Opinion: Stop treating NZ like one big rubbish bin

One Rotorua Lakes Councillor is so fed up with rubbish dumping he's offering a $500 bounty out of his own pocket to anyone who catches a litterbug in the act. Kiri Danielle says it's time we all did our bit to keep New Zealand beautiful.

OPINION: Do you love New Zealand?

It's pretty easy to do, but we are at risk of chucking away our clean, green paradise.

There's a problem New Zealand is facing - and it needs to be exposed to be dealt with. I've seen it with my own eyes - we are ruining our beautiful country with rubbish. 

Every day people are littering like our country is one big rubbish bin.

People are dumping waste illegally into some of our most remote and pristine areas and costing the environment and taxpayers millions each year.

It's even forced Environment Minister Nick Smith to sink another $3 million into a "behavioural change campaign" to stop littering.

It's a wonderful start, but we need to do more.

What we need is for every person who loves this country to dig deep and choose to care enough to act. We need heart, determination and dedication.

We are still one of the most beautiful places in the world - and we could be the cleanest.

Our choices from here on in matter. We all have the power to clean up the damage that's been done - and it can all start with just one piece of litter.

One piece of litter symbolises two things: you care and you're powerful.

Kiri Danielle clean NZ
Kiri Danielle is on a mission to clean up New Zealand (Supplied)

In one moment you can make a difference that counts. If you can tie your shoelaces, you can pick up litter.

You can also encourage others not to drop it in the first place and watch your green biceps take off from there.

It's a humble, hero move and just think - all that wasted time and tax money spent cleaning up can be invested in making this country even better. Better investment which could go towards cleaner waterways and beaches as well.

Cleaner everything, including consciences. We need some in New Zealand.

So please, it's time to pull up our socks as a team and take one for the country.

Kiri Danielle is a determined and dedicated environmental campaigner who is passionate about cleaning up New Zealand. You can support her work here.