Demolition of the remains of three Waipu shops destroyed by fire has begun.

The shops - a cafe, a herbal supplies shop and a pharmacy - were destroyed by an accidental fire in the early hours of September 30.

At the time, people were asked to stay indoors and keep their windows closed due to an asbestos risk.

NPM Construction and NPM Remediation managing director Paul Boyd said his company had been contracted by the various insurance companies to clean up the site, which is contaminated with asbestos.


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Boyd said they started at the site on Thursday and he was allowing a week and a half to complete the job.

He said the waste from the site was double-layer wrapped in a "big cocoon" and transported to Puwera Landfill where it was buried.

"It goes to a specialist part of the tip, set up for contaminated waste."

Boyd added the weather was "playing the game" by raining, which is great for keeping dust down.

He said they were also spraying the site with a particle binder to decrease the amount of dust.

Additionally, Boyd said an independent company had air monitors in the surrounding area to make sure they are keeping to accepted dust levels while carrying out their work.

He said they were following the strict regulations for working in a contaminated environment.


His staff are wearing protective suits and masks as part of those regulations.

Boyd said WorkSafe, Northland Regional Council and Whangārei District Council were also monitoring the work they were doing.