Council to fine dumpers
Old television sets, nappies crawling with maggots, used condoms and sanitary items are just a few of the unpleasant items being picked out of the Bulls stretch of the Rangitikei River.
But far from scratching their heads over who is responsible for the mess, Rangitikei District Council staff are going after illegal dumpers with a vengeance.
Environmental services team leader Steve Costelloe said a spot of investigative work into the rubbish items regularly dumped from the Bulls bridge had identified six culprits, with a little help from members of the community who tipped the council off.
Each of the six identified would be fined $300, and billed for $80 towards the cost of the cleanup, to save ratepayers from shouldering the cost.
"It works and it will haunt them into the future," Mr Costelloe said of the invoices. Non-payment was a risky option because the council would pass on debtors' information to the police, and district courts would follow up with a notice.
If the fines remained unpaid, culprits could expect their names to be given to debt collectors.
Mr Costelloe called the illegal dumping into the Bulls waterway "disgusting".
"The Rangitikei River is pristine. There are not many rivers like it in the world . . . next time there's a flood, where do they think it's going to wind up?
"I don't want to go fishing and see a nappy floating by."
He said illegal dumping had consumed a great deal of the council's time, with hotspots including the Bulls bridge and Kakariki.
The council was investigating the purchase of covert remote cameras.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you agree with increased oil exploration?