Former landfill exposes kids to broken glass and orange water at New Plymouth park video

BRITTANY BAKER/STUFF

A former landfill in New Plymouth turned into a park for Marfell has been left to waste.

 In the middle of a  New Plymouth suburb, an abandoned park has become a "dangerous" wasteland.

Marfell Park, a former landfill, was the site of a thriving BMX track until the club moved 18 months ago and left the park for the council to deal with.

But now oily and orange water sits in parts of the track, chairs lie broken and a graffiti-covered container has been scorched from the inside.

New Plymouth District Council are halfway through remedial work to clear the park for an upgrade.
SIMON O'CONNOR/STUFF

New Plymouth District Council are halfway through remedial work to clear the park for an upgrade.

Pauline Johnstone, of the Marfell Community Trust, said the area is dangerous and the people of Marfell feel forgotten in a city that seems to be moving on without them.

"Frankly it's s... and we're missing out," she said. "It's a hazard, it should probably be blocked off. The birds don't even want to come here."

READ MORE:
Marfell's makeover divides New Plymouth council
Homes could be demolished in Marfell Park plan
'Neglected' neighbourhood gets council tick for better traffic management
Frustration sets in as Marfell houses remain derelict

Parents in the area won't allow their children to play unsupervised in Marfell Park as broken glass and knives lurk ...
SIMON O'CONNOR/STUFF

Parents in the area won't allow their children to play unsupervised in Marfell Park as broken glass and knives lurk underground and in nearby bushes.

When the BMX Club relocated to their new premises in Bell Block, Taranaki BMX Trustee Blair Riddick said the New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) was warned that upkeep would be demanding.

"They told me to leave the track, leave the container, leave the chairs, they wanted it," he said.

"It frustrates me the council has neglected it so badly," Riddick said.

Marfell advocate Pauline Johnstone said the community park has become a wasteland.
SIMON O'CONNOR/STUFF

Marfell advocate Pauline Johnstone said the community park has become a wasteland.

"We're getting a lot of calls about it and it's quite sad but we can't be held accountable for council land."

Ad Feedback

Stacey Hitchcock, councillor for the NPDC, said another club was expected to step in and care for the track, but it never happened.

She said the council is hoping someone with "a keen interest" would come forward to oversee its maintenance.

Former landfill site Marfell Park's current state resembles that of a dump.
SIMON O'CONNOR/STUFF

Former landfill site Marfell Park's current state resembles that of a dump.

The state of the park has never been ideal though, Riddick said, as uncovered rubbish on the track was a consistent issue and kids who fell had to immediately clean their wound "or it would fester".

"I can take anyone to five different locations where you can peel back a piece of grass and there's the dump. It's that close to the surface," he said.

"At the end of the day, it's a municipal dump - there's anything and everything in there."

The former New Plymouth BMX Track has been left to rot and fall apart and Blair Riddick is upset New Plymouth District ...
SIMON O'CONNOR/STUFF

The former New Plymouth BMX Track has been left to rot and fall apart and Blair Riddick is upset New Plymouth District Council hasn't kept the place pristine.

The roughly 11 hectares of grassy area between Cook and Endeavour Sts was used as a dump site for 26 years but was covered in large volumes of soil and turned into a place for children to play some time in the late 1970s.

Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) expected sinkage to occur as materials underground decomposed and carried out regular testing to ensure no hazardous contaminants were in the soil.

But workers laying a stormwater drain in 2009 unearthed two drums containing toxic chemicals used in the manufacture of herbicides.

Oily orange water fills holes around the BMX track and park users are worried the soil is contaminated.
SIMON O'CONNOR/STUFF

Oily orange water fills holes around the BMX track and park users are worried the soil is contaminated.

A in-depth investigation and analysis prepared by the TRC found there were no risks to people or the environment.

But Johnstone is skeptical and points to a vibrant orange stream that runs through the BMX track and toward the entrance at Grenville St.

"Even in sunny weather, there's a steady stream," she said.

However Gary Bedford of TRC said the council regularly monitor the area and are confident "there are no grounds for concern".

He said the water discoloration was from iron oxide - a natural occurrence throughout Taranaki.

Each investigation, sampling and analysis the TRC undertakes has come back okay, Bedford said, thus allowing them to scale back the number of observations to every two years.

Marfell resident Cory Gardiner said kids often stepped in broken glass in the area and it would be nice for an upgrade with a "halfway decent" playground.

"It seems like everywhere else in New Plymouth is getting an upgrade but us."

NPDC councillor Shaun Biesiek said NPDC was halfway through remedial work to clear the site for an upgrade, which would install a playground and basketball half court at the "new entrance" of south Cook St.

"We have not forgotten Marfell," he said.

 

 - Stuff

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Latest Auckland flight cancellations video

All airlines flying into and out of Auckland Airport have been affected by the jet fuel crisis.

Effects of the jet fuel pipe line shut-down continue at Auckland Airport.

Improv star's NZ nerves video

Colin Mochrie will preform at Auckland's Town Hall on November 3.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? star Colin Mochrie will be performing with comedy troupe, the Improv Bandits.

Travellers caught up in jet fuel crisis

Simon Jones and Aurelie Meurice are dreading their extra-long flight to Manchester via Melbourne and Dubai with their ...

Some are worried disruptions will cause them to miss longed-for trips and celebrations.

Fletcher workers to strike

Workers at a Hunua quarry site owned by Fletcher Building will picket in protest over hours and pay.

Auckland quarry workers' union says their pay doesn't keep up with cost of living.

Wellington

Eli gains loyal, helpful friend video

Six-year-old Eli Burkhalter with  his new assistance dog Taffy.

Taffy the golden labrador is a welcome companion for six-year-old Waikanae boy.

Kids sick on synthetics

Synthetic drugs, often mixed with dried leaves resembling cannabis, have claimed at least 20 lives in New Zealand this ...

Youngest was just 5 as three Porirua kids taken to hospital severely ill.

SH1 blockage cleared

NZTA advised of delays on around the Paremata roundabout and Mana on State Highway 1 after a three-car crash at Plimmerton.

Minor delays continue after a two-car crash near Plimmerton.

Capital train strike likely

Capital commuters are likely to face disruptions as rail workers prepare to strike.

Disruptions ahead for Wellington rail commuters as employment dispute boils over.

Canterbury

'Bound together by cancer' video

Christchurch father of two Kevin "Chalky" Carr received the news that his pancreatic cancer was back and his prognosis ...

Chalky Carr could have focused on his own cancer fight. Instead, he's raising $100,000 for a girl he'd never met.

Mum 'cannot grieve' video

Michelle Bishop is upset at the service received by funeral home Poppy Funerals following the death of her daughter ...

Michelle Bishop feels let down by funeral director who gave her Thin Lizzy for body and booked funeral at buffet restaurant.

Who won the final debate? video

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 20:  Labour party leader Jacinda Ardern speaks during the TVNZ Vote 2017 2nd Leaders ...

Jacinda Ardern looked and sounded like someone in a fight for their political life. And she is.

Just smile at the road rage video

30082018 News: GEORGE HEARD/STUFF

Stuff Reporter Julian Lee takes a day out in Christchurch to really see what people ...

They may not be rich, but these three blokes don't want for much.

Waikato

A $30m Taupō shopping list

Saturday's $13m Lotto winner could buy a bar, a 7-bedroom house, a helicopter and Tesla S electric car - and still have ...

Mystery Powerball winner can buy the dream house, car, chopper and even the local Irish pub.

City's $1b water park

The site could be home to an adventure park where visitors can try wakeboarding or scramble over an inflatable aquatic ...

Plans for a water adventure park, including housing, have been revealed.

Threatened at knifepoint

Police received reports of the robbery in Tokoroa at 10.05pm (File).

A Tokoroa dairy worker was threatened with a knife during a late night attempted robbery.

Massive slip crosses river

A slip, estimated between 10 and 20 hectares, has fallen from private farm land in Waitomo.

Rain-soaked landslide was so big and so fast that rolled over a river and onto a road.

Taranaki

Death of monkey at Brooklands Zoo

150816 News Grant Matthew/Fairfax NZ 

Cotton-top tamarin monkeys at the Brooklands Zoo in New Plymouth.

Nephrite leaves behind her 5-year-old daughter Inca, and Inca's dad.

Tight result predicted 

New Plymouth candiates
Clockwise from top left: Murray Chong (NZ First), Jonathan Young (National), Corie Haddock ...

Six New Plymouth electorate candidates still have more to do before they can relax

Ngā Manu Kōrero begins

Dr Ruakere Hond addressed the manuhiri (visitors).

Students from 52 schools across Aotearoa have arrived in New Plymouth for a speech competition.

Principal search

Lynda Stuart, president of the NZEI, said there are ore principal vacancies than usual.

Four schools are looking for principals, and another four are looking for deputies and assistants.

Manawatu

Another feather in artist's cap

13092017 Photo: MURRAY WILSON/STUFF		
Artist Joe Mcmenamin has worked with Lytton St School kids making a large, ...

Artist brightening up Manawatū streets with mural artwork.

Convicted killer sues 

Convicted murderer Stephen Hudson appeared by audio-visual link to the High Court in Wellington. (File photo)

Stephen Hudson was in Whanganui Prison, he's now in Rimutaka, but he wants to be at Tongariro.

Two service stations held up

The BP service station in Main St, Palmerston North, was robbed by two armed men on Wednesday.

Armed men entered a BP in Palmerston North and a Mobil in Levin.

House fire investigated

Firefighters put out a house fire in Eyre St, Feilding, early on Thursday.

Investigators are looking into the cause of a fire in an empty Feilding house overnight.

Nelson

Great Kererū Count due to start

Nelsonians have been invited to do their bit to help keep count of the nation's kererū.

It's time to get our your notebooks and keep your eyes peeled for New Zealand's native wood pigeon.

'What's a candidate?' video

Birchwood School students from left Jacob 8, Talei 9, Mia 8, talk to Stuff about their thoughts on the election and politics.

They can't legally vote until 2029, but they still have strong views on the election.

Who are you voting for?

Who are you voting for?

How are you voting on Saturday? Have your say in our election poll.

Home detention for sexual assaults

Ian Hopkins has been sentenced to home detention after being found guilty of indecent assault against three women.

A 75-year-old Nelson man given home detention over indecent assaults on three women.

Marlborough

Recycling in the bag

Pak 'n Save owner Mark Elkington with their new soft plastics recycling bin.

Millions of plastic bags destined for landfill can now be recycled.

The generation game

The chutney-taste test is a serious business for members of the Women's Institute.

The cavalry is coming for one of New Zealand's oldest institutions - and they've brought chutney.

'Taylor-made' for trees

The first planting event in 2014 saw  Marlborough Landscape Group members, from left, Helen Ballinger, Ralph Ballinger ...

 It began as an idea to enhance the river and has branched out into something much bigger.

When one door closes ...

Business owners Holly Bonnington, right, and Kay Nicholls (centre) at the Sneaky Beach Cafe in Havelock.

The Sneaky Beach Cafe opened this week in Havelock, much to the excitement of locals.

South Canterbury

Men's health focus of campaign

Jonty Penney from Timaru is participating in the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride to raise funds for men,s health.

Two Timaru men are taking the health message on the road.

Flow-on concerns

David Hurst, from A J Engineering in Washdyke, is concerned about the impact of the water levy.

S Canty businesses concerned about impact of Labour's water levy, spokesman says concerns unjustified.

New Mackenzie CEO

New Mackenzie council chief executive Suzette van
Aswegen.

A current staff member will take on the top job at the Mackenzie District Council.

'He's a hero,' neighbour says

The remains of the Waipopo property on Wednesday afternoon.

Waipopo man who rescued wife from fire would have used 'every bit of strength'.

Otago

Search for missing man

Missing Dunedin man Stephen Lowe.

More than 30 ground searchers, three search dogs and an aerial search have failed to find any further sign of missing Dunedin man Stephen Lowe

Serial sea lion killer at large video

A sea lion found shot on a Catlins beach in Southland in April.

A serial killer may be targeting New Zealand sea lions, with a $5000 reward on offer in exchange for the culprit.

Fired while on sick leave

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has ordered Oamaru-based P&W Painters (PWP) to compensate former employee Paul ...

Company that unfairly fired brush hand while on sick leave also had to compensate an ex-staffer who was called a "baby killer".

Kidnapping duo plead guilty

Nick Miles, 24, and Gary Michael Wilson, 46, have admitted kidnapping a man and dumping him on the outskirts of Dunedin.

Two men kidnapped and dumped another man on the outskirts on Dunedin.

Southland

Youth organisations make appeal

Sam Balloch was one of dozens of volunteers seeking signatures for a petition to keep Number 10 One Stop Shop and ...

Number 10 Youth One Stop Shop and the Invercargill Secondary Schools Network are gathering support for their petition to remain at their current location.

Pound in clear

An animal group and the Invercargill City Council are at odds about how a dog was treated. (File photo)

Ministry for Primary Industries clears the Invercargill City Council over captive bolt use.

Forestry gets favour: ES

Nicol Horrell, chairman of Environment Southland.

''Forestry operators will be able to operate at lower environmental standards than other resource users in Southland."

Quake off Southland coast

A magnitude 5.8 quake struck near Southland.

A 5.8 earthquake hit off the coast of Southland - but its shaking was unnoticeable, GeoNet says.

Ad Feedback