Mayor calls for harsher penalties on illegal dumpers

A commercial truck was caught on council surveillance dumping a large amount of inorganic material in Wiri, south Auckland – twice – and has been fined $1000. Photo supplied

Mayor Phil Goff has welcomed Auckland Council’s second successful prosecution of an illegal dumper in two weeks but says the penalties should be much higher.

It is a move many in east Auckland will agree with having witnessed many such illegal dumpings in public areas in recent months and year.

In July a commercial truck was caught on council surveillance dumping a large amount of inorganic material in Wiri, south Auckland. A second dumping was recorded at the same location the following week. The offender was prosecuted, pleaded guilty to both charges and was fined $1000 plus costs. The offender had previously been fined for dumping green waste in Franklin.

Goff said, “I’m pleased this cowboy commercial outfit has been fined, but given their blatant disregard for our environment, the penalty needs to be tougher. Having offenders spend their weekends cleaning up rubbish around the city, for example, would be a good case of a penalty that fits the crime.

“This is brazen recidivism from a commercial operator with no regard for the ratepayer. Frankly, acting in this way should attract harsher consequences.

“We have made an approach to the government to amend the relevant legislation because the penalties under the Litter Act 1979 are clearly not an effective deterrent in 2018.”

Earlier this month another recidivist commercial dumper was identified in south Auckland. The offender in that instance was fined $3500 plus costs for dumping concrete and soil on three separate occasions in Mangere.

The prosecutions follow the Mayor’s announcement in February of $200,000 in additional funding to hire extra enforcement staff and double the number of CCTV cameras in hotspot areas.

“We as council are cracking down because like most Aucklanders we are tired of a few irresponsible individuals blighting our landscape because they’re too lazy or irresponsible to dispose of their rubbish appropriately,” said Goff.

“Not only does it damage the environment, it burdens ratepayers with the costs of clean-up. Litter and illegal dumping cost ratepayers more than $1 million in removal costs alone last year.

“With more prosecutions in progress, we’ll be continuing to make sure those who dump illegally are held to account.”

  • The public can report any suspected illegal dumping activity by phoning 0800 NODUMP (0800 663 867) – the 24-hour illegal dumping hotline.