Matamata-Piako, in the heart of the Waikato has a reputation for its lush greenery.
However, the green image is being tainted by the actions of a few who are turning the flora from grassy green, to sludgy, effluent green.
There has been increasing concern regarding illegal stock effluent dumping in rural Matamata-Piako.
With multiple stock effluent dumping facilities around the district there are no excuses for truck drivers to dump the stock effluent either directly on, or beside the road.
To reduce future occurances, Matamata-Piako District Council is working with Waikato Regional Council and New Zealand Transport Authority to potentially install another one in our district in the very near future.
Deputy Mayor and Farmwise Consultant James Thomas said while drivers have no good excuse for dumping stock in areas other than stock effluent facilities, reducing the incidences of this occuring is a combined effort between the farmer and the stock transport company.
"It's good practise to stand stock off pasture for at least four hours prior to collection, this will reduce the amount of effluent cattle will produce while in transit."
"The farmer, trucking companies, sale yards staff and Council have responsibilities to ensure we are constantly putting the health and safety of our district's people and stock first and reducing the negative impacts on the environment."
Councillor Thomas said rural Matamata-Piako will soon be under the microscope from residents and vistors alike with the construction and completion of the cycleway extension from Te Aroha to Matamata."
"Keeping our landscape looking its best is not only a benefit to local tourism, but is just good practise and this is something we are all responsible for."
Stock effluent dumping is not only unsighlty on the roads but also poses risks to the environment and public health.
Leaked or purposely dumped stock effluent discharge can create a slimy discharge for several kilometres and makes the road slippery, causing hazards to both drivers and cyclists.
It can also cost the rate payer money by eating away the road surface and creating pot holes.
No one wants rate payer money wasted on something that is totally avoidable and this is where the community can come together for the greater good of the Matamata-Piako District.
If you see effluent being dumped in areas other than the stock effluent facilities, we encourage you to report the company.
Please take note of the vehicle registration, date and time you saw the offence occur as some trucks have more than one driver. Take photos if you can do so safely.
Council has limited power to penalise, but Police hold the ability to prosecute where appropriate, so we encourage you to inform both Council and Police.
Together let’s keep Matamata-Piako clean and the right kind of green – and make it the place of choice.
To report an illegal stock effluent dump, contact us on 0800 746 467.