Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Fox River clean-up teams recover five tonnes rubbish

More than five tonnes of rubbish has been cleared from Fox and Cook Rivers, wetlands and beaches between 30 April and 7 May, the Westland District Council reported today.

The clean-up, from the March floods wash-out of the former Fox River landfill, continues with support from local authorities, The Department of Conservation (DoC), and government departments; along with local businesses, residents, land owners and volunteers.

“The effort the teams are putting in is extraordinary, said Te Aroha Cook, Westland District Council Recovery Manager, who is helping coordinate the clean-up. “Some of these people worked eight days in a row,” she said. “We had to ensure everyone took a break for their own health and safety. Some people just want to keep going. To put their work in perspective, five tonnes of rubbish is the weight of the 465 individual rubbish bags collected.”

Cook says Okarito locals deserve special praise for their dedication to clearing rubbish from Five Mile, Three Mile and Okarito beaches. “People just keep going back, as fresh tides and high rivers bring more rubbish in.”

While the rubbish removal continues, the Westland District Council, along with DoC and other authorities, is working on a long-term plan for the recovery of the area. This follows the 3 May Government announcement of $400,000 in funding toward recovery from the March floods, including $300,000 for rubbish clearance.

“The scale of the job in front of us is huge,” Cook says. “On Saturday 4 May some of the team walked up the Fox River and were overwhelmed by what they saw still had to be done. But everyone was heartened by the real difference the clean-up is making in those areas that have already received attention.”

Cook says the clean-up project is particularly seeking volunteers who have the skills and experience needed to work in the challenging, and potentially risky, in-river environment.

“It is very hard work clearing rubbish from the tangled flood debris of boulders, washed out trees, and so on. They need to be fit, confident to work in a challenging environment and constantly retain a safety awareness within the river bed. They also need to have appropriate clothing and PPE gear.
“All volunteers are urged to register with foxlandfillresponse@westlanddc.govt.nz. Even if someone just wants to wander along a beach picking up rubbish, it is preferable they are part of an organised team. We really need to know they are there for safety reasons, and so we can arrange to uplift any bags of rubbish they collect.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>


PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>


Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>


Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>


Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>


PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels