Real Life

Waste of Space

Introduced in 1979, the anti-littering laws aren’t just a load of old rubbish

**I was recently irritated to see a car-load of teenagers tossing hamburger packs and wrappings out the window of their car. Why aren’t these people ever stopped by police like

speeding drivers? Anti-littering laws were introduced in New Zealand decades ago, weren’t they? I would be interested to know how many people have been fined for littering under these laws. You never hear about it.**

The Litter Act was introduced in 1979 and the nes increased a couple of years ago. It is policed, by and large, by local authorities. According to the Statistics Department, in the last two years (2011-12) 32 complaints were dealt with regarding people depositing litter in a public place. Of these, 24 ended in either a prosecution or an official warning. In the other eight cases, either

culprits couldn’t be found or there wasn’t suf cient evidence to take the matter further. Of the 24 other complaints, 12 ended in prosecutions, 12 in official warnings.

Unfortunately, I’m unable to tell you how many of those prosecuted ended up being found guilty and ned. But that’s about six people a year, at least, prosecuted for littering, which is about six more than I expected. I agree that you never seem to read or hear of people being fined for littering. I don’t know if you will see these gures as good news or bad news. But I share your frustration and urge the public to note rego numbers when they see such incidents and report them to the council or local police.


I was recently staying with a friend overseas and slept on a bed with a “memory foam” mattress. While it took a day or two to get used to, I ended up really liking it. I haven’t seen these advertised in New Zealand and wonder if they are available here.

Apparently, they were first used by astronauts in space. Yes, various brands of these mattresses (and pillows) are available in New Zealand through major bed retailers. The technical name for

“memory foam” is viscoelastic. It is made out of dense polyurethane foam which is heat sensitive. As a result, the mattresses mould to your body when you lie on them. How much they mould

to your body depends on how dense the foam is that you select. They are available in a range of firmness/ softness levels. The main difference from standard mattresses is that they have no springs so, as you’ve detected, they have quite a different feel. Some people love them, others not at all.

They are handy if you share a bed because when you turn it tends not to affect the other person. I have read that if you are heavy, it can be more difficult to move around in bed because of the way they mould around you. Consumer NZ advise that some people find them a little firm initially in the colder months, but they warm up with your body heat. They also advise that you shouldn’t use electric blankets with them, but I’ve not seen that mentioned elsewhere. Most retailers will, under certain conditions, let you try out these beds for a few weeks and exchange them for a conventional mattress if you decide you don’t like memory foam. Price-wise, they cost much the same as a top quality conventional mattress.

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