The beautiful city of Rotorua is a sparkling jewel in New Zealand's crown.

It's a proud city, with proud people. It has a proud history, and is a tourist mecca with natural and cultural attractions that people travel thousands of kilometres to see.

So why are some people so determined to try to spoil it?

As reported last week and this week, the issue of illegal rubbish dumping remains a major issue.


Second-hand shops are frustrated at rubbish left outside them. Upset residents near hotspots have spoken out.

Our news team found examples of ugly dumping at six places. The rubbish includes household refuse, used tyres, old televisions, car bumpers and empty bottles.

Councillor Charles Sturt has had a ''gutsful'' and wants every effort made to catch those responsible.

I have given some thought as to what sort of person would deliberately dump their rubbish in a public place.

What I came up with is this: They are selfish, inconsiderate, arrogant and lazy.

They don't care about Rotorua, its proud history or what visitors think. They don't care about the environment or their fellow Rotorua citizens.

They are a disgrace – and they're costing the city an average of $100,000 a year to clean up after.

What's the answer?


There's been talk of security cameras, but the Rotorua council points out they can be difficult to power in rural areas, and get stolen or damaged.

The council could have more static and roving security patrols around hotspots, but that would, of course, cost more.

And the problem would probably just shift elsewhere.

National's Scott Simpson wants a law change to raise the maximum fine for dumping from $400 to $1000. Not surprisingly, local MPs are divided over whether that's a good idea, with two believing education is the answer, not heavier fines.

I believe we should have higher fines. If anything, the maximum should be $10,000.

But I agree enforcement and penalties only go so far. Education and awareness are also crucial, as is trying to understand who the dumpers are.

Could our schools help? How do we better teach the next generation that littering is not okay?

Rubbish dumping is a blight on Rotorua and creates an environmental mess and health risk.

Those responsible need to grow up, and change their attitudes and behaviour.