Health Nuisances, Contamination & Hazardous Substances
Environmental Health Officers undertake a range of inspection, monitoring and enforcement roles to protect the health and wellbeing of the community. Certain circumstances relating to residential, commercial and industrial premises can cause a nuisance to others. A nuisance is deemed to be created when a situation is offensive or likely to be injurious to health. It is important for all individuals and businesses to avoid creating a nuisance for the health and well-being of the whole community.
If a property is in such a condition that it causes nuisance, Environmental Health Officers can investigate in accordance with the Health Act 1956. Where a nuisance is confirmed, the owner of the property causing the nuisance can be required to carry out works to remove the nuisance.
Some nuisances include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Excessive amounts of rubbish
- Accumulations or deposits that are offensive or likely to be injurious to health
- Premises that harbour rats or other vermin
- Any land or premises in any condition that is found to be breeding flies or mosquitoes or is suitable for breeding other insects which are capable of transmitting disease.
Contamination – Methamphetamine
Council has a number of statutory obligations to meet once we are made aware that a property is contaminated with methamphetamine.
If a property has been found to be contaminated, Council will review the testing result levels of contamination and may require decontamination of the property to ensure any chemical residues are reduced to a safe level. Council will also advise future property owners of contamination and appropriate actions undertaken via the property's Land Information Memorandum (LIM).
Independent testing agencies can provide a report on the initial testing results. This report must be provided to Council if we have been notified. If initial testing confirms a property is contaminated with levels of methamphetamine above the NZ Standard 8510:2017: Testing and Decontamination of Methamphetamine Contaminated Properties, you will be required to decontaminate it.
If the levels of methamphetamine are above the standards, as part of Councils duty under the Health Act 1956, a Cleansing Order will be issued to the property to ensure the property will be vacated and appropriately decontaminated.
Environmental Health Officers and Trade Waste Officers are responsible for investigating incidents involving hazardous substances in public places and domestic dwellings.
Under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO), Council is only directly responsible for:
- places of public assembly (e.g. parks, reserves, festivals),
- private dwellings, and
- places where an accident has occurred
Council can respond to hazardous substances incidents on private residences and public places. Usually we're called out by the Fire Service; some incidents are also treated as pollution response. Hazardous substance incidents at workplaces are the responsibility of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (WorkSafe NZ).
The Tokoroa Landfill does not accept hazardous waste. There is a depot at the entrance to the landfill where domestic volumes of hazardous waste is collected and then removed by Environment Waikato. If at all possible, this waste is salvaged or reused.
Further information can be obtained from the Environmental Risk Management Authority on (04) 916 2426, or check out Environmental Protection Authority