Court action could be taken over hazardous waste left in an old Southland paper mill, which the Environment Minister describes as "wrong".
Almost 10,000 tonnes of a by-product from Rio Tinto's Tiwai Point aluminium smelter is being stored at the former Mataura paper mill.
Environment Minister David Parker told Heather du Plessis-Allan that what rankles most people is the linking of this to a wider review of viability of the smelter.
"That's just deja vu because they know that every few years as the smelter owners come to the government and try to cut themselves a better deal. And it's worked for them sometimes, but I don't think it's going to work this time."
He says that the two issues are completely separate, and that's why they are calling them out.
Parker says that they are exploring the option of court action over the issue.
Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks says the fact the Government's considering taking the company to court is appropriate.
He says Rio prides itself in being clean and green, but its dirty underbelly is being hidden in Mataura.