Locals fear years of blasting

By Lindy Laird

1 comment
This recent blast at a Kerikeri quarry, that spooked horses in a nearby corral, has neighbours concerned over an application to extend the quarry's consent for another 14 years.
This recent blast at a Kerikeri quarry, that spooked horses in a nearby corral, has neighbours concerned over an application to extend the quarry's consent for another 14 years.

Neighbours affected by quarrying activities on a Stanners Rd property, near Waipapa, are unhappy the business might extend its land use consent for another 14 years.

The consent was initially issued for 10 years in 2005. Concerns about an extension to the consent have been fuelled by a blast at the quarry on July 7, allegedly so loud it was heard and felt from Matauri Bay to Kerikeri.

A video taken by neighbours from about 200m away show a huge cloud rising from the blast, the boom and the effect on riding school horses corralled nearby.

Local residents said their houses shook and they thought windows would break when the shock waves hit, and "dogs for miles around started barking".

There were no reports of damage.

JSB Construction director Kerry Lupi, who also owns the dairy farm the quarry is on, said the blast was nothing out of the ordinary.

"It's no more than we usually do, although it might have been a bit louder than usual, but it's been standard procedure for the past 10 years," Mr Lupi said.

The blast was planned for earlier in the day but took place later when more people than usual might have been home, he said.

Neighbours were notified by the quarry operators the night before that a regular explosion was due to take place the following day. The land use consent requires 24 hours notice.

The consent also requires compliance with Far North District Plan noise standards but the council received only one complaint about noise, on July 5.

Co-owner Sue Lupi referred Northern Advocate to RedBull Powder, the Auckland explosives company that does the blasting.

The company's manager Chris Pilmer was unavailable for comment.

Stanners Rd resident Daniel Spake said he took exception to Mr Lupi's claims the size of the blast was not out of the ordinary.

"Sure, blasting is quarry industry practice but as an affected party to the quarry operation for the last 10 years, this latest blast event ranks among the largest," Mr Spake said.

"Sequential smaller blasts are best practice to reduce the impacts of ground vibration at nearby dwellings but it seems that on this occasion the sequential blasts were scaled up.

Blasting of this nature will be rattling the area for some time to come as an application for consent extension to the year 2030 has been lodged."

The consent hearing, on July 25 at the Red Cross Hall, Butler Road, Kerikeri, starting at 9.30am, is open to the public as observers only.

- Northern Advocate

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