BBQ for Inlet Cleaners
By Angus Langbein
Posted: 1 March 2015
Porirua Harbours are the largest estuarine incursion south of Kawhia. They comprise two separate water bodies, Porirua harbour and the Pauatahanui Inlet. Both areas are shallow and in part tidal, with very low tidal energies.
Porirua harbour extends right in to the downtown part of Porirua city and has been significantly modified by various developments. These include reclamation to provide for extension of the CBD, and rail and SH1 along the eastern shoreline.
Pauatahanui Inlet also has been modified. Over the past 45 years the southern shoreline has been almost entirely given over to residential use, with considerable siltation from development earthworks. Also running along its southern side is SH 58 to the Hutt Valley and on the northern side is the locally significant Grays Road. Despite these developments the inlet has largely retained its attractive rural feel and offers a wide variety of uses including yachting, power boats, windsurfing, picnicking, swimming and beach activities. It also includes several wildlife refuges. Currently under development by the Rotary Club of Plimmerton and Porirua City Council is a joint project for a 12 km walking and cycle path which will encircle the entire inlet.
Deriving from adjoining land users, rubbish accumulates on the intertidal area around the inlet.
Over the past 15 or so years, Guardians of the Pauatahanui Inlet (GOPI) have led a once-per-year rubbish clean-up. With GOPI, Plimmerton Rotary supports the clean-up each year by providing participants, but especially for the BBQ luncheon which follows the clean-up and which is run entirely by Plimmerton Rotary. BBQ hardware is generously provided each year by Rotarians Ian and Terri Turner, and Paremata New World supermarket supports by donating all food and also an in-store grocery voucher which is raffled at the luncheon.
The date for the clean-up varies from year to year. It must include low tide and it needs to follow on to the BBQ lunch at about mid-day. Without the BBQ, rubbish collectors would just go home. With it, most stay for lunch, socialising and meeting other participants with whom their shared interest is the welfare of the inlet. This is one of the significant aspects of the clean-up day. The BBQ also provides opportunities for the Mayor and local councillors to attend and meet residents.
In 2014, the clean-up was held on 30 November in fine weather. The 100 or so participants was the largest ever and ranged in age from 1 year to 80+. Most stayed for lunch, thereby maximising its underlying objective for like-minded people to meet each other.
The BBQ is always a worthwhile community event with which Plimmerton Rotary can be expected to be involved into the future.