In the article on the Dome Valley landfill (MM Feb 3), William Kapea says that the landfill could even be said to fit within Maori cultural values. This may have been so in very early times when Maori, their Polynesian relatives, European and other cultures were very much “throw away” cultures, and when “what comes from papatuanuku (land) goes back to papatuanuku” was a positive, workable practice. However, this only worked because all the materials that were thrown away were of natural biological sources and decomposed in a reasonable time. This was, and always will be, a good way to obtain any productive soil on some Pacific islands, and, on some of the clay soils around our area, it is indeed the only way. Unfortunately, I have found in my work in the Pacific Islands, as in New Zealand, that many of the materials now thrown by the “throw away” culture are of plastic, chemical, or metal materials that do not readily decompose into soil and cause long term contamination, just as will inevitably be the case in the Dome Valley. A significant amount of our New Zealand foreign aid programme money is spent on projects solving the problem of solid waste in our neighbouring Pacific Islands. A Dome Valley “giga-midden” would undoubtedly result in effluent to add to the pine forest effluent, increased road runoff effluent, and other modern chemical effluents; even biological matter cannot decompose properly at these “landfill” depths. If the giga-midden is approved, will the downstream efforts required to be implemented be sufficient to help the Kaipara Harbour and local water recovery? I certainly hope so, as this affects many more people than just those residing in the local area.
Julian Joy, Dairy Flat
Get it right
“Strong resistance” your headline on page 3 to Covid vaccine (MM Feb 17) declared. The majority was for the vaccine (66 per cent). A “strong agreement” for the vaccine headline would have reflected clearer facts, as well as the positivity versus the induced negativity.
Trudy Franklin, Warkworth