Waste-Zero-Whakatāne is teaming up with KG Kayaks and the Department of Conservation to bring The Great Coast Clean-Up to our region on Saturday, 10 November.

The purpose of the event is to remove as much plastic, rubbish and waste as possible from our coastal environment, from Matatā in the Whakatāne District to Ōpape in the Ōpōtiki District. There will also be a kayak and SUP board clean-up of Ōhiwa Harbour (meeting at the boat ramp on Ōhiwa Loop Road at 8:30 am).

Kenny McCracken of KG Kayaks is coordinating the event and is looking for local superheroes to volunteer their time. “This event is about people respecting their local environment and taking pride in our slice of paradise,” says Kenny. “Everyone knows it’s a global problem, but it’s a local problem too, so we need to keep responding to this and support the good work that many individuals are already doing.”

Those who volunteer will be allocated a 1 kilometre stretch of beach and will also be given a local collection point to drop off the rubbish collected on the day. The Department of Conservation is providing staff and trucks to collect the rubbish from the drop-off points and deliver it to the Whakatāne Transfer Station. To get involved in this collective effort, contact Kenny McCracken on 027 2724073 or email kgkayak@gmail.com.

Whakatāne Ki Mua Strategic Coordinator, Rebecca Mackay, who has been supporting Waste-Zero-Whakatāne’s aspirations and initiatives since its establishment earlier this year, says the group facilitated a coordinated Ōhope Beach clean-up during the Plastic-Free July Campaign.

“The response from the community was amazing and it was particularly encouraging to see whānau out there doing this important work together,” says Mrs McKay. “It’s also exciting to see the community, organisations and businesses come together to support projects that align with the aspirations of our District.”

Waste-Zero-Whakatāne Community Coordinator, Lisa Eve is also keen to connect with others in communities around the District, to identify opportunities to act on waste issues together. “We’re keen to hear about any events that are planned or waste-minimisation challenges that are important to our communities,” she says.

If you’d like more information about The Great Coast Clean-Up, or you’d like to connect with the Waste-Zero-Whakatāne community group, find them on Facebook or email kimua@whakatane.govt.nz.