Gi­ant vol­un­teer coastal clean-up

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By BRIAR BABINGTON

Pick­ing up rub­bish might not seem like an ideal way to spend your day off, but Welling­ton Spark em­ploy­ees think oth­er­wise.

About 150 vol­un­teers, made up of mostly Spark em­ploy­ees, made a day of clear­ing lit­ter along the Porirua coast­line on Fri­day.

Porirua City Coun­cil and the Spark Foun­da­tion banded to­gether for the Amaz­ing Coastal Chal­lenge, re­mov­ing rub­bish from 48 kilo­me­tres of coast­line.

For two years Spark em­ploy­ees in Welling­ton have used their paid vol­un­teer day to clean up the Mi­ra­mar Penin­sula.

This year the Spark Foun­da­tion, of which Porirua mayor Nick Leggett is a board mem­ber, fo­cused its ef­forts on Porirua.

‘‘It’s am­bi­tious, but achiev­able,’’ Leggett said of the gi­ant clean-up.

Split into two ar­eas, which cov­ered Pukerua Bay to Ti­tahi Bay, the vol­un­teers were armed with rub­ber gloves, flu­o­res­cent vests and coun­cil rub­bish bags.

Vol­un­teer Kurt Holmes found more than he bar­gained for in the Pau­ata­hanui area,

His group dis­cov­ered live eels in some aban­doned tyres.

‘‘There’s quite a lot of su­per­mar- ket bags,’’ Spark vol­un­teer Gary Saun­ders said, sur­vey­ing the col­lec­tion.

Fel­low vol­un­teer Voula Ha­likias agreed and said spot­ting some of the lit­ter was a prob­lem.

‘‘You’re not ac­tu­ally too sure what it is un­til you get closer,’’ she said.

Or­ganic Wealth com­pleted an au­dit of the col­lected rub­bish, analysing the lit­ter and its po­ten­tial sources.

Leanne My­ers, Or­ganic Wealth’s direc­tor, said any find­ings about who had caused the lit­ter would be passed on to the coun­cil, but there were some ob­vi­ous mark­ers of rub­bish caused by res­i­dents.

‘‘You can see it’s gen­eral public lit­ter,’’ she said.

De­spite the nu­mer­ous bags of rub­bish, My­ers was con­fi­dent the en­vi­ron­ment could be cleaned up.

‘‘To­gether we can do it. We can re­store the coun­try to its nat­u­ral beauty.’’

School Gar­den­ing Club mem­ber Ali­cia Rich, who was as­sist­ing with the au­dit, noted some lit­ter could be car­ried by wind.

‘‘We want to find out what’s gone down the river and what’s been dumped by beach go­ers,’’ she said.

Clean-up op­er­a­tion:


Kurt Holmes, Denise Apos­to­lakis, Voula Ha­likias and Gary Saun­ders, with their mas­sive rub­bish haul. Tidy Ki­wis: Julie Kelly, Nick Mailand, Alan Woods and Mingli Ma dig for rub­bish near Fish­er­man’s Ta­ble.

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