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Source: Auckland Council

The Weiti River plays a significant role as part of a network of streams that flow through the Hibiscus and Bays area of Auckland and out to Long Bay Okura Marine Reserve.

Litter was discovered and removed from underneath a small concrete dock accessible only by a rough narrow informal walkway or by boat.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said it was a disgrace that people had been dumping rubbish in the river.

“Our waterways are havens for wildlife and places for Aucklanders to enjoy their natural environment,” he says.

“It’s only a small number of individuals who are choosing to dump rubbish, damaging the environment and ruining other people’s enjoyment of this ecosystem.

“They need to stop, and I would urge anyone who sees such behaviour to contact Auckland Council so those responsible for littering or illegal dumping can be fined or prosecuted.”

Restore Hibiscus and Bays facilitators were told about the litter by community members who were doing weed workshops in the area. They shared stories of people dropping their plastic while fishing off the dock. This info was relayed to Auckland Council’s community parks team who organised to get it promptly addressed.

Seacleaners stepped in to help clear this dock, which is being modified by Auckland Council to minimise future incidences of litter.

The team from Seacleaners used their specialised equipment to remove 2000 litres of rubbish and recyclables.

Captain Hayden Smith managed the cleanup and says, “The work we’re doing to protect our oceans actually starts on land. If people consider their actions and dispose of rubbish correctly, or pick it up when they see it, that will help us on the water.

“I wish that this dumping surprised me, but we have pulled over 10.5 million litres of waste from our waterways since 2002.

“An average of 10,000 litres a day of rubbish is pulled out of the water and off our coastlines,” says Captain Smith.

He welcomes people to come along as a volunteer to see the impact up close. Learn more about how to support their work.

Be waste wise this summer

“The Gulf is hurting from the amount of plastic and other pollution that finds its way into the water. Please help us protect this taonga by following these waste-wise tips,” encourages Councillor Pippa Coom, co-chair of the Hauraki Gulf Forum.

  1. Remove any unnecessary packaging before you head to sea. Re-pack snacks into reusable containers and leave the soft plastic packaging behind. Avoid plastic wrap by wrapping your sandwiches in reusable beeswax wraps or storing them in reusable containers.
  2. Keep covered rubbish and recycling bins on board. Make sure all your litter makes it into a bin. This includes cigarette butts and fishing line. Dispose of your waste responsibly once you are back on land.
  3. Avoid single-use bottled water — fill up and bring reusable water bottles on your trip.
  4. If you see rubbish floating by, scoop it out of the sea, even if it’s not yours. It’s just one of the things you can do to Be A Tidy Kiwi.
  5. Fish heads and frames have a lot of food on them. If you don’t want them, give them to someone who does! Head to Free Fish heads NZ to find your nearest drop off point.
  6. Fish with reusable lures and hooks. Try to avoid using homemade, single-use lures made with soft plastics.
  7. Save your shellfish or fish scraps to make your own berley, rather than buying berley in a plastic bag.

Find out more about how you can be waste-wise on the water over summer to conserve our oceans and coastlines.

MIL OSI