"Thousands" of small plastic beads believed to be from the Rena wreck have washed up on the beach at Papamoa.

Jared Fluerty, who has lived at Papamoa for more than 10 years, said he discovered the beads last week and alerted the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

''I am seeing the stuff wash up every day, to this day. When you go down there is something coming from those containers on the sea floor.''

He was concerned for future generations, he said.


''My children are going to deal with it when they grow up and their children's children. I believe that it's coming from the Rena, all that stuff out of those containers and the rest of it will slowly keep coming into the shore for future generations.''

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Regulatory Compliance team leader Alex Miller said it received a call about bead-like material having washed up on Papamoa Beach via its Pollution Hotline on Monday afternoon.

The beads were very likely to be the same beads that washed ashore following the grounding of the Rena in 2011, he said.

The regional council had received more than 20 calls about the beads washing ashore since the Rena grounded on Astrolabe Reef in 2011. The calls generally coincided with storms or heavy seas.

"At the end of the day, we don't want these small beads floating in the sea, however they are not an easy item to collect and they generally wash up sporadically with other debris across a long stretch of beach in an area home to diverse flora and fauna."

A protocol had been developed which set a threshold to trigger a clean-up response based on the number of beads that had washed up,

"Basically, this protocol says when there are enough of them in one area we are justified in disturbing the shoreline to clean them up."

A Department of Conservation spokeswoman said there was no specific scientific research completed on the impacts of plastic beads from the Rena on wildlife.


If people see beads along any stretch of shoreline call the BOPRC 24/7 Pollution Hotline on 0800 884 883.