Most people I talk to say it is the city’s natural beauty, its beautiful beach, harbour and the surrounding hills. What I have noticed lately is the large amount of rubbish and litter I see, particularly on the roadside. Being a coastal town, this is even more concerning as a lot of that rubbish will inevitably end up in our waterways.
After a decade of inaction this government has made cleaning up our waterways one of its top priorities.
The Prime Minister and the Minister for the Environment recently celebrated the community effort to clean up the Kaipara Catchment in Northland, which is New Zealand’s largest estuary. A massive local effort has been made to turn one of our most at-risk waterways into a shining example of what can be achieved when community and government come together to act.
The government also has a plan to significantly reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill by 2020. We want to think about waste way before we take it to the tip. So we’re working closely with industry, retailers and consumers to make sure that we get more mileage out of the things we rely on – like tyres.
Incredibly, this is the first time a regulated, rather than voluntary, product stewardship scheme like this has been proposed in New Zealand. It’s a massive step towards a more sustainable economy.
We have heard the message loud and clear. New Zealanders want action to clean up our environment. We’ve listened, and we’re progressing our plan to tackle the long-term challenges of water quality and ever increasing amounts of rubbish.