After a week of torrential rains the weather calmed and showed us some good hospitality as we set up camp at the Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre on the edge of Western Park and the banks of the Orewa river. RSM, an international auditing and tax consultancy firm, and a long standing supporter of Sustainable Coastlines gathered staff from their four Auckland offices for the all important mahi on the shoreline.
The morning coffee in the sun soon shifted inside to the registrations tables where our international volunteers processed the RSM staff into groups and to make sure every part of the river bank was properly assigned to a Sustainable Coastlines staff member and their group. Sustainable Coastlines General Manager Ryley Webster started proceedings by welcoming everyone along. Craig Fisher then stood up on behalf of RSM before Fletcher Sunde, Programmes Manager of Sustainable Coastlines took to the stage to go over the all important health and safety briefing. Once this was done half the crews left for the southern banks while Sustainable Coastlines Programmes Coordinator Shelley Butt delivered the Love Your Coast presentation. She talked about the impacts of plastics on the creatures that live in and around the oceans and things we can do to minimise those impacts: refusing, reducing, reusing and recycling plastics and being mindful of our product consumption. Staggering the departure of the groups meant that those who needed transport to their sites were accommodated, and lunch was served in time for both groups to be back and hungry after a good morning’s work!
The site lent itself well to those who wanted to get stuck into the mud in the low-tide mangrove area, and out to Crocodile Island, and to those who preferred to get out onto the beach or scramble over the rocks or stay in the park. In just under two hours and we had a pile of rubbish laid out in front of us, garnering surprised comments from passers-by. Everything from straws, car parts, building materials, jandals, loads of plastic bags, food and drink packaging was found, even a mattress on the beach! Though unfortunately for Steve the $20 he found turned out to be counterfeit. No treasure found this time…
Being an auditing firm, the rubbish audit was quick and thorough, and we even got to try our new Litter Data categories out with big success.
Thank you to Rosemary Leach of RSM North Shore for organising her team, RSM Partners Craig and Lloyd for being so hands on on the day and the staff of the four RSM branches who came up and used their ‘out of office’ day making New Zealand a cleaner place. Thanks also to the IVHQ volunteers and staff at the Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre who helped us on the day.
If you would like to run a clean-up/ team building session with us AND at the same time do a great service for our oceans, contact us at Sustainable Coastlines and we would be happy to chat through your options.