Environmental issues, resource management, hapū and iwi perspectives on species and habitat loss are significant to Ngāti Raukawa’s treaty claims and the problems are far from just being historic. A case in point is the Levin Landfill located on Hokio Beach Road close to Ngātokowaru Marae.
Māori, environmental groups and concerned public have united in an attempt to close the Levin Landfill because toxic leachate is contaminating the Hokio Stream, which runs directly into the ocean. Ngātokowaru Marae is in close proximity and representative David Moore is a spokesperson for the Hokio Neighbourhood Liaison group.
This is an environmental watchdog group that aims to protect the Hokio area and the wider environment. It is currently protesting to create public awareness. Currently the resource consents for the landfill are being reviewed as part of a five-yearly process. There are more than 170 public submissions mostly opposing its current processes.The Horowhenua District Council owns the landfill and is desperate to keep the landfill open despite huge environmental and financial costs. They have admitted they cannot contain the landfill leachate that seeps into the Hokio Stream.
The five yearly review is now underway with Horizons Regional Council imposing a new set of conditions. These conditions are being contested by Horowhenua District Council.
The council maintain closing the landfill would result in a burden to Horowhenua ratepayers. They also maintain the leachate that leaks into the Hokio Stream has no impact and the stream is no worse off with the leachate running in to it. The stream is already polluted because it runs from Lake Horowhenua that is itself polluted.
Mr Moore says the legacy will be a poisoned community.
“This is not the legacy we want to leave for our mokopuna. They deserve better. The bigger the dump gets, the bigger the mess to be cleaned up in the future.”
Mr Moore said if people are concerned they are able to sign an online petition at https://www.toko.org.nz/petitions/close-the-leachate-leaking-landfill.