As local councils grapple with the litter left behind by holiday makers the National Party is calling for stiffer penalties for people caught illegally dumping rubbish.

“Yesterday it was revealed that $2.4 million was spent among 30 local councils on clearing illegally dumped rubbish in 2016. The total cost for all 78 councils would be even higher. This is money that could be better spent on things like roads and parks for the community,” National Party Environment Spokesperson Scott Simpson says.

“These councils and communities are constantly dealing with the mess left behind by those who would rather litter our countryside than dispose of their rubbish legally, with the problem particularly bad at the end of the holiday season.

“New Zealanders are rightly proud of our environment and while the overwhelming majority do the right thing, it is spoiled by those who refuse to.

“The National Party wants to find the best solutions to make sure everyone disposes of their waste responsibly, including those who fail to do so are held to account.

“That’s why I have sponsored a Member’s Bill to increase the maximum fine for those caught littering from $400 to $1000.

“We think there should be a stronger deterrent to littering so we can help councils and communities keep our streets and environment cleaner.

“This builds on National’s previous efforts to curb littering which included the ‘Do the Right Thing’ anti-littering campaign and better monitoring of littering so we knew where more effort was needed.

“Fines are just one part of the solution but, combined with working with councils and changing people’s attitudes we believe we can reduce the amount of litter left behind and ensure our environment looks better, our wildlife is better protected and our clean green reputation is upheld.”

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