Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos

Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.

A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, has confirmed asbestos exposure levels of residents whose homes have undergone earthquake repairs, are unknown.  

“Labour has been calling for better data to be collected on the location of asbestos sites for four years now, yet Gerry Brownlee has repeatedly refused to make this happen.

“Given our DIY culture homeowners can remove ceilings or walls without knowing they could be exposing themselves to asbestos.

“While the risk as outlined by the report may be low, that doesn’t help those families living in earthquake-damaged homes containing loose asbestos who have been waiting for months while EQC sat on the positive test results.

“Let’s hope the Minister has a change of heart and makes up for lost time by getting this data collected and made available to homeowners. It’s late, but not too late,” Ruth Dyson concluded.