“Look at this! The hazardous substance on a truck ready for shipment! Note: no hazardous labels & stuff is in large polyprop bags like wool stored in. Not drums – i estimate 30 – 40 tons on truck so imagine the volume or area taken up by 10,000 tons – plus this is the stuff they have packaged wearing protective gear etc – the rest will just be in big piles in shef.” From some one trained in handling hazardous material.
Civil defence in contrast is saying even if a gas reaction occurred, he was confident a 500m cordon — already in place as part of the response to rising flood waters — would keep people safe from any gas which was released into the air. The river itself was also running so high that any ouvea premix released into the water would be diluted to the point it was unlikely to pose a threat to wildlife, he said. This is despite the chemical precursor list saying not water soluble do bring in contact with water.
“With the water levels as they are now, we may well get some water going into the paper mill, but we’ve got that evacuation zone in, so I’m not too concerned about ammonia gas”, said Southland Civil Defence Emergency Management group controller Angus McKay. Not mentioned is how the dross itself is carcinogenic. Fire and Emergency NZ staff and contractors had done “the best they could” to sandbag the building and protect it from flood waters, and none had been exposed to ammonia gas — “despite some media reports”, he said. Again not pointed the inadequacy of the dross storage containers and the risk posed at other sites.
When Ben’s World look at past articles on this issue in local papers it became clear this WAS NOT the only place dross premix is stored.
There was also a 2015 case of a gravel pit causing sore eyes (ammonia) in a separate town Edendale by same company involved in Mataura.
“The Environment Court has ordered a Southland fertiliser company to stop dumping a dangerous contaminant in a gravel pit near Edendale. Two people needed hospital treatment after being exposed to aluminium dross, left on the site by Taha Asia Pacific and Taha Fertiliser Industries. A Southland Regional Council compliance officer visited the Coal Pit road site and saw two piles of gravel with shiny matter in them that turned out to contain the dross”. This was used to make roads.
SEE VIDEO (& NOTES) BELOW FOR WHAT OTHER TOXINS HEAVY METALS WERE FOUND IN THE PREMIX OTHER THAN OUVEA.
The premix at, which is an oxide residue, was owned by Taha Asia Pacific Ltd, which went into liquidation in August 2016 owing creditors more than $4 million after its contract with New Zealand Aluminium Smelters to process the ouvea premix expired and was not renewed. The liquidators had no option but to formally disclaim the oxide residue as onerous property pursuant to section 269 of the Companies Act 1993. This disclaimer means disposing of the ouvea was now the responsibility of central and local government and the landlords of the storage site. It brought to an end the rights, interests and liabilities of the companies in liquidation (Taha Asia Pacifc) in relation to having to deal with the ouvea.
Company directors of the shelf company set up to fail include;
Max von Arnim, a partner at Fjord Capital Bahrain and Taha International Bahrain (along with Graham Bruce, CEO of Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill (Garmco) Bahrain, Oman Aluminium Rolling Company, (OARC) Robert Vesper) Taha International sated 20 Years of experience in the metals industry and 9 Years in dross processing it provides “The new benchmark in aluminium dross processing, provides salt – free, cost – effective and environmentally friendly dross – processing solutions to aluminium smelters and remelters worldwide. Its Zero waste solution, ensuring that no dross is sent to landfill, refines residual oxides to produce feed stock for suitable downstream applications, including agricultural soil conditioners and fertilisers. Taha have long – term agreements in place with a leading smelter in Oceania and across the GCC – the engine of growth for the aluminium industry – With on – site facilities in a number of GCC countries” .
Frank Pollman: who lives in Bahrain listed as director Taha America International
John Anthony Witter: lives in Bahrain
Maurice John Shaw Harrison (UK) of Maurice Shaw Harrison Consulting limited and Pro Guard Coating Limited (incorporated on 16 October 2014 and as of 27 June 2016 Removed) a firm which manufactured allegedly fire retardant materials.
As director Mr Shaw helped buy financially troubled Dunedin company Healthy Soils. Healthy Soils, placed in voluntary liquidation in August owing more than $390,000, offered customised farm fertiliser advice and produced solid and liquid fertilisers from a leased factory on Dukes Rd, near Mosgiel. In September 2015, it lodged resource consent for a storage facility and small processing facility on Invercargill City Council-owned land in the Awarua Industrial Park, about 20km south of Invercargill. The site had been identified on the Invercargill City Council’s hazard information maps as being at a high level of risk of river inundation.
Mr Shaw said Taha had purchased Healthy Soils because it “made environmentally friendly fertilisers that beautifully complement our own ecological approach” Nine trial sites had been developed at “various South Island locations”, all monitored by the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science (AGscience) according to Mr Shaw.
Mr Shaw declined to say how much Taha had paid for Healthy Soils and said Taha “was not responsible for the previous company’s debts”. The new company would be known as Taha Healthy Soils and be based at 162 Bond Street, West Invercargill, In 2015 when Taha Asia went into liquidation Taha Soil was not affected by Taha Asia debts. Mr Shaw (below with Tim Shadbolt) passed way died in 2016 after battling cancer. In 2016 CEO of Taha Asia Pacific Frank Pollmann CEO can still be found online boasting of “Taha’s success story” in New Zealand the role played by Taha Healthy soils. Its currently list on line as opening tomorrow at 8am phone 800 476 457. Website inactive.
Follow UP 7/02/2019 Google has Tauha Healthy soil closing at 4PM. Phone number says temporarily unavailable no list of firm in Company office files Brent Rodger listed as account manager at TAHA Healthy Soils Ltd.
|RODGER, Brent LeonardFOLIAFEED FERTILISER LIMITED (623387) (Removed) – Shareholder|
|RODGER, Brent LeonardHEALTHY SOILS (AMALGAMATION VEHICLE) LIMITED (4658804) (Removed) – Shareholder|
|RODGER, Brent LeonardHEALTHY SOILS LIMITED (1922101) (Removed) – Shareholder|
In February 2019 “A judge has expressed sympathy for a Bluff local body politician who admitted taking 51 truckloads of contaminants off his farm tracks and dumping it onto Invercargill City Council land. Bluff Community Board member Graham Laidlaw, who appeared in the Invercargill District Court on Thursday, was sentenced after admitting a charge of discharging refined aluminium dross onto the council’s land at Awarua in circumstances where it may have entered water.”
In 2012, Laidlaw reached an agreement with Taha where he would use the refined dross for surfacing tracks on his farm near Bluff. Taha did not tell Laidlaw about the potentially toxic nature of the material. Taha’s manager had advised Laidlaw that Environment Southland had given the material the “big tick” as being suitable for use on the tracks, the judge said. Lailaw subsequently scooped it off his farm tracks and dumped it onto council land where Taha had a building for the storage of refined dross. City council chief executive Clare Hadley said the council respected the judicial process and had met with Laidlaw at a restorative justice meeting.
Hamish Mcullum:, a local south businessman 91a Avenal Street, Avenal, Invercargill, New Zealand who said dross was “good” for Southland and made great fertiliser.
The same article, makes no mention of what happens to the toxic by product of such fertiliser (the class six hazard ouvea, stored at Mataura and other locations in Invercargill. It reported 10,000 tonne was “stockpiled” by Haysom Metal Industries in a warehouse at Bluff in 1991 and this “created concern about potential health effects”.
That dross was later moved to a unsealed landfill at Tiwai, near the water/sealevel mark, having been found so the South land Times article states “to pose little risk to human health”, (despite being identified as a cancerous causing substance in the Sate of California USA ). Since then the new dross, produced by the smelter, has been shipped to Australia to be recycled until in 2011 it was processed by Taha Asia Pacific until their liquidation in 2018.
It was then processed at Tiwai point by Inalco Processing Ltd who in 2019 were awarded a contract to remove about 22,000 tonnes of the substance from the paper mill and other sites in Invercargill and Southlad, the work was expected to take six years.
Mr Mcullum was also listed as a director until 2012 in FARM FERT DIRECT LIMITED who are based in Gore and filed returns in 2019 and owned by Global Vehicle Leasing Ltd. Directors Annette and Ian Tulloch 15 a Hokonui Drive Gore.
In 2017 Mcullum formed a new company CMT Industries to mix the dross Taha had being paid to get rid of but did not. Mccullum claimed he could mix it into a fire retardant. Mcullum said there was no “firm time frame for when a plant might be established” Or were the plant would be based, saying it “It could be based overseas or in Southland, and the Mataura Valley could be among sites to be considered”. He told a public meeting in 2015 if “a plant was set up in the region, it would bring jobs and contribute to the local economy….“It’s an exciting opportunity.”
At the public meeting held in Mataura, called to gain answers about when the 10,000 tonnes of premix would be removed and who would carry out the work, McCallum partner Mr Ivan Hogdgetts stated “In our view that is a very good use of it [the premix]… also stored at other sites in Southland, so I don’t think it’s [supply] going to run out too quickly.” A statement confirming more than 10,000 tonnes of ouvea is being stored and not just at Mataura.
The companies office records show CMT Industries Ltd has four directors: Hamish McCallum, of Invercargill, John Clearwater Clear Water Contracting Ltd, of Lumsden, YMCZ Invercargil chief executive Ivan Hodgetts and Graeme Henry Wong (Harbour Assets, Sky City, Southern Capital Limited NZX Main Board Hirequip New Zealand Limited, Board of China Forestry Group NZ, formerly director of New Zealand Farming Systems Uruguay Limited, Sealord Group Limited, Tasman Agriculture Limited, Magnum Corporation Limited (Countdown and DB Breweries) Air New Zealand Limited, current director of Precinct Properties NZ Ltd, Aerograph Limited, Tourism Holdings Limited, The Bible Society Development (New Zealand) Incorporated) of Wellington.
CMT filed its last return in May 2019.
Mark Egginton another Taha director is a former United Kingdom police officer who was fined $80,000 (and given a community work sentence) after appearing in an Environment Court in 2015 environment for discharging contaminants to air and land at Edendale where dross was hidden inside gravel used to make roads and for storing it with our resource consent in Bluff. Judge Dwyer said when reviewing Egginton’s breach of clause 40 of the Resource Management Act “he had to consider if Egginton had means to pay fines. After consideration, he believed Egginton did not, given he was unemployed and was scheduled to leave the country on August 31 when his work permit expires”.
Egginton faced three charges relating to the Edendale site and two at the Bluff site, one of which was to contravene an enforcement order under the Resource Management Act. The charges related to how the company stored its ouvea premix. An enforcement order relating to one of the sites had not been followed and being ignored, the judge said. The firm Taha Asia was also found to have breached orders but shortly went into liquidation leaving creditors owed millions.
NOT JUST DROSS
Not mentioned is Southland’s toxic flood problem is not just dross it has local gold and coal mines that use industrial chemicals, it has waste ponds, milk plant, is a transport hub and dont forget all the stuff stored in farmers back sheds. Toxic waste outside Mataura includes large volumes of toxic waste from the Christchurch earthquake to be dumped near Winton in Southland, this includes abestos taken south in modified general shipping containers, not in the purpose-built containers.
Further an Official Information Act responses have previously revealed that for decades Winton has being a dumpsite for unwanted 1080 poison. This is because according the manufacturers, the cereal baits have a limited shelf-life. Depending upon storage environments, damp and mould can affect the palatability and structure of the poison baits, which can mean they are unstable, unsafe and unsuitable to be distributed aerially via the helicopter hoppers. We can also confirm Winton has also being used as a dumping spot for dross.
Winston is in the flooding evacuation zone.
Mataura is another location where waste water privatised infrastructure was taking place.
Much like the polluted water in middle of Wakamariri Irrigation Ltd territory in Canterbury, the fires of unknown cause at water source Harrington point and Deep Stream in Dunedin, the computer hack in Hamilton waste water plant. These disasters (in this case caused by inaction forecast for a decade as an issue) are playing into hands of those who want to see water management controlled by central government in partnership with private corporations. But this latest incident is huge and could well affect South-land agriculture production and economy. And that is not withstanding what not being said is asides from the risk of producing ammonia is what other chemical reaction takes place when the ‘dross’ premix comes into contact with water. Including concentrations of aluminium as high as 75% The premix is identified as a cancer causing agent and Aluminium oxide research has shown it has an effect on certain bacteria – which could upset the natural balance of the local ecology.
Ben’s World estimate (based on Tiwai smelter production ratio verse how much dross is produced per kilo of smeltered aluminium produce each year) is that over 120,000 tonnes of dross has being dumped in South-land to-date as of 2012 as a very conservative figure.
Makes you wonder how much has already been used on roads and dairy lanes. Great work. Thank you!
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Reblogged this on Rangitikei Environmental Health Watch and commented:
Large quantities of 1080 are buried in landfills in various places throughout NZ… no warning/info given to the public
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Looks like the people trusted and paid to look after our environmental protection have been asleep at the wheel. When will there be any accountability?
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Hi Ben, very interesting and great that you have unearthed this information. I was just reading info about Ta Ha and it said they were working at Tiwai in 2012 which is the first I have heard about that.Siad a facitlity had been built there to turn the dross into fertilizer but didn’t mention Ouvea. So many lies.
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