A staggering 12,000 litres of rubbish was collected from Auckland’s Hobson Bay in 2.5 hours by 130 volunteers taking part in the Outboard Boating Club (OBC) and Sea Cleaners coastal clean-up event in June.

Debris collected included supermarket trolleys, car tyres, road cones, tables, chairs, metal piping and plastic objects. OBC Commodore Bill Berry says the project was part of the club’s ongoing effort to lead by example in helping to protect and restore Hobson Bay.

“The sheer volume of rubbish collected in such a short time graphically illustrates the scope of the problem and the need to take ongoing action. As a result of what we achieved on the day we intend making this an annual event.”

Volunteers included members of Ngati Whatua, the Orakei Local Board, the Hauraki Gulf Forum, students from local schools, members of the local community and OBC members. Also volunteering was Orakei Ward Councillor Desley Simpson. Simpson brought her three-year old grandson to participate in the event, and says she’s disgusted with the amount of rubbish found on the day.

“It’s important to teach the next generation the value of keeping our waterways clean and so I hope even more children will be involved in this essential community event in future years.”

Sea Cleaners chief Captain Hayden Smith says rubbish collects constantly as a result of various polluting factors including storms, illegal dumping and careless littering. “Everything finds its way into our rivers, streams, creeks and eventually into the sea.”


The coastal clean-up is a new initiative that adds to the OBC’s other sustainable activities such as diverting fish waste to the Kai Ika community health food project, length-based fishing competitions and international Blue Flag sustainable marinas accreditation.