Concerns over the state of the Coromandel's ocean and fishery health have inspired a positive movement for change.
Amplify is a three-day wellness festival focused on raising awareness around the ocean, sustainability and personal wellbeing through art, yoga and connection to the sea.
Organised by Coromandel-based health coaches, yoga teachers and artists Christina McGrath and Debbie Lim, and ocean advocate Evan Vaughters, their intention is to bring people together to celebrate and enjoy the ocean through connecting directly with it through art, creativity, fitness and talks.
Christina says yoga, meditation and a chance to connect "in some way to the sea" will be practised, along with hands-on art workshops run by local artists.
Keynote speakers, music and further ocean connection events are also planned.
In the lead up to Amplify, a free ocean-inspired art and music event followed by a talk by documentary film maker Mike Bhana will be hosted prior to Amplify, on October 31 at the Tairua Sport Fishing Club.
"The focus is on solutions, creating change and feeling good about being a part of that," says Christina. "All speakers and workshops will be aimed at focusing forward, practical, actionable steps and coming from a place of love and healing," she says.
Evan Vaughters, of Hikuai, is among a local group of volunteers who have been working to raise awareness around issues such as declining crayfish stocks, scallop dredging at Opito Bay and recent pink maomao poaching near Tairua.
Speakers will include local activists, WRC councillor Dennis Tegg, as well as representatives from the Waiheke Marine Project.
The art exhibition will be followed by a community workshop focused on increasing marine protection on the Coromandel with a workshop to be convened by the group.
Both Debbie and Christina will speak on personal wellbeing through deepening a connection to the environment through art.
A variety of speakers on sustainability and positive change will feature too.
"We would like people to start to think of sustainability as a way of being not just a word or idea.
"By unlocking creativity, we can start to engage 'thinking outside the box' to create the change that we need to save the planet."
A creative space called "In a Perfect World" will feature art materials for children and adults to express what they want for the world's environment and their own happiness.
There will also be the opportunity to write "Letters of Change" lobbying the government and big businesses to ban plastic wrap on foods and other similar issues.
Amplify organisers are interested in hearing from community groups, schools and individuals - especially anyone willing to help co-ordinate a surf competition, host paddle boarding and surfing lessons and kayak tours to get people on the sea.
- 11am - 3pm Art Sounds Ocean free workshop and hui, October 31 at Tairua Sport Fishing Club. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or for Amplify festival visit www.amplifyocean.com for tickets.