As an illustration (linked through header) -
Wellington City Council staff were not required to remove a large, unidentified lump of greasy substance from a south coast beach today -- locals did it for them.
The lump apparently washed up at Breaker Bay during the weekend and once word got out that it could be valuable ambergris -- an excretion from whales that is used to make perfume -- locals started pillaging it.
"We went out there this morning and there were people sort of lunging at it with spades and sharp implements trying to chop pieces off so they could make off with it and make their fortunes," he said.
"Whether people are now going to try and pass it off on TradeMe as highly valuable ambergris remains to be seen."
However, the lump was cylinder shaped as if it had been manufactured and the general consensus was that it was in fact lard or cooking fat.