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Concrete tipped on sacred land

By COREY CHARLTON

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Concrete has been dumped on a sacred Maori site in Poraiti and the Napier City Council has yet to receive a consent application for the rubble, which is on privately owned land.

The exact amount of crushed concrete on the property is unknown but it is in excess of 100 cubic metres, and pile holes for engineering work have already been dug. The land is a known Maori urupa (cemetery), and consent would require approval from local iwi.

The property is the residence of Malcolm Herbert, director of Napier-based Herbert Construction.

Email correspondence shows NCC has known about the breach of its district plan since January and despite raising concerns multiple times with Consult Plus, the consultancy company engaged by Mr Herbert, it has yet to receive a consent application for it.

Mr Herbert said he had been unaware at the time it was a breach of the district plan and that the land was of historical significance.

He was applying for a "retrospective" consent and the delays had come from discussions with local iwi and organising the proposed engineering works that would be used to retain the fill.

The material was part of planned landscaping work on the property.

NCC senior resource consents planner Paul O'Shaughnessy said the volume of fill was well in excess of the district plan limit.

"Council are looking at seeking some further legal advice on it," he said. "It's very frustrating when people do ... works on this sort of scale. It's not an ideal situation, especially the fact it's been done by someone who's involved in the construction industry, who should know what the regulations are and what consents are required."

The crushed concrete is believed to have come from the demolition of Napier's AMP building. This was undertaken by Auckland based company Demolition 1, contracted to Herbert Construction, late last year.

Herbert Construction is a Napier-based company that built the Hawke's Bay Regional Council building on Dalton St, now the subject of a leaky building dispute. Herbert Construction Fiji has also worked on multi-million dollar projects in Fiji, such as a $25 million refurbishment of the Sheraton Royal Denarau Resort.

Mr O'Shaughnessy said that once a consent was received they would then "make a more informed decision" about whether the fill could stay, he said. This included an assessment to determine if it should be publicly notified. NCC could issue an abatement notice or a fine, but was instead opting to work with Consult Plus.

Demolition 1 director Ivan Yukich said the material dumped in Poraiti was concrete that had been crushed on site, and they were contracted to put it at the property. He was unaware it had breached the district plan.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council resource management group manager Iain Maxwell said the waste was non-hazardous material and there weren't environmental risks despite its proximity to the Ahuriri waterway.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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