Tens of thousands of plastic bags have been unearthed on a West Coast beach, sparking environmental concerns.
The area was lashed by wild weather yesterday, blocking roads, bringing down power lines and causing damage along the entire coast.
Grey District mayor Tony Kokshoorn said the weather swept through the Grey River outlet, causing a huge amount of erosion.
Mr Kokshoorn said that unearthed a rubbish dump that was closed 25 years ago, and tens of thousands of plastic bags were now exposed to the beach.
That posed a big environmental problem.
"There are tens of thousands of plastic bags exposed to the beach and that's a real worry. We need to do something otherwise it will all end up in the Tasman Sea so we're going to the government right at the moment asking if there is assistance - if they can help in some way."
Mr Kokshoorn said a working bee had been cancelled and instead contractors with diggers would start removing the rubbish tomorrow morning.