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Road dumping costs mount up

Wairarapa and Tararua councils have towed away close to 100 abandoned or burned-out cars and removed large quantities of illegally dumped rubbish, with ratepayers left to pick up the bill.

Illegally dumped rubbish in the Tararua district cost ratepayers tens of thousands of dollars to remove last year.

A Tararua District Council [TDC] spokesperson said the district has seen an increase in rubbish being dumped on the side of the road.

Last year, TDC removed 71 abandoned vehicles from its district, which cost more than $30,000 to tow away.

There were 135 complaints of illegal rubbish dumping received by the council, and the cost of removing it came to more than $40,000.

“This kind of behaviour is frustrating, costly, and not fair on our communities,” the spokesperson said.

“This is unacceptable, and it’s important to report activities like this in our area if we witness them.”

South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] has recently received seven complaints of “fly tipping” [illegal dumping], five of which were on Western Lake Rd, which came with an estimated clean-up cost of $500 per incident.

There were also six complaints of waste dumped outside Ā Mua Community Resource Centre in Featherston.

A SWDC spokesperson said that last year, the council received two reports of abandoned vehicles, one of which was burned out, but because they were both found in Greater Wellington Regional Council riverbed land, the regional council dealt with removal rather than SWDC.

Masterton District Council [MDC] spent $13,000 on illegally dumped rubbish in the previous financial year and $5273 from March 1, 2023, to March 20, 2024.

“Within the same period, there were 77 service requests relating to supposedly dumped or abandoned cars,” an MDC spokesperson said.

“The majority were either not present when reports were followed up, owners were contacted to resolve the situation or were actually warranted and registered appropriately.

“Where cars were stolen and/or burnt out, police and insurance companies may have been involved,” the MDC spokesperson said, while “the total cost to the council was towage of two vehicles – amounting to $205”.

A Carterton District Council [CDC] spokesperson said that in the past calendar year, the district had 15 instances of illegal rubbish dumping that were reported to CDC.

“In the same timescale, we had 14 abandoned vars reported to council,” the spokesperson said.

“Where cars were stolen and/or burnt out, police and insurance companies may have been involved.”

The CDC spokesperson noted that the cost of cleaning up illegally dumped rubbish is covered by existing agreements with contractors or by council staff, and there is “no additional cost beyond the staff time, while the cost of removing abandoned vehicles was “covered in an existing agreement with contractors”.


  1. There has always been a problem with people dumping rubbish 🗑 only made worse by CHARGING FEES INTRODUCED BY ALL COUNCILS. SOCIETY WILL ALWAYS HAVE PEOPLE THAT DON’T GIVE A SHIT. CHARGING more will not fix it but create more ILLEGAL Dumping.

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