Jan Wright was appointed the third parliamentary commissioner for the environment in 2007. She was preceded by Helen Hughes and J. Morgan Williams. The commissioner's role is to protect and improve the quality of the environment by providing independent advice to decision-makers. Wright could enquire into the environmental planning and management of both central and local government.
Here she visits the Tui mine on the slopes of Te Aroha mountain in 2009, when clean-up work was under way. The mine had been abandoned in 1973, but the site was polluted and heavy metals were leaching into the water catchment. With the cooperation of the Ministry for the Environment, Environment Waikato, the Department of Conservation and the Matamata–Piako District Council, a clean-up of the site began in 2009.
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