Tiwai Point is a toxic wound and Rio Tinto a toxic corporation – hurt them now David Parker


The disgusting cronyism and incompetance of everyone supposed to keep us safe from the toxic pollution of Rio Tinto goes from th top down.

Th incompetent Government who have no idea how much poison Rio Tinto has secretly buried.

Th incompetent Regional Council who have no idea how much poison is leaking into the water.

The incompetent Invercargill City Council who have no idea about anything…

Claims highly toxic waste buried at Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter

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Investigators are looking into claims highly toxic waste has been buried in unmapped sites at the Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter.

This includes spent cell liner (SCL) waste that contains cyanide and toxic fluoride, and is banned from being buried untreated in both the US and Australia.

The warning last October from the compliance section of Environment Southland is in documents released to RNZ under the OIA.

“Former staff of the smelter report burying of spent cell linings or contaminated material in various parts of the Tiwai site,” said the report into “key matters” for cleaning up the huge site next to conservation land once the smelter shuts in 2024.

…Folks I don’t want to go on and on and on about this, but I think we should be seriously considering about some way to seize Rio Tinto assets now before they bugger off because I just don’t believe they are going to stump up with the $250m needed to decontaminate Tiwai Point when they leave next year.

Think about it.

If a multi-billion dollar Corporation is walking away because of a $46m loss last year…

…why the fuck would they spend $250million cleaning up their toxic pollution?

Remember the current situation whereby Rio Tinto ‘contracted’ out clean up obligations to a  company that then went  belly up leaving all the toxic pollution behind…

Tiwai Point smelter closure: Mataura locals unnerved on waste removal

The closure of Tiwai Point aluminium smelter has raised concerns over what it will mean for the thousands of tonnes of potentially toxic waste stored in the small Southland town of Mataura.

So-called ouvea premix in the town’s papermill came under threat from floodwaters in February and the uncertainty about its future is worrying those who live there.

The community did not have a lot of faith in Rio Tinto after the way in which the material ended up in the town and had remained since.

Taha Asia Pacific was contracted by the smelter to process its waste in 2011, but that company moved the ouvea premix into the papermill under the cover of night and without consent.

…that cost to Rio Tinto was $4m.

If they are going to renege and play games over waste worth $4m, what the living Christ are they going to do for a bill of $250million?

Look, Rio Tinto have an appalling track record around the world of screwing over the local populations they pollute, look at how they destroyed a 46 000 year old Aboriginal cave and obscenely shrugged…

Leaked tape reveals Rio Tinto does not regret destroying 46,000-year-old Aboriginal rock shelter to expand mine

Rio Tinto has repeated its apology to traditional owners for the destruction of a rock shelter that had been occupied for more than 46,000 years, after its iron ore chief executive, Chris Salisbury, reportedly told a staff meeting that the apology was for any distress caused, not an admission the company had done wrong.

According to the Australian Financial Review, which says it heard a recording of a Rio Tinto staff meeting held last Wednesday, Salisbury described the events leading up to the detonation of the site, then said: “That’s why we haven’t apologised for the event itself, per se, but apologised for the distress the event caused.”

He also reassured staff the company maintained the backing of “political leaders of both sides” (despite the federal Labor party forming a Senate inquiry), saying he had “engaged with lots and lots of stakeholders and … quietly, there is still support for us out there”.

…if you are an enormous evil corporation who is closing a smelter because of a $46m loss, who manipulates and drags their heels over a $4m clean up and who doesn’t care about committing a cultural war crime against humanity, why the hell do any of you think they’ll pay us quarter of a billion to clean up their toxic legacy at Tiwai?

They desecrate 46000 year old Aboriginal cave art, they have reneged on previous clean up promises, and now they’v been busted hiding toxic waste.

What part of any of this makes you think they will stump up with the $250million required to remove their poison from Tiwai Point?

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  1. “Hurt them now” Mr Parker???

    Hey, he DID that! He actually called them “Disgraceful!”
    Rios behaviour disgraceful says Parker

    (Yeah, that’ll teach them. It works on some two year olds sometimes, right?)
    He “Talked tough” to them.
    (Again, way to go.. when dealing with Mega corps)
    Heck, he even “threatened legal action…”
    That was more than a year ago.

    Though of course, in the end they just paid them mountains more taxpayer money.
    From September 2020:
    From Hickey 29 sept 2020

    Closure] “would have been bad for power consumers and the Government’s own revenues from power firm dividends.

    That’s why it has decided to stump up somewhere between $90 million and $150m over the next three to five years to buy some time for the workers”…>

  2. The govt have shown they are unable to act. And/ or have no intention of doing so.
    Even if they again made some sort of empty promises about “Legal action” or whatever, they have shown it is just words, empty, meaningless “threats”, which they back down on immediately any $$$$ figures are waved in front of them.
    The situation is potentially life-threatening – for marine life as well as for flora, fauna, humans and the land itself.
    Feeling of despair.

    • NZ is naive in dealing with these off shore rogues. They have money and money is what it is all about.
      johkey’s “blind trust” no doubt has a substantial share portfolio yet the same serpent dealt with them on behalf of NZ? – no on behalf of himself and investor friends.
      Local Councils need strong back up from central Govt working with environmental groups, before any medium of large scale decisions environmentally impacting projects are allowed.
      Canterbury is a massive mess with jonkey’s sacking of elected environment guardians when he put in his cronies in place to allow wide scale irrigation and plundering of braided rivers, dairy conversion with unregulated fertiliser use.
      All three contributing to the toxic ground water now in Canterbury with high likelihood of increased cancer rates for many decades or longer.
      Dunedin council are a push over for a multinational with deep pockets and many intimidatory resorces.
      Ok grab their assets but what are the assets worth sitting here in NZ with no production they can be used for.

      The gov obviously has resources to probe the site and using ground radar or whatever is needed, identify the potential long term pollution and make it public for the world to see just what this company is up to. That will hurt their share price.
      Then a ruling if necessary through parliament under urgency, to fine the company first, get payment, then and lay a lien against its assets to more than cover the potential environmental damage and legacy.
      The Govt has been too weak with theses scoundrels and similarly with oil drilling companies that can be liquidated overnight leaving Kiwis holding the can for environmental destruction.

      The Tahu company was an obvious set up to shift responsibility and the govt must close the law loopholes surrounding such a shift from polluter.

      National may be in bed with these investor groups but Labour and Green have no excuse for not acting early long before the polluters can set up.

  3. and every couple of years this leech twists the arms of politicians to get cheaper power than we can ever imagine. I want that glut of power in this country, I want prices like we had 20 years ago, its not just the housing market screwing us its power and gas and food too, this monopoly BS needs to stop.

  4. It should also be noted the land the smelter sits on is all quartz pebbles underneath, there is zero stopping that stuff leeching into the sea next to the plant and has probably done so for decades.

  5. At what point do they say, “Enough is enough”?
    At what point do they care more for the wellbeing of the Land we’re living on, and all life forms within it and surrounding it, than for perceived token $$$$ returns from the toxic abusers?
    When do they start saying, “THIS IS NOT OKAY!!!”
    …and mean it?
    …And take ACTION on it??

  6. Damn right Mark!
    I love your indignation about Rio Tinto and Tiwai Point.
    You do realize that up Aluminuim Corporation of China – Chinalco – was for many years Rio Tinto’s major shareholder and co-operates with Rio Tinto internationally as well as being a major polluter in China.

    If you are the same Mark who sucks up to the Chinese Communist Party( who own Chinalco) this is your chance to make a vehement protest to their board and strike a blow against pollution in the People’s Republic of China.

    Safer to point out problems in New Zealand eh Mark?

    Ten thousand years of life to the Dalai Lama. Fuck the Chinese Communist Party

  7. At some stage the not-too-distant future the populace will recognise that it was all bullshit, and that the vast majority of businesses were (are) short-term looters and polluters of the commons, and that all the so-called revenue generated of no value at all (actually negative value) on the path to extinction.

    In April 2021 we seem to be a few years off reaching that point.

  8. David Parker loves polluters and signed the TPPA which allows the polluters to pollute and priorities profits over people in business led kangaroo courts.

    It should be pretty simple to say that a global company turning over billions per year should clean up their waste (after all the law says everyone else can) but funny enough the bovine lawyers that government rely on and the RMA which priorities profit over the environment, all seems part of the neoliberal weapons driving the planet and most of it’s inhabitants into a worst state and NZ government and their advisors still believes in the Kool aid.

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