Higher fines for litterbugs coming

File photo.

As local councils grapple with the litter left behind by holidaymakers, a Members Bill from National could soon introduce stiffer penalties for people caught illegally dumping rubbish.

"It really annoys me seeing our beautiful natural environment ruined by the careless and thoughtless actions of lazy litterbugs," says National’s Environment spokesperson Scott Simpson.

"It's sadly far too common to see people brazenly throwing litter from moving cars, to say nothing of others who dump their rubbish without a thought about the impacts."

Scott says his Member’s Bill will ensure Councils have a more powerful tool to help prevent littering and keep our communities safe and clean. It is due to have its Second Reading in Parliament in February.

“This Bill will increase the maximum on-the-spot infringement fines councils can impose for those caught littering from the current measly $400 to a serious $1000. This will send a clear message to those who litter that it is entirely unacceptable.

“Councils and communities are continually dealing with the mess left behind by those who would instead litter our countryside than dispose of their rubbish legally and properly."

As the MP for Coromandel, Scott sees how particularly bad litter is during the holiday season when we have thousands of visitors. Some of them care little about the litter they leave behind when they go home.

“With the current maximum infringement fine set at just $400 some councils don’t even bother issuing on the spot litter fines."

He hopes an increase to a $1000 maximum will change that and send a strong message to litterbugs.

“This Members Bill builds on National’s previous efforts to curb littering which included the ‘Do the Right Thing’ anti-littering campaign and funding of over $80 million to more than 130 projects through the Waste Minimisation Fund.

“Fines are just one part of the solution but, combined with working with councils and changing people’s attitudes I believe we can reduce the amount of litter left behind and ensure our environment looks better, our wildlife is better protected, and our clean, green reputation is upheld.”


7 Comments

Can we fine the TCC

Posted on 11-01-2019 12:22 | By Mein Fuhrer

For the mess they made in Greerton?

Terrible Council

Posted on 10-01-2019 20:37 | By Slim Shady

They need something bigger to put the rubbish in. They could use some of those big yellow things with nobody on them that I keep seeing driving about.

Not just beach goers

Posted on 09-01-2019 16:02 | By dybryan

The public rubbish bin at the beach access at Pacific View Road in Papamoa is often full and in need of emptying. I have witnessed residents putting large amounts of household rubbish including junk mail into that bin while walking my dog, not just once but on a number of occassions. A larger fine might deter this.

Cigaret butts

Posted on 09-01-2019 15:34 | By davidt5

Please, Please apply the same fine to those who smoke and casually toss their cigerate butts on the ground. A really filthy habit. These butts eventually end up in the sea where they are eaten by fish who just see them as a tasty morsel. As the circle goes round we eat these contaminated fish.

Litterbugs

Posted on 09-01-2019 15:11 | By LyricalSoul

That’s if you catch them you mean, it’s exactly the same with dog poo, I’ve never seen anyone be caught & fined ever!!!

Not just holiday makers.

Posted on 09-01-2019 14:26 | By AKS

A lot of the time it’s not just holiday makers or people tossing things out the window. It’s more and more common for people to just pull up at a park and give their car a clean out, tossing it on the ground right next to them, over filling the bins, or just stacking shopping or takeaway bags worth of trash next to the bin because they’re too big to fit. It’s also people trying to jam household rubbish into them. All of this is lazy and illegal but nothing is done to stop these people or clean up the aftermath on a regular basis. That and despite the increase in trash, the bins have remained the same size and too few.

rubbish collection

Posted on 09-01-2019 11:35 | By Wonkytonk

I agree like most others that rubbish needs to be placed in a bin but like in your example the council need to empty them too. Nowadays you can get sensors to tell you when they are full, but of course we are 20 years behind and some councils are lazy old fashioned.

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