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South Auckland Gearing Up For Te Puhinui Big Clean This Weekend

This Saturday 8th May, the South Auckland community will band together to clean up the Puhinui Stream, a 12km waterway which runs from Totara Park to the Manukau Harbour.

Te Puhinui Big Clean is expected to draw over 1000 volunteers, including whānau, churches, schools, businesses and community groups.

The clean-up is being organised by the Beautification Trust, an organisation dedicated to protecting and improving the environment in South Auckland. The event is supported by Panuku Development Auckland, Mana Whenua, Wiri Business Association, Business Manukau, Auckland Botanic Gardens and CityCare.

The morning clean-up will be followed by a free zero-waste BBQ and entertainment at the Auckland Botanic Gardens from 12pm for all volunteers who take part.

In 2016, the Beautification Trust set the record for New Zealand's largest single environmental clean-up. The massive event saw almost 2000 volunteers remove more than 12.5 tonnes of rubbish from the Puhinui Stream and Manukau Harbour foreshore, including 300 tyres and over 200 shopping trolleys.

“We’re hoping to see a vast improvement in the condition of the waterways since then,” says Beautification Trust CEO, Daniel Barthow.

The clean-up effort will create an opportunity for local communities put in the mahi to help restore this precious awa and remain engaged in its protection. The main focus is on removing inorganic rubbish and cleaning up illegal dumping.

“Removing plastic rubbish is particularly important to protect our native species and ecosystems,” says Barthow.

An estimated 10 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean globally every year – the equivalent of one rubbish truck every minute.

Plastic in waterways breaks down into small pieces that look like food to birds, fish and other marine animals. When they eat it, it builds up in their stomachs and can cause them to starve to death when they have no room left for food.

“We can all play our part to reduce our consumption of plastic, remove it from our waterways and protect local wildlife,” says Barthow.

The Beautification Trust is welcoming all volunteers who want to take part in Te Puhinui Big Clean to register on their website. There are family-friendly clean-up sites, so people of all ages can get involved.

The event starts on Saturday 8th May at 8:30am at the Auckland Botanic Gardens Everglade Drive entrance. Register or find out more at beautification.org.nz/bigclean

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