Community resistance to an abuse of dominance.
Additional article from the Gulf News:
TPI off to bad start
Friday, 03 July 2009
Community activists welcomed Waiheke’s new waste management provider
by locking it out of its Ostend Road premises yesterday.
Transpacific Industries’ staff arrived at the transfer station at 6am
to find the main entrance chained up and surrounded by picketing
Security guards for the multi-national trash giant broke through the
locked chain with a hammer.
However, protesters quickly chained and wired the gate shut behind
them, covering it with a large “Recycling, yeah right” sign.
A security guard told Gulf News TPI staff were still able to enter the
station via an “emergency” exit at the back of the station.
Trucks were unable to use this passage.
Protest organiser Rien Achterberg said the demonstration was about the
bigger picture – sustainability and the environment.
“This is putting us 20 years back. We’re talking climate change, we’re
talking about being in the 21st century and cleaning up the planet.
“We have to act now – there’s no time to waste.”
The belle of the ball: Warwick Broadhead arrived to applause in a
dress fit for the next Junk to Funk.
Mr Achterberg said the big international garbage “mafia” weren’t
welcome on the island but since they were here they had to respect the
“We want to give them the message: ‘if you are going to be here, we
demand that you keep the same standards as Clean Stream. If you can’t
do that, we’ll give you a hard time. There’s no time to waste, we
don’t want to fiddle around, we’re not going to lay dead, we’re not
going to go away, we live here.”
With Clean Stream running Waiheke’s waste management, the community
recycled more than 40 per cent of its waste which many people doubt
TPI will continue.
More than 50 people turned up at 6.30am yesterday morning to join the
protest and passing cars signalled their support with a steady stream
of beeps. A public bus even stopped to let an arriving protester off.
Waihekean Andrew Watkins says the demonstration was what happens when
you take a community’s power away.
“This is a sustainability issue. We want the island developed sustainably.”
Resident Judith Dalley says the island’s fiery community makes it what it is.
“We are people from all walks of life who feel very strongly about
protecting the environmental future of Waiheke,” she says.
The council’s treatment of a successful, community-owned service is
“abhorrent”, she says.
Clean Stream employed 25 people. Only 10 are expected to be invited to
work for TPI.
Auckland City awarded TPI the 10-year $23 million waste management
contract in early June. A community group formed at a public meeting
about the issue on 21 June plans to challenge the council’s decision
TPI’s staff were banned from talking to the media and the managing
director Tom Nickels could not be reached for comment.