A pair of socks for Tauranga

Bernie Stewart from CPL installing the drain sock. Photo: John Borren/SunLive.

No one really knows how much waste, particularly plastic pollution, pours into the Tauranga harbour by stormwater.

This should soon change, thanks to the Rotary Club of Tauranga Sunrise, with the installation of stormwater socks to capture pollution before it enters the harbour.

“The aim is to raise awareness of the negative effects of stormwater, especially the plastics in it, on Te Awanui-Tauranga Harbour and ultimately the ocean,” says Tauranga Sunrise Rotary member and project coordinator Michele Beaton.

The idea for the club initiating the project came from Nathan Capper, who is not only a Tauranga Sunrise Rotary member but also a Pou Ngaio Technical Cultural RMA Specialist.

With co-operation from Tauranga City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Ngāi Tamarāwaho, the Tauranga Sunrise Rotary Club environment committee have installed two drain socks at the bottom of Spring St on the Tauranga waterfront.

At low tide on Tuesday, a site blessing by Ngāi Tamarāwaho kaumātua Tamati Tata attended by BOPRC deputy chair Jane Nees, Stacey Faire from BOPRC, Radleigh Cairns and Mikayla Jones from TCC, and members of Tauranga Sunrise Rotary took place. Immediately following this the Greentec net drain socks were fitted by CPL’S Bernie Stewart to two highly visible stormwater outlets.

Paid for by Tauranga Sunrise Rotary, thanks to an award from BOPRC’s Environmental Enhancement Fund, Michele is hopeful the socks will promote community awareness of the problems caused by plastic pollution and stimulate ‘copy-cat’ projects in the community.

“The aim is to promote sustainable management of the natural and physical resources of the Bay of Plenty’s coastal environment, as required by the Regional Coastal Environment Plan by raising awareness of the negative effects of stormwater,” says Michele.

“We think that the large plastic items from stormwater captured by the nets will provoke an emotional reaction in the community, stimulate engagement with the problem and develop kaitiakitanga in relation to storm-water management, including the damage caused by less visible contaminants.”

The two socks, attached by a clip, have their edges held in place by strong magnets. Should there be a significant weather event with a lot of water coming through the stormwater outlet in one short burst, the sock will float free allowing the deluge of water through but staying attached by the clip and can then be refitted fully again afterwards.

The socks will be regularly checked and emptied by Tauranga City Council contractors.

The installation will be highlighted and explained by signage with assistance from Ngāi Tamarāwaho's Buddy Mikaere and the public will be able to observe how much debris is filling the socks.

“The Tauranga Sunrise Rotary club would like other Rotary clubs, community groups and schools to ‘adopt a sock’ and be involved in installing them, as well as emptying and recording the quantity and type of plastic waste collected,” says Michele.

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Posted on 06-01-2022 09:14 | By dumbkof2

Agree with Yaddick. Not just aotearoa but vast overuse of all iwi words. Getting harder and harder to read an article without trying to pronunce most of these iwi words

@ This Guy

Posted on 05-01-2022 20:04 | By Yadick

Absolutely nothing wrong with referring to NZ as Aotearoa. In fact I think it is a beautiful name. What I disagree with is it’s overuse lately. The media have been, in my opinion, totally overusing it. We live in what we all know as New Zealand. You don’t hear of tourists wanting to go to Aotearoa, they visit NZ. The fact it is a Maori word doesn’t even feature. My Son in Law is Maori so if I was against Maori he would not have received my blessing to marry my Daughter. As far as Germany, that’s entirely up to them.


Posted on 04-01-2022 16:20 | By This Guy

Whats wrong with referring to NZ as Aotearoa exactly? is just the fact that its Māori word for it? Does it also upset you in the same way to know that Germans call Germany "Deutschland" in their language?


Posted on 02-01-2022 09:59 | By dumbkof2

whats with all this blessing things now. how many thousands of dollars is all this costing

Great Article But . . .

Posted on 02-01-2022 09:06 | By Yadick

Kaitiatianga - what is it you want us to develop? Most people wouldn’t have a clue what you asking for. I see too that the name Tauranga has subtley slipped Maori in there too. Is this going to be like New Zealand getting called Aotearoa . Also why does a sock need a Blessing? Do we have to have a blessing for everything? I guess in this case it’s appropriate according to the saying, Well bless my cotton socks.

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