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Kaikōura MP Stuart Smith has asked the Environment Minister to consider fast-tracking applications for funding to assist two local councils facing major post-earthquake waste issues.

Mr Smith has written to Dr Nick Smith requesting that the Kaikōura and Hurunui District Councils be allowed to make early applications to the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund.

“The ongoing issue of waste management for the Kaikōura and Hurunui Councils since the November earthquakes is causing considerable concern. Both councils need assistance and funding in order to help them combat this complex and increasing problem,” Mr Smith says.

“I have stressed to the Minister that this is an urgent issue, in extraordinary circumstances.”

Applications for the next round of funding from the Waste Minimisation Fund opens on May 1, with successful applicants being notified in September.

Mr Smith has told Dr Smith that this may be too late for the Kaikōura and Hurunui District Councils.

“The waste facilities were both damaged in the earthquake and are still trying to recover while dealing with increasing volumes of waste due to demolition. These are volumes which the facilities were not designed for, and which are anticipated to increase exponentially,” Mr Smith says.

“The councils are also facing the complex issue of asbestos being discovered in condemned buildings which will need to be dealt with correctly. 

“These councils need our support during this challenging time, and helping them fund their efforts would be a great help.”

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