Hawke's Bay Today

Rubbish discarded around region dishearten­ing

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As others have commented here and elsewhere recently, we have a serious problem with littering and rubbish dumping in our community. Like Linda Hall in her editorial on 11 February, I too was shocked at the photos of the rubbish strewn at the Mission Concert site and the time the St John’s College group needed to spend clearing it up. Full rubbish bins are no excuse for concert goers leaving behind the rubbish they themselves had brought or bought. That’s just a pathetic cop-out. On a recent trip with Biodiversi­ty HB into the beautiful isolated Kaweka Lakes, we were appalled to find a rubbish pile of bottles, cans, etc just recently left at someone’s campsite there. Again, a recent news article speaks of the huge quantity of rubbish discarded by visitors to Lake Waikaremoa­na that staff then had to clear up and dispose of. As with visiting the Kaweka Lakes, people make a considerab­le effort to get there and presumably wish to engage in the nature that surrounds them, yet can still trash it. Where are their brains? What are they thinking? Walking and biking around our streets and trails, I am confronted with a sea of discarded takeaway food packaging, cans, general plastic rubbish, tiny ziploc baggies (from drugs?), smashed beer bottles, discarded underwear, used nappies . . . Council staff (and occasional­ly others like myself, I am certain) pick it up, to find replacemen­ts arrive again within days. All very dishearten­ing. Where do litterers think their rubbish disappears to? Especially in one’s own neighbourh­ood, it’s like messing in one’s own nest. How do we as a community turn this tide of mess and get everyone to take responsibi­lity for their own rubbish? It’s not just a case of “unruly tourists”. Papatuanuk­u must be weeping. C Hillary

Maraenui

Injuries more relevant

An editorial concerned about the number of fractured limbs at Waitangi Day’s Mission concert (thirteen; seven requiring surgery) would have been more appropriat­e than one upset by litter “strewn across the (Mission’s) beautiful landscape” the morning after. Post concert rubbish and trash has been part of the music-festival going experience since Woodstock; since time immemorial, with recent archeologi­st digs at the infamous Yasgur farm site unearthing exactly where the Woodstock stage once stood for nostalgic hippy tourists. The sheer jam and weight of punters trampling whatever is underfoot midst the heat of incitement at outdoor gigs in oft wet and muddy conditions makes seeing whatever rubbish belongs to who after gigs impossible. Limited stadium-type lighting following Mission shows makes descending slopes along sheep trails and through paddocks hard enough, without seeking to retrieve any latent hippy litter (a cost well and truly covered by ticket prices, as most see it; a St John’s College post-concert fundraiser). Similar ventures or events would’ve seen you or OSH demanding the sorts of site improvemen­ts the Mission should've done voluntaril­y from show profits made years ago, but littering and a general bad choice of hippy footwear by patrons (jandals) are the best/ worst you can come up with. Graham Chaplow

Havelock North

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