Sandstorm of quarry controversy in Cambridge, fears quartz dust could contaminate waterways


RS Sands, a joint venture between Revital and Stevenson Aggregates, is seeking approval to extract 400,000 tons of sand per year from the proposed site on the outskirts of the city.

Rhys and Antoinette Powell’s property is contiguous with the property.

“That would never be allowed in Australia. They have buffer zones, they are not placed 10 meters from a waterway.”

He says: “We should maintain our waterways and the Karapiro Stream flows directly into the Waikato River, while Auckland gets 30 percent of its drinking water from the Waikato River.”

According to a pre-briefing meeting between RS Sand Ltd and Waipa County Council employees, an average of 52 trucks were able to visit the site every weekday and up to 200 trucks a day.

The plan is to take 1.2 million liters of groundwater every day.

Stevenson Aggregates said in a statement to Newshub that a detailed consent process was underway.

“We welcome the contribution of the community in which we live and work.”

The construction industry needs sand. New Zealand needs a home.

Rhys Powell knows this. He owns a construction company, but fears the Newcombe Road site will not be sustainable or safe for the community.

“Silicate dust and PM10 are fine, you can’t see it, so you can’t manage it – it’s a proven cause of cancer, so it’s irreversible. This mine is at least 25 years old so this is long term exposure. And let’s not forget all of the Australian research on silicosis. “

RS Sand’s statement stated that its quarry proposal included “a three-meter high bundle of native plants to shield the site from our commitment to the wider community, improving biodiversity, sequestering carbon and improving water quality.”

There are already 13 quarries around Cambridge.

Iwi says they consult city planners and are increasingly concerned about protecting taonga like the Waikato River and its creeks.

“The Karapiro Stream is the place where our Tupuna all lived at the same time and it is a very important place for us,” says Rahui Papa, co-chair of iwi, Ngati Koroki Kahukura.

Waipā District Council says the resource consent notices prior to filing the application suggest that the RS Sand Quarry would be a discretionary activity if and when it is stored.

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