The Herald on Sunday is campaigning to get all of New Zealand out on the beaches, keeping them clean for our kids and our grandkids.
Record numbers of people turned out to help clean up the country's coastline this summer and back the Herald on Sunday Beach Busters campaign.
In January we launched a 10-week drive to get New Zealanders out on the beaches, keeping them clean for our kids and our grandchildren.
In all, 2116 volunteers helped during one of the wettest summers in years. They removed a staggering 6.8 tonnes of garbage - the equivalent of more than two full shipping containers.
The Beach Busters campaign, in partnership with the Sustainable Coastlines charity, swelled the total numbers who helped in the clean-ups in the past year to a record-breaking 7414. Volunteers removed a total of 18.5 tonnes of trash from our sands.
"We would like to extend a huge thanks to all the readers and other people who stepped up to the plate and got their hands dirty with us," Sam Judd, leader of Sustainable Coastlines said. "The response to the campaign was amazing."
Herald on Sunday editor Bryce Johns added: "Sam's group are top people doing essential work and partnering with them was a breeze. We have some of the best beaches in the North Island, so why wouldn't people want to keep them clean?"
Folk from all walks of life got involved in Beach Busters.
A dedicated crew of youngsters from the Spirit of Adventure cleaned up during the Hyundai Tour event in Sandy Bay, Northland.
Hardened seafarers from Coromandel Sea Rescue brought boats during the Great Coromandel clean-up - one even got stuck on the rocks during the effort.
Offenders from the Department of Corrections collected important data from coastal rubbish.
A team of 88 from national cleaning systems giant OCS went to Motutapu Island.
Lawyers from James and Wells Intellectual Property came on board with financial support and also waded through polluted mangroves in Wairau Creek.
"We would also like to thank those who contributed ideas on the mystery items we found washed up around the coast," Judd said.
"Some of these suggestions resulted in us determining the source of the trash and we are now working with polluters to improve their practices."
Family best of Busters
Charlie and Jemma Brockbank and their mum, Maryanne, are celebrating after winning the grand prize package in our Beach Busters photo competition.
The Coromandel family had already won a Sony Cyber-shot TX10 camera, valued at $650, in our picture of the week contest, published on February 5.
The Brockbanks now pick up: a Sony Tablet S valued at $750, a dive, snorkel or sightseeing trip for two to the Poor Knights Marine Reserve courtesy of Dive Tutukaka; and $400 of clothing from surf label Sitka.
The winning snap was chosen by Herald on Sunday illustrations editor Chris Marriner. "The photo has great composition and they chose a fantastic spot to clean up, where rare dotterels nest on the Thames coast at Te Puru Beach," Marriner says.
Maryanne says: "This has been a fantastic campaign that has really caught the imagination of my children and many of their friends at Te Puru School."By Russell Blackstock Email Russell