Remember back when our mayors, MPs and Regional Council were trying their utmost to delay a central government mandate to cleanup PM10 pollution by 2013?
To remind you, PM10 consists of the small particulates — in this region, caused overwhelmingly by woodburning for heat in homes, using poor quality woodburners — that get sucked into the lungs, causing anything from aggravated asthma to lung cancer.
Our elected leaders fell all over each other — some flatly and ignorantly denying that there was any health hazard at all — to lobby the Government to delay enforcement of entirely justified new standards set by the Labour Government. And of course the National Government complied, delaying required compliance by seven years — from 2013 to 2020. This despite the fact that HBRC and our local bodies knew for years that they would need to meet new standards … standards that were in fact already being met elsewhere in NZ.
Last week, researchers reported that woodburning in deficient home woodburners claimed an estimated 653 lives per year in NZ … 41 of those in Hawke’s Bay. 41 lives per year in Hawke’s Bay. That’s appreciably more than all the bashings and traffic accidents studiously reported by HB Today.
Last week, HBRC filed a legally required (and buried) notice in HB Today that Hastings District exceeded the new standards six days in July (Napier had no exceedances), more than the same period last year. The new guidelines allow only 1 exceedance per year, but, as noted above, that limit does not now need to be met until 2020.
Councils, where are all the media releases celebrating those results?