Litter Survey results

The Pukerua Bay Litter Monitoring Group undertook its first Litter Collection Survey on 8 March. The area we surveyed had previously been surveyed three times in 2019 by other volunteers in the Litter Intelligence project. The results of our survey are logged on the Litter Intelligence website.

We’ll be repeating the survey every 3 months, with the date of the next survey to be advised. This time, 11 local volunteers received training in the litter survey method. We welcome other volunteers, but please be willing to take direction from the Lead Citizen Scientist and follow the survey method.

Key points about the Litter Intelligence project

We repeat the survey in the same place every three months, so that the data can be compared over time. While we clear rubbish off this particular area, the focus is not so much on a beach clean up as on investigating what litter we have found. We categorise the litter and count and weigh it. This part of the survey takes longer than picking up the litter. Our data is added to a nationwide database which can be used to identify problems and trends. Over time, we hope that the litter monitoring community will also be able to come up with solutions to the litter problem.

Sustainable Coastlines provide us with infrastructure, support and equipment, including survey tools, gloves, and litter sacks.

For more information about the Litter Intelligence Project, including ideas about how you can reduce litter in the environment, visit the Litter Intelligence website.

Call for Litter Survey helpers, March 2020

Are you interested in being a part of the Litter Monitoring survey here in Pukerua Bay? This is a Citizen Science project. It’s a bit different from a beach clean up in that we pick up litter in the same area each time, classify it, weigh it or count it and then add the data to the nationwide project. The site is already chosen, and a few surveys have already been run, in June 2019 and December 2019. It’s not difficult terrain, and it is done four times a year. There is training for this project and our first survey will be in early March. See litterintelligence.org for more information, and if you’re keen to participate, please contact Gillian Candler with the form below.

Replacement retaining wall along coast road


The NZTA contractors have been busy little beavers lately, fixing the debris fence and retaining wall above Brendon Beach. Now, they’re about to start on the retaining wall on the sea side of the layby near the Three Sisters Rocks.

A new crib wall is being built on the seaward side of the lane between the two laybys to replace the one which has been almost destroyed by storms and constant strong wave action.

  • From Wednesday 10 July for three weeks — weather permitting.
  • Work will be conducted during the day.
  • The laybys and lane will become a worksite and will be closed to traffic.
  • Minimal impact on traffic — all work will be off the road but there will be trucks coming and going.
  • The shared path beside the road will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists throughout the works.

Beach clean-up

Our thanks again to Sustainable Coastlines and a group of staff from ANZ who got together today to give a bit of love to our beautiful stretch of coastline between Pukerua Bay and Hongoeka Bay. Together they managed to remove about 1000 litres (50 rubbish bags!) of litter from the coastline, including a 30 metre long piece of PVC pipe.

Good turnout for beach clean up

Bags of rubbish collected from beach

A good turnout of locals and friends netted many bags of rubbish from the beach to the south of Pukerua Bay this morning.

The clean up was organised by the Sustainable Coastlines group (thanks Ben, Oliver and the rest of the crew), with the support of Kathmandu.

Around 30 people started from the pou at 10am and heading along towards Wairaka Rock with bags and a determination to strip the beach clear of rubbish.

The group got almost halfway along the coast to Hongoeka and brought back all the rubbish they found, apart from a very long, heavy plastic pipe and a large sheet of plastic that they couldn’t manage along with all the bags. But they did manage to bring back a large plastic float, which took two people to carry.

A lot of the rubbish was small pieces of plastic, often mixed in with the seaweed near the waterline – hard to see, but if you took your time, you could find a lot of it. There were a lot of bottle caps, small wrappers, pieces of string or rope and lids of all sorts. The pieces might seem too small to bother with, but small pieces are the right size for fish and seabirds to try to eat, and therefore dangerous.

Most of it appeared to have washed up on the beach, rather than being dropped there, but it all comes from somewhere – washed down a stormwater drain or blown into the sea from somewhere – so it’s a good reminder that it is just as important to pick up the small pieces of litter as the big pieces.

Well done everyone, and thanks for all the hard work.

Photo of girl signing sheet of paper Signing in before heading out
Photo of gloved hand and piece of green plastic rubbish Some of the pieces of plastic were very small and hard to see
Photo of gloved hand picking up large piece of orange plastic conduit pipe Some of the larger pieces were very obvious
Photo inside bag showing mixture of rubbish Bags filled up quickly with all sizes of rubbish

Photo of two people carrying bags of rubbish by some rocks
Coming back with the booty

Photo of some bags of rubbish, including large plastic items Just some of the rubbish collected
Photo of people sitting on grass and seats eating food The workers enjoying a tasty lunch laid on by the organisers