Expressway pollutants concerns 'overstated'

Last updated 05:00 23/11/2012
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The owner of a Waikanae property sandwiched between a proposed expressway interchange and a new Waikanae River bridge fears her vegetables and fruit trees will be covered in "oily diesel" and her peace and quiet ruined.

Loretta Pomare, who lives in Puriri Rd, challenged New Zealand Transport Agency consultant David Black yesterday on the health effects of the McKays to Peka Peka expressway at a board of inquiry hearing for the agency's application to build the road.

Ms Pomare stressed the road where she lived had always been very quiet with "zero traffic and no pollution".

"I live sustainably. I do not want pollutants on my food."

Dr Black believed she was overstating the case, saying there were market gardens on the Bombay Hills with the Waikato expressway running through them.

Ms Pomare said brakes and tyres added heavy metals to the environment, but Dr Black said copper from brakes was not really considered a problem with gardens, as "it is often used as a fungicide with growing vegetables".

Ms Pomare said there were a lot of cottage industries in her area providing organic food, which she ate exclusively.

Dr Black replied: "I respect what you are doing but the facts for evidence of organic products is not really there, it is personal choice."

When Ms Pomare expressed concern about noise and dust, especially during construction, Dr Black said it could easily be mitigated by using simple respiratory or eye protection.

"Are you seriously suggesting I should use a face mask and breathing apparatus for up to five years of construction in my own home?" she asked.

"No, that is in the unlikely event it would happen," he replied.

Dr Black confirmed he started working on the project on August 15 and produced his evidence by September 10.

"You only spent one day in the field," Ms Pomare said. "Your evidence was totally rushed, it is not robust."

Contact Kay Blundell
Kapiti reporter

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- The Dominion Post


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