Navy clean up rub­bish

Central Leader - - SITUATIONS VACANT - NIGEL MOFFIET

‘‘The en­vi­ron­ment is re­ally im­por­tant to us and we need to sus­tain it ... We need to change our at­ti­tudes.’’

Car parts, re­frig­er­a­tors, ovens, ‘‘any­thing you can think of, it’s here’’, Hay­den Smith said.

Smith, founder of vol­un­teer marine restoration group Sea Clean­ers, was help­ing pick up rub­bish in Otara’s Up­per Ta­maki Strait on Sun­day.

The group teamed up with the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) who pro­vided 115 ju­nior of­fi­cers and sailors for some ex­tra mus­cle power.

Auck­land Mayor Phil Goff was also lend­ing a help­ing hand.

It’s the sec­ond year the RNZN has taken part in the ini­tia­tive which is part of its humanitarian aid train­ing.

The op­er­a­tion col­lected around 50,000 litres of rub­bish. Lo­cal schools will con­tinue to take on a guardian­ship role of the wa­ter­ways to keep them clean.

Smith, who re­cently won Ki­wibank’s New Zealand Lo­cal Hero Award, said clean­ing up estuaries and coast­lines was about cre­at­ing har­bours for the fu­ture.

‘‘Our goal since 2002 has been to clean up Auck­land’s wa­ter­ways, but also pro­vide a pub­lic in­for­ma­tion and ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme that will hope­fully pre­vent fu­ture gen­er­a­tions from lit­ter­ing and dump­ing rub­bish,’’ he said.

Sea Clean­ers co-founder Ben Harris said the dump­ing of car tyres and shop­ping trol­leys is be­com­ing more of a prob­lem.

A re­cent clean-up in the Pahure­hure In­let col­lected more than 1000 tyres, he said.

Phil Goff said there was ex­cuse’’ for dump­ing rub­bish. ’’no

‘‘The en­vi­ron­ment is re­ally im­por­tant to us and we need to sus­tain it ... We need to change our at­ti­tudes,’’ he said.

RNZN War­rant Of­fi­cer Kramer Pierce said be­ing part of the project re­ally res­onates with Navy per­son­nel.

’’We were in­volved with Sea Clean­ers last year as part of the Navy’s 75th cel­e­bra­tions and while it was hard work it was also in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing for our of­fi­cers and sailors.

‘‘Not just be­cause of the amount of junk and rub­bish we cleaned up that wasn’t go­ing any fur­ther into the gulf, but be­cause it proved to be an ex­cel­lent bond­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,’’ he said.

Sea Clean­ers has re­moved over 4.5 mil­lion litres of plas­tic rub­bish and de­bris from New Zealand’s seas, oceans and wa­ter­ways since work be­gan, which equates to 150 ship­ping con­tain­ers filled with loose lit­ter, or 35 mil­lion in­di­vid­ual pieces of rub­bish.

NIGEL MOFFIET/FAIRFAX NZ

Sea Clean­ers teamed up with the Navy to pick up rub­bish from the Up­per Ta­maki Strait in Otara.

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