Envirofert has had a new CEO since April 2017, Ryan Marra.
Marra needs to be commended for seeming to be genuinely trying to engage with neighbours and interested parties. Under Marra, Envirofert has successfully held two public meetings with neighbours so far, with a third planned for January 2018. These meetings have been well attended and included representatives from both Waikato District and Regional councils.
Each meeting has offered an opportunity for Envirofert to share their plans for the future with the community and for the community to ask questions about the company, including asking the councils questions about the site monitoring and compliance.
The smell in the air, or odours generated by the site seems to be the biggest issue for neighbours.
Envirofert have offered a possible solution to minimising the odours by upgrading the site and investing in a ‘closed shed’ to off load material and trap the odours within the shed using wood chip filters.
Marra believes that this system, similar to one he saw in the USA, will work in Tuakau. Marra seems to be trying hard to convince neighbours that he has a mandate to change things at Envirofert and make a real difference going forward.
One point that didn’t work in Marra’s favour, was when Waikato Regional Council admitted that Envirofert’s last audit had significant issues around noncompliance.
Adding fuel to the fire was the discussion about a report commissioned by Waikato District Council that contained a “buffer zone” or “reverse sensitivity.”
Most of the neighbours were up in arms about the concept of a buffer zone around Envirofert, feeling that this was not necessary if they were compliant. Some even felt that a ‘buffer zone’ would, in practice, encourage further noncompliance and devalue neighbouring property. This seemed to use up a lot of time in the meeting and create negativity towards the District Council. Send me your thoughts firstname.lastname@example.org
Reverse Sensitivity –
Concept is to create a buffer zone around a consented business to minimise future complaints from current or new neighbours. As an owner of a property within the buffer zone you may, in the future, not be allowed certain activities or even to subdivide your property.