Taking action on Auckland’s growing environmental footprint
19 April 2019,
by Emma Barker
The urban renewal of Auckland city and particularly the waterfront is changing the face of our biggest city. Precincts such as Wynyard Quarter are re-opening the connection between the city and the harbour – surely one of Auckland’s greatest assets.
Unfortunately, as Auckland grows, so does its impact on the environment. Most parts of Auckland’s waterfront already come with a dirty history and as a result some land now has long-standing contamination issues. As Auckland moves forward and more people work, play and live along the waterfront, it is more important than ever that the renewal of these areas promotes and supports a lifestyle that minimises our impact on the environment.
“It’s easy to take for granted the beauty of Auckland’s coastline and waterways and simply expect it’ll be there for the next generation,” says TwentyTwo's Auckland Manager, Rob Campbell.
Helping to minimise our impact on the planet is something the team at TwentyTwo are passionate about. So, when our Auckland team were given the opportunity to get on board the Sea Cleaners boat for the day and help towards cleaning up Auckland’s Rangitoto Island, they jumped at the chance.
Unfortunately, Rangitoto Island is just one example of our precious coastline that needs our help. You might be surprised at how much rubbish (particularly plastic) is polluting the Harbour.
“The day was a real eye-opener for me, to see just how much plastic there was out there. It’s only when you get right out into the seaweed, on the tide line and dig around you find it. Bags and bags of fragments of small plastic items; jandals, kids toys, food wrappers and even a chilly bin lid,” says Rob.
While the teams day started with a stunning sunrise and boat ride over to Rangitoto Island, that’s where the glamorous part of the day ended. Equipped with gardening gloves and big rubbish bags they spent their day negotiating the island’s sharp rocky coastline.
Between the eight volunteers, they collected 8-10 20litre bags full of rubbish in just five hours.
“It was an absolute wakeup call, said TwentyTwo’s Steffi McKeown. “There is so much loose rubbish in the street (which I now make the effort to pick up when I can and put in a bin before it makes it into our waterways) and made me realise just how reliant we are on disposable plastic.
Who are The Sea Cleaners?
The Sea Cleaners are a non-profit organisation with a big vision. Their aim is to preserve New Zealand’s coastline for the benefit of marine life and for the enjoyment of all users. Their long term strategy is to educate people on how to dispose of their rubbish in eco-friendly ways. Their clean-up initiative is driven by the current problem with rubbish in our waterways.
The Sea Cleaners clean-up initiative in Waitemata Harbour has been running for over 12 years and has collected over 3.5 million litres of rubbish. They also have operations running in the Coromandel and will soon be branching out to the Bay of Plenty.
If you would like to volunteer or donate to The Sea Cleaners, you can via their GiveaLittle page.
About the author
Emma is currently on maternity leave.
Crafter. Creator. Online shop-a-holic. Mum of two. Lover of wine and travel.
Emma joined the TwentyTwo team in 2017 and leads our marketing and communications. Her marketing skills drive our digital presence and brand strategy. Emma has over eight years’ experience working with growing New Zealand-owned organisations, supporting their advance with marketing know-how.
We love the built environment.It’s our passion, property, workplace and urban renewal.Unfortunately the reality is there are consequences to intensifying our land use.The recent report Environment Aotearoa 2019, undertaken by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics NZ describes our environment here in little old New Zealand as besieged in numerous ways, largely as a result of human actions.
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