That Rotorua has a problem with littering is agreed but local MPs are divided on the best solution.

National's Environment spokesman Scott Simpson has introduced the Litter (Increased Infringement Fee) Amendment Bill that would see the maximum infringement fee rise from $400 to $1000. It is at its second reading.

Rotorua MP Todd McClay said dumped rubbish was a growing problem around the district.

Scott Simpson's bill proposes to increase dumping infringement fees to $1000. Photo / File
Scott Simpson's bill proposes to increase dumping infringement fees to $1000. Photo / File

"I spend a lot of time driving around my electorate and it's concerning to see rubbish dumped on the sides of the road, at lay-bys and around tourist attractions," McClay said.


"While Rotorua isn't alone in dealing with this problem, it's not a good look for a tourist town, and is becoming costly to clean up. I voted in favour of Scott Simpson's bill to increase fines and penalties for dumping rubbish.

Tamati Coffey.
Tamati Coffey.

"This is a timely tool to target those who are dumping rubbish, increasing fines to $1000 for the most serious cases."

Waiariki MP Tamati Coffey agreed rubbish dumping in Rotorua was a problem but did not think raising fines would help.

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"Rubbish in Rotorua is a critical issue for tourists and more importantly for our local whānau, frustrated with the small minority of people who continue to trash our beautiful city - however raising fines is an ineffective answer," Coffey said.

Fletcher Tabuteau.
Fletcher Tabuteau.

"Rather than flog a dead horse, as a community, we need to get on with the job of collectively looking at what further education or supporting resources are needed in order to deliver for our environment.

"Individually, we can also ensure our whānau know how to recycle and dispose of tricky items such as fridges, mobiles, microwaves and tyres."

New Zealand First deputy leader and Rotorua-based list MP Fletcher Tabuteau agreed littering was "a crime against our beautiful environment" but said the bill was a waste of time.

Todd McClay.
Todd McClay.

"Local authorities have struggled to administer fines for littering and have proven to be ineffective for years.

"Let's focus on education. Right now we are in the middle of an education campaign "Let's band together to put litter in its place, which is definitely a better way to do it."

Let's put litter in its place is a campaign to reduce waste. It has been given $1.7 million from the Government's Waste Minimisation Fund and "smart bins" have been installed in five pilot regions including Rotorua.

The bins have the technology to tell the collector when they need to be emptied.