Asbestos found at Auckland school, parent says kids play in cordoned-off area

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Asbestos: New Zealand's toxic legacy. (Video archetypal published successful July 2019)

Asbestos has been found successful the grounds of a westbound Auckland superior school, and astir a twelvemonth later, it is yet to beryllium removed.

The asbestos was detected, on with concentrations of lead, mercury and arsenic, successful ungraded astatine Oratia District School much than 8 months ago.

Since August 2022, orangish information mesh has been placed astir portion of the schoolhouse tract to support students distant from the contaminated zone.

Oratia District School main Linda Allen said the asbestos was discovered during ungraded investigating done arsenic portion of the school’s 10-year spot plan.

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“The ungraded investigating institution recovered buried gathering materials from aged demolition done connected the site, which contained asbestos.

“We were advised connected due information measures, which was to obstruction disconnected the tract until a remediation program was developed.

The orangish  mesh keeping the country  cordoned-off astatine  Oratia District School has a spread  successful  it.
LEO FOLEY/Supplied
The orangish mesh keeping the country cordoned-off astatine Oratia District School has a spread successful it.

“The tract is considered harmless arsenic agelong arsenic we don’t bash immoderate construction. We’ve been successful connection with WorkSafe since April [2023] and they hold with our information measures.”

Leo Foley, who has 2 children astatine the school, and was connected the committee of trustees successful 2022, said helium is progressively disquieted the contented hasn’t been fixed.

“The country has been cordoned off, but I’ve witnessed aggregate children playing determination arsenic it’s precise casual to get around.”

In March, Foley went to the committee of trustees with his concerns.

He was told asbestos had been recovered successful the crushed and the “fibres were present exposed”.

A photograph of the cordoned-off country from April this twelvemonth shows the writer is inactive being mown, contempt this.

“I privation the schoolhouse to enactment up amended fencing and signage informing students astir the asbestos – this affects my children excessively and I consciousness it wasn’t addressed accelerated enough,” said Foley.

While the schoolhouse reported the cordons had been enactment successful spot successful August 2022, Foley said the asbestos had been discovered successful April that year.

The time aft Allen was contacted by Stuff for comment, a schoolwide newsletter was sent retired advising of the asbestos and stating a program to commencement remediation enactment had been presented.

“The ungraded volition beryllium removed by a specializer institution pursuing each WorkSafe wellness and information protocols.

”It’ll instrumentality spot extracurricular of schoolhouse hours and with afloat notification for the assemblage and neighbours.”

The schoolhouse assemblage would beryllium informed of the details erstwhile a clip to statesman the process had been agreed upon, Allen said.

“The country is supervised by work teachers during breaks and children aren’t allowed to participate the space.”

Allen confirmed further investigating had recovered dense metallic contamination astatine the backmost of the school, but said this was harmless for wide usage arsenic agelong arsenic nutrient wasn’t grown there.

Ministry of Education’s caput of spot Sam Fowler confirmed “a debased level” of asbestos contamination was recovered connected the grounds.

“As agelong arsenic the country is cordoned disconnected and the ungraded near undisturbed, wellness and information risks are low.

"We’re supporting the schoolhouse to name a contractor for the removal and remediation work.”

Fowler said it was hoped enactment to region the asbestos could commencement successful a fewer weeks.

WorkSafe has been contacted for comment.

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