At the end of a long driveway, hidden from sight in King Country, an Everest of torn, bald and stinking tyres grows day by day.
Its owner, Alvin Cobb, estimated about 700,000 tyres are sitting on the site. He said he inherited at least 500,000 when he bought the near-16 hectare site in a mortgagee sale last year.
His daily trucks from his Hamilton Tyre Plus stores have added a fresh layer to the festering mound. His intended fate for the tyres is shipping containers bound for countries such as India – where he says they can be recycled.
The ports are busy with fruit at the moment, Cobb said, so the pile is growing by hundreds each day.
Despite central government refusing to declare tyres a priority product under the Waste Management Act, he refuses to bury them.
“The problem is there, and there’s best ways of fixing it, and it’s mainly a strike of the pen from the government that will help that. I ain’t digging a hole and I ain’t burying it, so there’s better options for me.”