Asbestos contamination at Dunedin Railway Station


There’s a new tenancy at the Dunedin Railway Station.

People working on the project had been told the whole underfloor area was safe to enter; that there was plastic down.

Turns out the plastic cover ran short, and a number of site workers had crawled across bare dirt, kicking up a lot of dust as they went – it was found the area had been contaminated with asbestos.

We understand workmen from several companies have been affected.

The Dunedin Railway Station is a council owned property. Affected sitemen have since had their names added to the WorkSafe Asbestos Exposure Database; and Health and Safety meetings have been called to review safety drills and gear provision.

It appears a few people have slipped up along the ‘food chain’ of managerial responsibility for the workers, starting with DCC management (the building owner).

We hear DCC is now paying for workers to be educated on what protection gear they must wear on exposed asbestos worksites.

Related Post and Comments:
19.6.16 Thoughts on ODT Insight : Chris Morris investigates Asbestos plague

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Events, Health & Safety, Heritage, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Site, Tourism, What stadium

9 responses to “Asbestos contamination at Dunedin Railway Station

  1. Elizabeth

    Dunedin Venues (DVML) has been managing the Porters’ Lounge.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    Plastic cover ran out? You mean the extremely specialised plastic cover that can only be obtained from a special factory halfway up an active volcano in Iceland? And they ran out of the magic ingredient when the world’s only Special Magic Mine in Syria was bombed?
    That plastic?

  3. Elizabeth

    Belatedly, the News has woken up…..

    Mon, 17 Jul 2017
    ODT: Asbestos found at Cobb & Co site
    By Chris Morris
    Up to 15 contractors were exposed to asbestos-contaminated soil while working to open a new Cobb & Co restaurant at the Dunedin Railway Station, it has been confirmed. Plumbing, electrical and IT communications staff were among those installing services in underfloor areas of the building before the asbestos was detected, the Dunedin City Council confirmed yesterday. Cont/

    Contrary to the DCC version of events, spoken by someone who was Not present… dry asbestos contaminated dirt under the floors did generate airborne dust as workers pushed through the crawl space – as you would expect for any older building with a wide footprint that is not set in sodden ground. D’oh

  4. Elizabeth

    The project manager on site: Livingstone

  5. E Palmer

    As usual the DCC insult us all with another down-playing of a serious situation. Their first reaction to any trouble, is to always refute there IS a problem. Damp soil my arse! I happen to know it was a worker concerned enough about the stirred up dust over the uncovered area, that alerted the rest of the crew to the potential problem and they got out. Will we hear anything from anyone directly affected though??? NO, because they don’t want to lose their jobs or have their company quietly blacklisted as the whistle-blower. SHAMEFUL STUFF WHICH HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR YEARS IN DUNEDIN’S OLD REFURBISHED BUILDINGS!! Rushed jobs mean corner-cutting and let’s face it – you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. Oh but rest easy Dunedin, you won’t be at risk as a diner – even though it slowed the precious build deadline. I just wouldn’t go for their frickin’ omelette!!! Where will the DCC and their tenants be in 20 years, when someone far too young is coughing up a bloody lung? Those 15 workers exposed and their firms should be given a fair chance to tell their side of this story. As for the ODDITY and their facilitating this cover-up. How about some quality investigative journalism in exposing what’s been going on for far too long here??

  6. Congratulations on breaking this story Elizabeth. One wonders if it would ever have made it to the light of day without your amazing commitment to calling out social responsibility. I notice the ODT didn’t credit you as their source!

  7. Elizabeth

    E Palmer, I concur – my source let me know last week, stating specifically that dust was kicked up, that conditions were ‘dry dirt’ under the floor where they were working (minus the plastic wrap).

    Dare we hope WorkSafe inspectors aren’t also in on the cover-up.


    At Facebook:

    Comment at Facebook:
    Daniel Leishman It’s only damp in one area the other area was extremely dry with plenty of airborne dust kicked up from crawling through it
    1 · 4 hrs

  8. Elizabeth

    C L O S E ● T O ● H O M E
    Speaking of cover-ups

    After reading the ODT page 3 today – I googled ‘Kallam Croudis”, an interesting name for Conflicts of Interest, past and present.

    Did the DSS serve the families (or the woman’s family) by cocking up the investigation deliberately. How very obscure.

    The rich and famous should think about this a long time.
    Meanwhile, NZ Police should sentence Croudis to hard labour. Well earned over the years, more so now.

    Det Snr Sgt Kallum Croudis has been criticised over his handling of a case which resulted in a woman’s confession being thrown out by the court.

    Mon, 17 Jul 2017
    ODT: Judge critical of senior officer
    By Rob Kidd
    A senior Dunedin police officer has been slammed by the court over his involvement in a case in which he had a conflict of interest. Detective Senior Sergeant Kallum Croudis spoke to a suspect at least three times without being part of the investigation team. Judge Michael Crosbie also criticised the officer’s record-keeping and his ”casual approach”, which resulted in police obtaining an unlawful confession from the woman regarding the death of a Dunedin man. In his judgement ruling the confession inadmissible [Judge Crosbie] noted Det Snr Sgt Croudis was a friend of the dead man’s father. Southern district commander Superintendent Paul Basham said the comments of the court would be taken very seriously and “the issues raised in the judgement are of concern”. A spokeswoman later confirmed police would not pursue the prosecution against the woman. […] At the May hearing, [Croudis] said he spoke to the female defendant at least three more times before she had a “voluntary” interview at the station. Cont/

    ODT has concentrated on a longish write-up of the case today.


    Just one wee example, ONE BAD COP AMONGST MANY:

    01:43, Jan 31 2009
    Stuff: Sunday Star-Times: Judge lambasts top cops in damning report
    The actions of some of the country’s highest-ranking police have been criticised in a damning Independent Police Conduct Authority report due out later today. The report – released after a two-year investigation – makes adverse comments about 10 Dunedin police, including four inspectors, a detective senior sergeant and two detective sergeants. Justice Lowell Goddard is understood to criticise police for their involvement in private investigations of ACC clients – and for how they handled their subsequent inquiries into complaints. The inquiry was launched after conflict of interest allegations that Peter Gibbons – a former Dunedin CIB head who became a private investigator working for ACC’s fraud unit – used his police constable son-in-law to improperly obtain search warrants and seize property from ACC clients. The clients alleged that when they complained, senior police – including three of Gibbons’ former CIB colleagues – failed to act. […] Gibbons, who was a detective senior sergeant in the CIB in the 1990s, supervised three of the police criticised in the Goddard report Detective Senior Sergeant Kallum Croudis, Detective Sergeant Malcolm Inglis and Detective Sergeant Brett Roberts. A previous internal police inquiry showed Croudis assigned Henderson ACC-related cases knowing about his conflict of interest as Gibbons’ son-in-law. Inglis and Roberts conducted the initial inquiries into Van Essen’s complaints. Croudis, Inglis and Roberts have been involved in both the original inquiry and reinvestigation of the David Bain mass murder case. Croudis arrested Bain in 1995. Cont/

  9. Elizabeth

    What happened to Jeremy Buis of Dunedin Police ?

    Last updated 22:36, July 17 2017
    Stuff: Police officer convicted for harassing Dunedin businessman for years
    By Jack Fletcher
    Dunedin policeman Jeremy Buis was responsible for the more than two-year campaign of harassment of local businessman Daniel Pryde. Jeremy Fraser Buis, 39, was convicted on a raft of charges relating to the harassment of Daniel Pryde after a June 2012 parking dispute escalated. Suppression of his occupation was lifted in the High Court at Dunedin on Monday. [17 July 2017] …. In April, Buis was found guilty of criminal harassment, threatening to do grievous bodily harm and intentional damage. He was sentenced to 200 hours of community work and order to pay emotional harm reparation of $15,000. Buis’ name suppression was lifted on April 21, but his occupation remained suppressed until Monday. Cont/

    Other Stuff stories:
    ‘I did my homework on him,’ says government employee accused of harassment
    Government employee found guilty of almost three-year harassment campaign
    Jeremy Buis named as Government employee who waged two-year harassment war

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