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‘Not a dumping ground’

MAKORORI residents are sick and tired of rubbish being dumped on the sand dunes in access ways to the beach from State Highway 35.

The most recent dumping was six bursting black rubbish bags, over 20 glass bottles, cardboard boxes, plastic bins and various other items dumped on the dunes in plain sight of the road.

Gaynor Rogers said her husband first noticed it there on Sunday last week and was disgusted to see it, even with Gisborne District Council cutting back the trees in the area so rubbish dumping cannot be hidden.

“We need to do something to stop people being able to access these areas to dump rubbish,” Mrs Rogers said.

“It beggars belief that anyone should take the time to bag things up, drive to the beach and dump their rubbish where people walk and play.”

Gisborne District Council solid waste manager Phil Nickerson said dumping at Makorori Beach is an ongoing issues that they are dealing with and are currently working on a public awareness campaign and extra signage for the area.

“We’re also investigating further methods on finding and following up with those responsible,” Mr Nickerson said.

Mrs Rogers wants a solution on finding the perpetrators to prevent this happening as the damage being done is irreversible.

“It is a delicate environment where birds nest and breed, native flora should be flourishing not being treated as a dumping ground,” she said.

The only way to stop this is by GDC passing a bylaw that prevents vehicles driving on to the beach and to bollard the access ways to ensure the dunes and beach is protected, she said.

“Wainui Beach and the town beaches are perfect examples of this being possible — where good parking, great access ways and walking tracks have been provided,” she said.

“We are all kaitiaki of our environment and want all beachgoers — locals and out-of-town visitors — to enjoy the benefits of this marvellous resource, but not at the expense of lives, and irreversible damage to flora and fauna.”

Sandy Bull, another Makorori resident who is wanting something done to prevent access on to the sand dunes and beaches, said the resident’s group have sent a hard-hitting petition to GDC following a meeting in September 2020 called by district councillor Pat Seymour where 35 people attended, including GDC staff, the mayor and Waka Kotahi NZTA.

DUMPED IN PLAIN SIGHT: Once again rubbish has been dumped on the sand dunes at Makorori Beach. Local residents are urging the council to find a solution to the issue. Picture by Liam Clayton