Bay of Plenty Regional Council is investigating how hundreds of tyres were dumped in forestry blocks near Rotorua.

The Taranaki and Waikato regional councils are investigating a spate of similar dumpings.

Hundreds of tyres in piles were found in two parts of Mamaku Forest and another private property closer to Rotorua in mid-May.

On June 15, Waikato Regional Council received a report of a "couple of hundred" tyres being dumped in a quarry off State Highway 5, Tirohanga.

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On July 6, the Waikato Regional Council was contacted by a forest management company advising of five new piles of dumped tyres discovered in one of their forest blocks.

Dumpings near the Forgotten World Highway at Stratford were reported to the Taranaki Regional Council in early June.

Kia ora tātou. We're aware of a number of cases of dumped tyres in our eastern district, and along the Forgotten World...

Posted by Stratford District Council on Monday, 8 June 2020

Bay of Plenty Regional Council compliance manager Stephen Mellor said: "New Zealand Police are aware and we are working closely with Waikato and Taranaki regional councils ...".


He said any illegal waste dumping was a concern but "tyres are especially high risk".

Contaminants that leach from tyres from during weather exposure or a fire have "a serious impact on soil health, water and air quality".

"Any businesses (such as tyre retailers, car wreckers, automotive workshops and transfer stations) who pass on their waste tyres to a third party contractor (whether it be for disposal, reuse or recycling) should ensure that their chosen contractor is a reputable operator who can demonstrate an appropriate and approved method of final tyre disposal.

"Failing to do so may leave their business liable for illegal dumping," Mellor said.

No charges have been laid under the Resource Management Act regarding the spate of tyre dumpings but they are still under investigation, he said.

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Waikato Regional Council compliance manager Patrick Lynch said New Zealand did not currently have a clear regulatory framework to manage problem dumping or stockpiling.

"However, there is a new National Environmental Standard which is due to come into force before the end of the year aimed at the storage and stockpiling of tyres."

There is also a National Environmental Standard that specifically prohibits the burning of tyres in New Zealand.