State of emergency extended at Bluecliffs

Work under way earlier to open the Waiau River bar. Photo: Supplied
Work under way earlier to open the Waiau River bar. Photo: Supplied
A state of emergency for the Southland settlement of Bluecliffs has been extended for another week.

In a statement this evening Civil Defence Controller Lucy Hicks said the extension applied from yesterday to Sunday, March 10.

Southland Mayor Rob Scott said: “The reason the emergency is being extended is to advance the two workstreams arising from the original declaration – firstly to open the bar at the Waiau Mouth where the work so far is being peer reviewed and advice is being sought on the next steps.

“While that is being done we are focusing on finalising plans for the removal of material at the old dump site, and the risks that this poses to the community. 

“Work is likely to start in the next week, and may take up to three weeks. There are potentially explosives, asbestos and other hazardous material there, and our focus is on ensuring the safety of the residents and those working in the area.”

Minister for the Environment Penny Simmonds recently announced a successful joint funding bid by Environment Southland and Southland District Council for the removal of material at the dump site at Bluecliffs. They have been granted $1.35 million towards planning and the remediation works.