Gisborne locals furious after attendees leave kilometre-long trail of rubbish at Rhythm and Vines

Locals in Tūranganui a Kiwa/Gisborne are furious after Rhythm and Vines (R&V) attendees left piles of rubbish along the venue's entry road, with one claiming it could be due to a lack of staff. 

Gisborne woman Haley Maxwell shared a reel on Facebook showing a trail of cans, bottles, cardboard boxes and other items discarded from car windows as festival-goers waited to be let in. 

"It's like they had signs saying, 'dump your rubbish here'," she told Newshub on Thursday. 

Entry lines can be hours-long at the three-day music festival, which is held annually at the Waiōhika Estate vineyard from December 29 to 31. 

Maxwell told Newshub she filmed the video on the second day of the festival while dropping off her daughter and her friends. 

She didn't expect the footage to rack up 100,000 views. 

"I only really shared it because I was shocked." 

Maxwell herself has been to R&V herself several times, "but I've never seen it in a state like that before." 

The trail of rubbish stretched for about a kilometre, she claimed, from the entrance "all the way to the main gates." 

She said there were "no bins around, no signs or anything", noting that understaffing may have played a part. 

"The community are saying there was a lack of staff. The work crews weren't as big as they were usually." 

Staff used to do sweeps of the festival entrance but that didn't appear to happen this year, Maxwell said. 

"The attitude [of attendees] is, 'that's OK, we've got people that will clean it up afterwards'. Maybe they're a bit more cruisey about it now." 

She said the rubbish has since been left for several days, meaning it could end up in waterways and on the roads - the glass in particularly potentially causing damage to vehicles. 

"There was definitely a different vibe about it this year for me." 

But the rubbish wasn't just at the Waiōhika venue - "it was all at our beaches, everything." 

Maxwell told Newshub she "loves R&V" and that it brings "huge benefits" to Tairāwhiti, but revenue could be used for better waste management. 

"Something needs to change." 

During the event, an alcohol ban applies to surrounding roads - Matawai Road, Back Ormond Road and Waimata Valley Road - and includes a ban on people drinking in cars. 

"You could be reported or stopped by Police and end up with a fine – cars will be checked for alcohol going into the venue so it’s not worth it," says R&V's website. 

A spokesperson for Rhythm and Vines told Newshub they're committed to taking care of the venue's home in Tairāwhiti.

"As per our yearly process, a thorough post-festival 4-5 day clean-up is being conducted by a crew of 30 waste teams."

The spokesperson said the main road connecting Gisborne and Waiōhika Estate, Back Ormond Road, was "surveyed and cleared of all rubbish" after the event.

"Following the external clean, an internal site clean is then completed."

The spokesperson said social media videos showing rubbish along Waiōhika Estate's entrance road were filmed before the clean-up process began.

"Since then our team has been working tirelessly to restore the venue and the surrounding areas to their original state."

"We continue to work with suppliers, sponsors, DOC, the local council, and local iwi to reduce the impact of the festival on the environment."

Rhythm and Vines is free from single-use plastic, and about 90 percent of waste generated on-site is "recyclable", they added.