Just a quick update about the Rubbish being dumped at the Waitahanui River. Ross from the Tongariro River Motel jumped on the band wagon about this as well. One of his hotel quests fished the river a few weeks back and took some photo’s, (go to Ross’s page www.tongarirorivermotel.co.nz ) of the mess. Ross wants me to take it to the Mayor at a weekly meeting they have. If I have to do that then so be it but first of all I would like to see if DOC can sort it.
My reply to Ross was this.
Hey Ross. (something about being a pine tree killing bastard in there too)
I had spoken to the council a few months back. I first noticed the rubbish in January and thought that due to the size of it, DOC would have to know, so I gave them two months grace. When it wasn’t removed, I rung the council. As you say, they passed the buck onto DOC as it was not on their land, (apparently). I rung DOC and they said they were dealing with the problem but were trying to find out whose land it was on, (small private piece of land, apparently). I know things don’t move too fast with DOC and so have been giving them some time to sort it out. Last Friday, time ran out for them.
I have just gotten off the phone from DOC. A big part of me is sorry for the guys there. They are going through some massive restructuring and are having to reapply for their jobs. Some of these guys have family to support so it must be pretty stressful. They are aware things need to change and that the public can help them shape things to come. There is some positive stuff that is to come from DOC very soon.
Unfortunately for Mark who is in Field operations our conversation was a heated one, (at least by me anyway). Things have moved a little too slow in my opinion and the talking to the locals should have been over by now and a digger bought in. I don’t really care who’s land it is on. From what I have been told, (my own source from the community, who are as disgusted as anyone) there were drums of some sort of liquid thrown in there and this stuff, if leaking, will eventually leach into the Waitahanui River. I explained to Mark that unless it was cleaned up “now” my next phone call would be to the media in Taupo. Bureaucratic BS was over with and it just needed dealing with. There are no excuses for this taking so long.
Mark asked for a weeks grace on that move and that he would treat it with priority. I would like to think that DOC and the Council can work this out quickly as it is certainly a terrible thing to come across, amongst all that beauty. They have their leverage to the whole deal as the leaching of contaminants into the Waitahanui river is illegal, whether its private land or not. From there it is just maintaining the area with signs and cameras. By doing nothing, all DOC and the Council are saying is “its ok, we wont do anything”.
So watch this space and I’ll let you know what happens next Monday. Hopefully I wont have to ear bash Rick Cooper but that card is definitely in the pack to play with.