Our Wellington

News | 31 December 2020

Volunteers dive to tidy city’s harbour

Thirty-two road cones, nine bikes, six shopping trolleys, and 20 skateboards and scooters are just some of the items retrieved from Wellington Harbour this year.

Four dirty road cones, a rusty bike, some skateboards and scooters that are a little worse for wear and rubbish that has been retrieved from Wellington Harbour, in a pile on the sand.

Every month, the Bubble Busters Adventure Club gathers at Waitangi park and dives the waters between Taranaki Wharf and Chaffers Marina, collecting trash from the seabed.

During 2020, the group collected more than 1000 aluminium cans, 500 plastic items (including food packaging and eating utensils), 64 glass bottles and jars, and six chairs and tables.

A significant amount of clothing and paper items were also found and brought to shore, as well as mobile phones, a stop sign, electric cables, and a Walkman.

Wellington Waterfront Activation Specialist Fraser Ebbett says Peter Humphris and his hardworking friends have voluntarily dived around Wellington Harbour doing clean-ups for more than 15 years, with the Bubble Busters Adventure Club established in 2017.

“I met Peter around 2016 when he was needing access to the waterfront. I suggested we schedule their dives monthly on Sundays so the Harbourside Market visitors could see the good work being done and sometimes they even help.

“The club’s volunteers de-critter all the bottles and cans they retrieve and the kids are always fascinated, watching what might be inside. There’s really great public engagement, especially when e-bikes and e-scooters started getting pulled out.

“Everything is still on a volunteer basis, but I do arrange they are fed on Sundays which usually comes by way of donated meals from the market stallholders.”

Fraser says over the years there have been some surprising finds, including a 60kg park bench, and the Bubble Busters Adventure Club plays a massive hand in helping to keep the harbour as clean as possible.

“We all know the waterfront is really popular and on a good day has thousands of users. There is waste created, which doesn’t always find its way into the rubbish bins and with Wellington’s wind, often ends up in the water.”

After each clean-up dive, Fraser arranges for the removal of the rubbish.