Students and staff from a Bay school are getting their hands dirty today as part of a new nation-wide volunteering initiative.

At 10.30am an army of 206 students and 12 teachers from Omokoroa Point School are collecting rubbish and cleaning up the peninsular for one hour.

The school has taken inspiration from the University of Canterbury's Student Volunteer Army, and will be the first school to take part in the SVA's inaugural Serve for New Zealand: Anzac Day initiative.

The initiative encouraged people to undertake some form of volunteering or neighbourly service on a national holiday, and was being piloted in the lead up to and on Anzac day this year.


Omokoroa Point School teacher Kristyn Cresswell said thanks to the SVA for "inspiring us into action".

"We have been talking about doing a clean up day around our coastal community for some time now and the SVA email to volunteer has prompted us into action," Ms Cresswell said.

The University of Canterbury, which powers the SVA, and the RNZRSA (Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association) were right behind the volunteer-based plan.

So far more than 4,000 people, including the Omokoroa Point School team, have volunteered for Serve for New Zealand, which coincides with the RNZRSA's centenary.

SVA founder and chair Sam Johnson said Serve for New Zealand was about coming together to do good, not just as a community, but as a nation.

"It's not just about doing some volunteering on a day, but it is about what is an important day in New Zealand's history, how can we shine a light on that and bring more meaning to it."