Having just driven home to Rotorua from Wellington, I am now more sure than ever that Rotorua is the litter capital of New Zealand.
Also being the North Island's tourist capital makes it even more embarrassing.
It is normal for us to pick up 20 to 30 aluminium beer and caffeine drink cans from the side of the road in the 10km drive to Ngongotahā and the same on the other side on the way back.
The litter is replenished at least weekly and that doesn't count RTD and beer bottles or the vast quantities of fast food wrappers and other rubbish.
It's not the council's fault for the not litter skirmishing; it's because part of our population has lost respect for itself and its environment.
We recycle the cans we collect and that pays for the extra fuel for stopping and starting, but my worry is how to bring back respect and responsibility.
Haves and have nots
I was interested to read the comments of One Roof editor Owen Vaughan (News, August 29) who states "Rotorua is no longer seen as a poor cousin to neighbouring cities".
This may be true with respect to wealthy buyers who can afford to purchase a $1.8 million house.
However, this situation highlights, in my view, the huge and growing disparity, in both Rotorua and New Zealand at large, between the haves and the have nots.
It was revealed in a recent Daily Post article (News, August 27), that over $3 million had been spent in the past three months by the Government on motel accommodation for homeless Rotorua people.
Yesterday I met, within two hours, in the CBD, two homeless women, who are living rough.
All I could do was to direct then to Tiny Deane, whose remarkable efforts include opening a residential facility for homeless women and children.
The poverty experienced by so many currently in this city is driven primarily, in my view, by the lack of affordable rental housing, and an increase in Airbnb temporary accommodation.
Landlords are profiting from this situation, and many, in my view, must be laughing all the way to the bank.
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