Hands up for New Zealand's largest environmental clean-up

A discarded trolley and other rubbish in Otara Creek. Photo / File
A discarded trolley and other rubbish in Otara Creek. Photo / File

Aucklanders are being encouraged to turn out in their thousands for what could be New Zealand's largest environmental clean-up.

Organisers are hoping at least 2000 people will volunteer to clean up the Puhinui Stream and foreshore area, along with Otara Creek, on Saturday April 30.

These areas are known as notorious "urban dumping grounds" and Graeme Bakker, general manager of the Manukau Beautification Charitable Trust, says it will be great if people from all over Auckland will help clean up these parts of the south.

"We're aiming to have fun and set a New Zealand record at the same time, but we can't do it alone. Let's make this an outstanding first record attempt with impressive volunteer numbers," Mr Bakker said.

Organisers have also launched a social media challenge where groups from businesses, churches, schools and everywhere else are encouraged to spread the hashtag #NZLARGESTCLEANUP far and wide on social media.

Both the Puhinui Stream, that winds through and under Auckland's southwestern suburbs, and Otara Creek have become strewn with domestic discards such as washing machines, fridges, couches, bikes and trolleys.

"People often forget that our streams feed into the sea, so if we want to continue enjoying them for recreation and fresh seafood, we need to keep our own backyards clean. This is about so much more than a local clean-up attempt.

"It's an opportunity for families, community groups, businesses and the wider community to join together to help change attitudes and establish good habits," Mr Bakker said.

Volunteers will meet at Auckland's Botanic Gardens between 8am and 9am on April 30 and it's anticipated the clean-up will be done by 12.30pm.

• People can register at: http://www.beautifulmanukau.org.nz/new-zealand-record-attempt.html

- NZ Herald

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