Huanui College SeaBin Sorters

For the 2nd year running Huanui College, Glenbervie has sorting the SeaBin on their timetable of Thursday afternoon optional activities. This term we have Aston Plunkett, Zef Brooks and Charley Welford continuing the College’s support of the Seabin.

The Seabin was officially opened in April 2019 by Pippa Benton and other Huanui College students who approached Ocean Spirit wanting to do something for the Ocean. Kindly supported by Whangarei City Rotary Club and The Tutukaka Marina Management Trust the SeaBin has been running for almost 4 years now. Many volunteers help sort the rubbish that the SeaBin collects, and the data is uploaded to the international SeaBin Project data collection site for analysis. Other students volunteer their time as part of Community Work and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

The SeaBin shed was donated in 2022 by Northland Waste and is proving invaluable for storing all the rubbish collected, as well as the collection buckets and a compost bin donated by Huanui College.

Regenerating the kelp forests of Tutukaka Harbour

Project Update 28-12-22

Community response to the Tutukaka Harbour Kelp Restoration Project has been amazing! Following the public hui on Sunday 11th Dec donations started coming in. We are absolutely blown away by your generous support and really heartened by all the offers of help with the project.  As a result, the site preparation has been able to go ahead far quicker than was initially expected.

Scotty Gundesen and the Supbro team went all out to clear the site in Church Bay. By creating access to the southern side of Te Maika ki tai valley, it’s now possible to move the trailer-container (future kelp lab and education centre) into position. With careful measuring and strategic placing of rock for the trailer, all weather access to the back of the site for future solar panels, toilets and showers has been possible and has also saved quite a bit of money. We’ll be moving the kelp lab onto its new site as soon as the tow truck is available.

Our first batch of  “green gravel” kelplings have now been in the water at our two pilot sites by Philip Island for 2½ weeks and they’re looking happy! The kelplings sited where kina were removed are looking great, with only a few stones showing signs of grazing. Interestingly, there hasn’t been the influx of kina moving in to the area that we were expecting. So far we have only removed 24 kina from the site since placing the kelplings. The kelplings in the control site, where no kina were removed have been nibbled a bit and some stones have been completely cleared of kelplings. It’s hard to tell who’s been munching them, but we suspect it’s probably the kina. At both sites though the kelplings have already put on a burst of growth and have more than doubled in size!

Te Whanga Hauora o Tutukaka

Regenerating the kelp forests of Tutukaka Harbour: A Community-based Collaborative Regeneration and Reseach Project

Update 13-12-2022

First kelplings “planted” at Philip Island

We had a great turnout on the morning of Sunday 11th Dec for the first of our kelp regeneration “plant outs”. Of course, we don’t actually plant the kelp in the sand, but instead we are carefully placing the “Green Gravel” in nooks and crannies on the reef. Green gravel is the name of the kelp propagation technique we are trialling with the help of researchers from Massey University. The baby kelplings come from the reproductive tissue (sorus) collected from beach-cast kelp right here on our coast. The zoospores from the sorus attach themselves to the gravel (also collected from local beaches) and after about three months the kelplings are large enough to be deployed onto the reef.

On Sunday we deployed 180 rocks covered in baby kelplings. Half of them we placed in an area of reef where we will continue to manage the kina population, and the other half were placed in our control site that has no kina management. This will allow us to monitor survival rates and growth rates in both managed and un-managed areas. The researchers from Massey, Beau and Ella, will visit every two months to take detailed measurements of growth rates and survival, but we will be monitoring their progress at least fortnightly to keep an eye on how they are doing. On Monday 12th we collected more sorus tissue and more beach stones to get the next batch of kelplings underway.

Public Hui on Sunday 11th Dec

On Sunday evening we held a public hui at Dive! Tutukaka’s Shed Seven, (a big Thank You to Kate and her team for hosting), to introduce Te Whanga Hauora O Tutukaka, Ki Uta Ki Tai Vision 2030, our vision to restore the mauri of the harbour to a vibrant and healthy state where kelp forests flourish, marine life abounds and our communities thrive. This was our chance to share the two projects that will set us on our way to achieving this vision – the kelp regeneration and research project and the Wairepo Moemoeaa wetland regeneration project at Church Bay. We had a great turnout, and the extended question time (and range of insightful questions) was a great indication of just how much enthusiasm and support there is in our community for regenerating the harbour and its catchment. The hui also gave us a chance to talk about the development of the Moana Education Centre and kelp growing lab, that is central to making sure this is a truly community-based project. We have secured a 20m container, which will become the lab and education space. Rachel Wellington and her whanau have very kindly offered us space on their whanau land in Church Bay to house the centre and we will be moving it to its permanent location as soon as we are able to get the site prepared. Our goal is to have the kelp lab up and running by the end of March 2023.

Amazing Fundraising Opportunity!

Of course, none of this can happen without funding support, which we are actively pursuing with funding applications as well as reaching out to the community. A private donor on the coast has made an amazing offer to match donations up to a total of $1,500, effectively doubling any donations made between now and the 19th of December.

Reaching that mark, will give us $3,000 to get started on the site preparation.

If you would like to support the project with a donation, please get in touch with us:

Photos courtesy of Irene Middleton

Restoring the kelp forests of Tutukaka Harbour. 

A Community-based, Collaborative Regeneration and Research Project 

We are excited to announce the launch of the Tutukaka Harbour Kelp regeneration project. Click here to learn more and support this project. The aim of this project is to support the kaitiakitanga of mana whenua/mana moana in restoring the mauri of the harbour by “re-seeding” denuded areas of the harbour that were once flourishing and vibrant kelp forests. An important goal of this collaborative project is the setting up of a community-based marine laboratory/education facility in Church Bay for the propagation of the kelp seedlings and other marine-focused regenerative activities. We are extremely grateful to Rachel Wellington and whanau for hosting the lab on their whanau land in Church Bay.

The project is being overseen by a hau kāinga steering group who are directly involved in the entire process including, initial ecological assessments, site selection, kelp propagation, deployment and ongoing monitoring. The lead organization for the project is Te Wairua o te Moananui – Ocean Spirit Charitable Trust and the project is supported by researchers from Massey University’s School of Natural & Computational Sciences, who are providing expert knowledge and support in the propagation, deployment and monitoring of the kelp. 

We will be holding a public presentation about this exciting project on the 11th December at 7pm, upstairs at the Marina office in Tutukaka, all welcome. Weather permitting, the first batch of “kelplings will be placed at selected sites on the 12th December around Philip Island. This project is an approved, permitted activity, authorised by the NRC Harbour Master. 

Composting Bin!

The SeaBin has a flash revolving composting bin sponsored by Huanui College, Glenbervie!

It’s quite a complicated 22 step process to put the bin together, but the team from Huanui College are having great fun sussing it all out!

The bin collects biomass blown off the land as well as marine biomass floating in the marina. Now it’ll be composted down to make beautiful soil for the marina gardens.

Thank you to Ecosolutions for making the bin available via their Compost Connection.

Thank you to Huanui College for sponsoring this great addition to the SeaBin operation.

SeaBin back in Action!

The SeaBin is back in Action!

Roger in the Tutukaka Marina Office has done an incredible job replacing the motor, prop-speeding the whole bin and giving it a thorough clean!

A volunteer group of Huanui College Students, Glenbervie, will be sorting the rubbish every Thursday afternoon during Term 3. Their involvement forms the Community Service part of their curriculum.

Sorting is made easy with our new shed! Very kindly donated by Northland Waste.

The Seabin is by the bridge leading onto B Pier and everyone is welcome to visit it in action.


Te Wairua o te Moananui – Ocean Spirit, The Wairepo Moemoea Project wishes to thank WWF Community Conservation Fund and the Tindall Foundation for assistance with planning for The Wairepo Moemoeaa wetland regeneration project.

The project involves creating an ecological link between wetlands and marina habitats in the Tutukaka Harbour with the ultimate aim of restoring the health of the harbour and its surroundings.

SeaBin Shed Donated

has very kindly donated a shed dedicated to the SeaBin!

has very kindly donated a shed for the SeaBin!

Thank you so much NorthlandWaste for your generous donation.

After 3 years of operation in the Tutukaka Marina, the SeaBin has finally got its own shed!

The SeaBin was officially ‘opened’ by Pippa Benton who was a student at Huanui College, Glenbervie, on 29 April 2019.

The Tutukaka Marina Management Trust kindly supports the operation of the SeaBin and for the 1st 3 years we operated out of their big shed. With interest growing amongst local schools the need for a separate shed became more and more important.

Located in the shade of the bush not far from B Pier where the SeaBin operates, we now have the space to accommodate the growing rubbish collection and shelter to sort when the sun’s too hot or it’s raining.

The SeaBin has survived various extreme weather events and is still collecting polystyrene foam baubles which were released from the damaged pontoons during the recent Tongan tsunami.

After the hot summer and 5 months of operation, it has been struggling to operate with the weight of marina life growing on and in it! So out it came this week and we took it apart – scraped off the marine life such as sea squirts and barnacles, water blasted inside and out, pulled out feathers and pine needles which had worked their way into the inner workings, and algae growing like a beard!

It’s now back in the marina ready to take on whatever the approaching cyclone throws up this week!

With continued thanks to the Tutukaka Marina Management Trust, NorthlandWaste, Whangarei City Rotary Club, Huanui College, and all the volunteer sorters.