emissions
Today Dr Rodwell, Chairman of the Waiareka Valley Preservation Society, commented that:
“To our surprise Holcim continues to avoid meaningful dialogue, and instead persists in making baseless accusations via
the media. On Saturday Holcim took the extraordinary step of placing advertisements in local papers defending its level
of consultation and attacking the Society for supposedly circulating misinformation.
Holcim has no basis for these claims, nor has it attempted to establish a basis by indicating areas where our data is
wrong. As we have said all along, our Society does not have all the answers, but we have a lot of questions.
In Saturday’s advertisement Holcim describes the RMA process for their cement plant as if it were a small property
subdivision in Queenstown. It is not. It will be the largest industrial plant in the South Island, with an enormous
level of air emissions. These effects cannot be avoided, remedied or mitigated. What matters is sustainable economic and
environmental management, our obligations to people and communities, and our obligations as a community to future
It is barely three months since Holcim informed the community of the enormous size of this project. It was only at that
point that the members of our Society came to appreciate that Holcim’s cement plant represented a real and enduring
threat to our local environment and our community. Since then we have formed the Society, engaged one of the best RMA
legal teams in the country, hired a full-time scientist, and engaged environmental consultants and scientists in New
Zealand and Australia.
We have prepared for substantive dialogue. Instead Holcim prefers a tit-for-tat through the media. Regrettably Holcim
has yet to respond to our written request for samples or data.
Although Holcim claims a connection to the region via Milburn’s long history, the reality is that Holcim is a 100%
foreign owned company – with no substantial New Zealand shareholders – that only operates in New Zealand courtesy of our
country’s liberal foreign investment laws.
It is time Holcim started treating our local community and our Society with the respect it deserves.”