The public must have confidence that Environment Waikato will take action when an organisation fails to keep its promises in protecting the environment, the Council’s Chief Executive said today.
Responding to Hamilton City Council’s claims that the Regional Council was “unprofessional” in prosecuting it for breaches of its resource consents at the Horotiu landfill, Environment Waikato Chief Executive Harry Wilson said it would be a waste of ratepayers’ money to not follow through when an organisation breached its consents.
“An organisation makes promises to members of the community that it will do certain things to allay their concerns. Our Councillors sat on the resource consent hearing on this landfill application, which was very controversial because of its location.
“The public must have confidence in the process and be assured that we will take action when those promises to the public are not fulfilled. We are obliged to do that, equally, impartially and fairly and we do that job professionally.”
He said Environment Waikato rejected Hamilton City’s claim of unprofessionalism and lack of communication. Environment Waikato had communicated with phone calls, emails and a full 30-page audit report.
“It is not our job to tell a party how to comply with the conditions of their consent. It is their job to comply and to inform us when those conditions are not complied with. Yet we found breaches of those conditions almost every time we visited the site and they had not reported them to us.
“We are disappointed at the city council’s public commentary on this matter, but it is not unusual. We find that anyone who has committed an offence tries to discredit the body bringing action against them through the media.”
Mr Wilson said the public had considerable concerns about the environmental effects of landfills, and with another large landfill planned in the Region, public concern was heightened about how well those managing them kept their promises to the community about their good management.