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Watercare Harbour Clean-up Trust to Christen New Vessel

MEDIA STATEMENT

9 May 2013

Watercare Harbour Clean-up Trust to Christen New Vessel

The Watercare Harbour Clean-Up Trust will reinforce its commitment to improving the health of Auckland’s waterways when it christens its new custom-built vessel on Monday 13 May.

For more than 10 years, the Trust has been working to remove rubbish from the Waitemata Harbour and inner gulf islands. Its contractors and volunteers have scooped up more than 25 million pieces of litter, including polystyrene, bottles, food wrappers and tyres.

The new vessel, named the Phil Warren 2 in recognition of the environmental initiatives led by the late chairperson of the Auckland Regional Council, will enhance the work of the Trust. Watercare Harbour Clean-Up Trust Chairman Peter Drummond says it is larger and more powerful than its predecessor, the Phil Warren.

“The Phil Warren 2 represents a massive investment for the Trust and we have spent a significant amount of time making sure it’s fit for purpose.

“It features twin engines from Mercury Marine which will give it outstanding manoeuvrability – it will practically turn on the spot which will be ideal for motoring in and out of tight spaces around the Viaduct.

“The Phil Warren 2 also has a flat hull which will allow the crew to work the tides better – they will be able to go up the Tamaki River or Henderson Creek on the out-going tide and the vessel will be able to sit on the mudflat while they thoroughly clear the area of rubbish.”

Mr Drummond says the Trust’s work has had a positive impact on local communities, raising awareness of marine litter issues amongst school children and community groups, and making a real difference to the environment. “The Trust relies on substantial volunteer support. In anticipation of growing this support, the Phil Warren 2 can accommodate 28 volunteers – seven times more than the old vessel. It’s ideal for community beach clean-up days as it has a drop-down ramp on its bow allowing volunteers to access beaches with ease.”

The Trust is principally sponsored by Watercare Services Limited, Auckland’s water and wastewater services provider.

Watercare’s Wastewater Operations Manager and Harbour Clean-Up Trust Contract Manager Mark Bourne says the Trust has removed more than three million litres of litter from the Waitemata Harbour since its inception in 2002.

“Since the Trust was established, the crew and volunteers have collected over 25 million pieces of litter from Auckland’s waterways, based on an average of eight pieces of litter per litre. These are astonishing numbers and with the launch of the new boat, it’s timely for us to pause and think about what the Trust has achieved, and to thank everybody involved in helping to keep the harbour clean and beautiful.

“In 2002, Watercare made the decision to offer its support to the Trust, and we are immensely proud of what it has achieved over the past decade.

“Maintaining healthy waterways and contributing to the sustainability of Auckland’s natural environment are core aspects of Watercare’s role in our community, so there’s a clear link between our company’s activities and the work being done by the Trust.

“Watercare is delighted to continue to provide assistance to the Trust now and in the future.”

The Phil Warren 2 will be blessed by Ngati Whatua o Orakei Chairman Grant Hawke and christened by Phil Warren’s sisters Helen Spencer and Geraldine Taylor during a small ceremony held at the Maritime Museum on Monday 13 May.

ENDS

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