Papakura locals fed up with polluted waterway, but Auckland Council won't let staff into it

A polluted waterway littered with household rubbish is making locals feel like they're living in a third-world country.

The Takanini School Road stream in Papakura flows into the Pahurehure inlet and into the Manukau Harbour.

Locals are fed up with people's disregard for the environment - and want Auckland Council to step up and do something about it. Bags full of rubbish and someone's old tires dumped in the water have been pulled out of the stream following a clean-up.

The rats are loving it.

"Words don't describe this. It's just a disgusting third-world country mess. It's all over the area," Papakura resident Wayne Greenwood told Newshub.

He's been living in the area for 30 years and says people have always dumped rubbish in the stream, but the problem is now worse than ever and the council is doing everything but clean it up.

"They sort of come down here, spray around everything, mow around everything and then they're gone," he said.

Auckland Council know it's a hotspot for dumping and has been monitoring the waterway for the past month.

But won't send its staff into the water.

"We do try and clear items on the berm but obviously the items in this particular culvert," Auckland Council waste solution team leader James Young said.

"It's a health and safety issue so we can't actually have our staff or contractors go in there. We need to go and dredge that water out to remove it."

It's looking at dredging the waterway next week, but a group of volunteers from Sea Cleaners have already started the clean-up.

Mr Young says if people don't stop dumping rubbish in the stream, it could lead to serious environmental issues.

"We get leaching onto the road - potentially animals or birds might eat certain products and it could damage their internal organs as well," he said.

The council is advising anybody who sees illegal dumping to report it to their hotline - 0800 NO DUMP.

"Kiwis, you know, clean up your act - this is not how to treat the country," Mr Greenwood said.