Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Tauranga dads' Clean Earth Day effort

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Wiremu Mathews with Chris Sio, Reina Tehoro Schmidt and Rick Wells, Snow Tarei, Nathan Tarei, 13, and Melanie Sio. Photo/Supplied
Wiremu Mathews with Chris Sio, Reina Tehoro Schmidt and Rick Wells, Snow Tarei, Nathan Tarei, 13, and Melanie Sio. Photo/Supplied

A group of Tauranga fathers were among hundreds worldwide who took part in Clean Earth Day.

The event, on Saturday, was a first for the Strength and Unity Events Facebook group created by Kiwi Daddys Bay of Plenty.

Over the weekend the Strength and Unity page was inundated with photos and videos of people cleaning up public spaces around their neighbourhoods across the globe.

Posts from Australia, America and across New Zealand with the hashtags #strengthandunity and #cleanearthday dominated the public page.

Strength and Unity Events Facebook page founder Chris Sio said the event was the first event of many for Kiwi dads which their families and friends could get behind.

Inspired by Kiri Danielle, who has now dedicated her life to cleaning up New Zealand, Mr Sio said the old messages of being a tidy Kiwi simply were not working.

"The massive amounts of effort and education placed on littering are just not working. We have to retrain people's mindset - the mindset to pick up rubbish, even if it is one piece.

"It does make a difference to pick up that one piece up."

Mr Sio and his group picked up rubbish from Takitimu Dr for about an hour, he said.

The Kiwi Daddys Bay of Plenty Facebook group was set up for Kiwi dads to have a yarn about life.

"I belong to Kiwi Daddys brotherhood, we have 60,000 members worldwide. In the Bay we have the core group of 600 members.

Tyrone Ronald Matoka and Jojo Kalolo, two Kiwi fathers in Sydney, started the page for Kiwi fathers to talk to each other and express what they were going through, Mr Sio said.

"In the group a man is able to tell his story without ridicule and judgement - it's huge."

The Bay group had been running since May, he said.

Mr Sio said the event was the first of many the group planned to help host.

"Through social media we will constantly champion other causes like suicide, homelessness and clean earth day."

To check out Kiwi Daddys Bay of Plenty, click here.

Kiwi Daddys
A place where proud Kiwi Dads from all walks of life and all parts of the world, can come together and help one another; whether it be with advice, encouragement, specialised support, constructive feedback or our famous Kiwi humour.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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