Monday, August 25, 2008


Lyttelton community activist and teacher Joseph Burston has been selected as the Green Party candidate for the Port Hills electorate.

Joseph Burston worked as an English as a second language teacher for more than 8 years before training to become a secondary school teacher. He has a chemistry degree from Exeter University and has also worked as marketer and manager in the export education industry.

Joseph is active in organising community projects such as the “Let’s make Lyttelton plastic bag free” initiative with Project Port Lyttelton. The campaign aims to replace plastic bags with locally made ones and has produced a range of attractive cloth bags.

“Plastic bag usage and pollution is symbolic of a throwaway society. Tackling it is a practical contribution to responsible resource use and minimising waste,” he said.

“Cleaning up the Heathcote/Opawaho River and estuary/Te Ihutai is another key issue for the electorate.

“The river is a dirty drain after every rainstorm, emptying sediment and pollutants into the estuary/Te Ihutai. We need a river that is not a health hazard for kakayers and recreational users and is livable for fish.

“Stronger regional and city council control of subdivision and earthworks on the Port Hills, in Cashmere Stream and other tributary catchments would be a useful first step,” he said.


Photograph – A photograph of Joseph and Green Party co-leader Russel Norman is available. Please download from

More information

Contact: Joseph Burston: joseph dot burston at

“Let’s make Lyttelton plastic bag free” see

New Zealanders still use 1 billion plastic bags per year and 35% of them end up in landfills. The Irish have reduced plastic bag usage by 94%, China and Australia are introducing measures to minimise use. Some 21 countries have either banned plastic supermarket bags or introduced some type of levy.

A recent Environment Canterbury report which analysed 15 years of City Council water quality monitoring data (1992-2006) in the Avon/Otakaro and Heathcote/ Opawaho rivers noted that:

· E. coli concentrations remain high in both rivers. Exceedances of the “action mode” guideline for contact recreation are “widespread and frequent”.

· suspended solid concentrations at a large number of monitoring sites especially in the Heathcote catchment, exceeded the 25 mg/l guideline for behavioural impairment in fish. The overall invertebrate health of the rivers has declined.

Authorised by Jon Field, 73 Eden St, Wellington
Authorised by David Roper, 4 The Kilns, Hillsborough, Christchurch

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