Kapiti Island clean-up

RANDALL WALKER
Last updated 10:39 26/02/2013
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Clean-up: Nga Uruora volunteers show the rubbish they collected off Kapiti Island.

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Unload: Volunteers haul wool bales of rubbish off the boat.

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A computer monitor and camping billy were among four wool bales of rubbish collected off Kapiti Island.

Fifteen volunteers from Kapiti conservation group Nga Uruora spent a day picking up litter off the island on Monday.

Along with numerous plastic bottles and bags, bits of polystyrene, tanalised timber and fishing gear, the group found an old computer monitor, car tyres and even a decoy duck.

Much of it would have washed up on the island from elsewhere, said Nga Uruora volunteer organiser Joe Clarkson, but some items had clearly been dumped on the island.

''We found an old billy ... it can't have washed up because it would have sunk, so someone took it there at some point.''

Ross Leger, of Kapiti Marine Charters, took the volunteers over free of charge and the Department of Conservation waived the usual permit fee.

Mr Leger said he was resurrecting an initiative of 10 years ago when he used to take Massey University environmental groups to the island for rubbish collection.

''It was part of the Qualmark certification for our new tender round for the island. They ask what have you done to help the environment.''

He called Nga Uruora because they were a local conservation group.

Dropped at different spots around the island, the volunteers covered about half the island and would return for the rest in April or May, he said.

Mr Clarkson said Nga Uruora had done a number of beach clean-ups over the years, but it was his first such trip to the island.

''Some of us got to see parts of the island we have never seen before, we got dropped around the back which was really nice, and saw the seals.''

Mr Leger said the amount of rubbish collected showed the environmental message has made a huge impact, and recreational boaties and commercial fisherman ''don't throw everything over the side of the boat like they used to''.

''When I came back last time [10 years ago], the boat was floor to ceiling [with rubbish].''

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