The Auckland Transition Authority has confirmed that TPI has been given the 10 year contract from Auckland City Council to manage waste on Waiheke. This is a huge disappointment to everyone who has worked hard to retain community control of waste management on the island.
Protest and Direct Action
Wed 1st July
The Direct action on the 1st July to welcome TPI was well attended with 30-70 people picketing the transfer station from early morning onwards and through the day.
Thanks for all the people who came. The diversity of age groups, and groups present, the email messages and toots of support from passing motorists showed a broad island support for the protest.
We had 3 LARGE banners up, one covering the gate (“recycling…Yeah right”), one from the GreenPeace ship/Esperanze “‘recycle symbol’ on
Waiheke” and our new BIG banner saying: KIA HAERE TONU NGA MAHI, HANGARUA KI WAIHEKE Translated: “to go on working on recycling in Waiheke”.
We had also small banners, the Maori flag, signs and people dressed in “Junk2Funk” (1st prize to Warrick!)
TPI representatives and their security staff were shut inside the station, They certainly got the message that Waiheke was not happy about the process that led to them being there and had very clear ideas about the future.
The action set the tone for all our future direct actions. It was fun, non violent and showed that the community is united. This is not the
end it is the beginning.
Super City Protests
The next opportunity to protest will be at the visit to the island by the Auckland Governance Select Committee to hear oral submissions on the super city. The date for this has not been set – but it will be before the end of July. This will be a public meeting and there will be a large number of very impassioned presentations. This is very relevant to the Waste issue – if we had had true consultation or any significant amount of local democratic power we would not now have TPI. The enlarged city may be even less responsive to the issues of Waiheke.
There will also be a major march up Queen street on the 1st August Afternoon. This will be a collective march from local communities all around the city. It will be a great chance to tell our story and warn others.
The legal team has been busy meeting with numerous lawyers, the community board and other parties. Work is still underway on this but
understandably this is taking place discretely. The essential proposal is to demonstrate to a Judge that Auckland City Council broke their own rules in the process of the TPI tender in various ways.
Last week the City Council put out a press release that said that TPI will maintain a ‘status quo’ service for the next 6 months. This is essentially an admission that TPI do not really have a clue when it comes to doing the job on the island. It is unlikely that they can deliver service to the standard we have come to expect. Especially as they are not philosophically committed to waste reduction.
It is hard to understand how a service company can operate without the consent of the people it is supposed to serve. Now the contract is signed the only way out is for TPI to fail to fulfil the terms of the contract. This is a test of the island’s resolve – whether we are just going to accept the fait accompli or fight it. TPI may be planning to be here for 10 years, but we are planning to be here a lot longer.
We want to make very public that fact that TPI cannot perform the job that Clean Stream were performing and cannot even perform the lesser
job that the council has contracted them to do. For that we need everyone keeping an eagle eye on their activities.
We need to log each transgression, each loss of service and to complain to the council about it. We want volunteers with the time to spend at the transfer station or following the bin trucks around. filming, writing on clipboards etc. The message to TPI is that we are watching them.
All complaints should go to Auckland City Council: 09 379 2020. This is a call centre. Make sure your complaint is given a log or job number and request that someone gets back to you to follow up. What happens is that each issue is faxed to TPI on the island and they have to deal with it within a certain time frame. More than 5 incidents a week starts to affect TPI’s back pocket.
Please also email a copy complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org – especially if you have photos
Issues to watch out for:
* rubbish not collected
* recylables not collected
* bags broken or spilled
* trucks blocking traffic
* scratches or damage to parked cars
* damage to grass verges or road edges
* illegally dumped waste, fly tipping – give approx location as TPI have to go and find the rubbish.
* possible damage by heavy trucks to roads such as the causeway.
TPI Go Home
Plently of people still want the message to go out that TPI is unwelcome. Please put all thoughts of vandalism or illegal activity out of your heads, It will be counterproductive and will lose support within the community. It will also be exploited by TPI and the Council as negative publicity.
That said it is everyone’s right to express their honest feelings. Here are some ideas.
* Put up a sign outside on a piece of cardboard with “TPI GO HOME” or “DON’T WASTE OUR WASTE” and securing it to a tree or letterbox. A large number of these will show the extent of support. Some people who have already done this found the signs were removed by TPI during the rubbish collection.
* Take as much green waste as possible to the transfer station. – As TPI have no equipment to deal with this it will rapidly fill up the site. Keep a close eye on TPI to ensure that they do not try to dump the waste to landfill.
* Hang bags from trees – our usual method of avoiding dog strikes.
* Separate all your recyclables as usual and tie tightly in plastic bags, Visy plant cannot cope with this.
* Take your recyclables to the transfer station and hand sort them yourself.
Waiheke Waste Fighting Fund
We have had over $4000 pledged to the fighting fund. There has been some discussion as to whether people thought that this fund would be just for legal action or for all activities fighting ACC. The steering group has decided for clarity that the pledges into the Sexton fund will be used for the legal action and will be returned if not used, while gifts into the collection boxes, and other donations are available to run the campaign.