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Managing contaminated land, hazardous substances and waste

Last updated: 15 May 2023
Reporting frequency: Quarterly
Portfolio: Climate change and community resilience

We are identifying and managing contaminated land, hazardous substances and waste so that risks to humans and the environment can be properly managed.

We are required under the Resource Management Act 1991 to manage the discharge of contaminants to the environment and to investigate land for the purpose of identifying and monitoring contaminated land.

We also aim to support new and better ways of managing waste and hazardous substances across the region.

This work includes:

  • Contaminated land identification and monitoring
  • Contaminated site response
  • Delivery of waste reduction projects in collaboration with district and city councils in the region.

Find out more about waste and hazardous substance management.

How are we tracking on our Levels of Service?

Level of Service 24: Identify and monitor contaminated land.

To achieve this Level of Service we will:

  • 24.1 Identify potentially high-risk contaminated sites in the Canterbury region.
  • 24.2 Produce a priority list of closed landfill sites threatened by the impacts of climate change.

How did we do: This year we completed the Waimate Hazardous Activities List Identification Project for including on the Listed Land Use Register and made substantial progress with Waitaki, McKenzie and Banks Peninsula district projects.

We completed proactive site assessments for approximately 200 landfills in Canterbury to check the preliminary landfill risk tool for accuracy. The priority list of closed landfills sites has been updated based on the findings of the proactive site assessments. These updates have been communicated to relevant territorial authorities and property owners.

Level of Service 25: Partner with the Canterbury region’s city and district councils to progress waste minimisation.

As part of this level of service we will:

  • 25.1 Undertake a regional waste data project in collaboration with the region’s territorial authorities.

How did we do: This Level of Service is not measured because Environment Canterbury has joined the Canterbury Joint Waste Committee and the Committee will now take the lead on the development of a regional waste data project.

Not measured

How are we doing on our key initiatives?

Christchurch south contaminated land remediation project

How are we doing: The earthworks tender was completed and the contract awarded. Works commenced in late December 2022. At the end of March, the project was in the construction/remedial phase with over 50% of the properties completed or in progress. There have been delays to completion of project due to weather and unexpected discovery of contamination.

On track

Recent highlights and updates


Illegal dumping is rife across the region and it’s not just the inorganic items that are putting our flood protection, biodiversity and water health at risk.

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