28 May 2019

West Coast rubbish clean-up axed as funding runs out

From Morning Report, 8:36 am on 28 May 2019

A major clean up on the Fox River in Westland has been put on hold, as the local council says it has run out of money to fund it.

RNZ reported on Monday that volunteers trying to pick up the rubbish are predicting it would take years to clean up the mess.

We have now been told contractors have been asked to stop work on Friday as Westland District Council needs more money to fund the clean-up.

Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage says the landfill is the Westland District Council's responsibility, and the government already provided them with $300,000 less than a month ago.

Ms Sage says the council seems to have a cash flow problem and is unwilling to raise rates, so she'll explore what steps the government can take next.

Nicky Snoyink is the Forest and Bird regional manager for Canterbury Westland. She talks to Corin Dann.