Four Wheel Drivers Set to Clean Up the South Coast

17 November 2011

The Cross Country Vehicle Club (CCVC), supported by Wellington City Council, is having its 11th annual South Coast Clean-up this Saturday 19 November.

Every year tonnes of rubbish washes up or is dumped on Wellington's south coast. The annual clean-up helps address that and is also a great opportunity to get the word out about why four wheel drive owners should always keep to the coastal road.

Wellington's south coast has been in the news recently, after serious damage was again caused by trail bikes and 4WD vehicles going off the formed track during Labour weekend.

The Council may stop vehicle access altogether if this type of behaviour continues. Native plants in the harsh coastal environment take a long time to grow and longer to recover. The area is also an important home for native lizards and birds, as well as seals, and rare insects including the spear grass weevil and the geometrid moth.

Clean-up organiser Barry Insull says several Wellington four wheel drive clubs have been invited to Saturday's clean-up. "Hopefully this will help the City Council get the message out to a wider audience so we can get on top of stupid behaviour by a small element who show little regard for property and the environment."

The New Zealand Four Wheel Drive Association is working to make sure members of all 4WD clubs in the region understand and respect the south coast environment.

Association spokesman Roger Seymour says all four-wheel drivers and other south coast users need to be aware of the issues and help protect the area from thoughtless actions and damage.

The clean-up convoy departs from the Owhiro Bay Information Centre at 10.00am.

The Council's Natural Environment Portfolio Leader, Councillor Helene Ritchie, says Council staff and police will be there handing out information leaflets.

"While to some degree this may be preaching to the converted, we're hopeful that additional eyes and ears will result in some positive outcomes. This is a fragile coast, not a 4WD playground."

At least 60 volunteers are expected to help at this Saturday's clean-up. At past clean-ups, four-wheel drive enthusiasts have collected all sorts of rubbish including plastics, car tyres, a porcelain hand basin, household rubbish, computers, farm fencing, cars, old motors and even an extremely old electric welder.

The clean-up will finish with a barbecue at one of the historic Red Rocks baches.