Ngawha Spa: specialist report received

A specialist report about the asbestos discovered at Ngawha Spa near Kaikohe has confirmed that material containing the substance was used in all but one of the seven buildings on the spa site and that some soil around the buildings has been contaminated with asbestos fibres.

Technical professional and construction services provider Jacobs New Zealand Ltd collected six soil samples as part of its initial investigations. All tested positive for asbestos fibres although only one of these was found to be heavily contaminated. This was taken from outside an implement shed relatively distant from the rest of the complex.

The Jacobs report says further testing is required to determine the extent of the ground area contaminated by asbestos, to find out if it is necessary to de-contaminate that soil in certain places and to identify all material containing asbestos on the site.

It identifies degraded material and recommends that this be removed by a registered asbestos contractor. Some material containing asbestos remains in relatively good condition and the report recommends either removing this or making it safe by encapsulating it with a resin or a resin-type paint.

“The findings endorse our decision to remove staff and contractors and to secure the site as soon as we were advised that asbestos was present more widely than had previously been believed,” said Top Energy chief executive Russell Shaw.

“On the other hand, advice we have received so far is that people who have used the spa over the years are unlikely to have been at any risk from the asbestos there.”

Mr Shaw said Top Energy was not expert in the field of asbestosis and would be referring all public health questions to the Northland District Health Board.

Top Energy is still considering its options around the future of the spa and will not make any decision until it has seen the results of the additional testing recommended by Jacobs. This is not expected for at least a month.

SUBS: The Ngawha Spa baths are situated next to the Waiariki Hot Springs. This news release relates to developments at the Top Energy-owned Ngawha Spa complex and not the Waiariki Hot Springs administered and operated by the Parahirahi C1 Trust. Please ensure that this differentiation is made clear in any stories published.

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