After reading 'Saving Poorman's Stream' by Maggie Lilleby the Justice League evaluated the claim 'The council should be responsible for cleaning up rivers and streams'.
Many New Zealand streams and rivers are polluted with rubbish, including Poorman’s stream in Nelson. Poorman’s stream was monitored by a group of school children which led to the formation of a local volunteer clean up group. However we question whether it is the responsibility of the local community or the council to maintain the health of local streams and rivers.
One reason why the council should have been responsible for the clean up of Poorman’s Stream was because they had the resources. Councils have tips and refuse centres that can dispose of any rubbish collected. A further reason in support of council’s being responsible for the health of rivers and streams is that the council can pay people to clean rivers and streams. They can budget for clean up crews and allocate funds accordingly.
On the other hand one reason why the local community should clean up the streams is because it is the local people who are polluting the streams and rivers. Mitchell, a local school boy said that “most of the rubbish is near the bridges that people walk across,” this indicates that it is the local people who are throwing rubbish into the local stream. Another reason why it should be local people and not the council cleaning up is that they are more willing to volunteer and clean up streams compared to the council. Lots of people wanted to take part and volunteer in cleaning up Poorman’s stream, including school students from all five of the nearby schools.
We believe the council should help with river and stream cleaning by collecting and disposing of large items of rubbish but ultimately, the local community should be responsible for cleaning and maintaining local rivers and streams since they contributed significantly to the problem in the first place. It is important to maintain river and stream health because there are many native birds such as the kotare that rely on the local streams as a vital food source. If you discover rubbish and pollution in any local waterways it is best to contact your local council or the Department of Conservation (DOC) immediately.