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.

SeaBin Update

The Tutukaka Marina SeaBin continues to do its job removing rubbish from the marina. Huanui College in Glenbervie has included an option to join the SeaBin sort in their weekly timetable under Thursday activities! Which is fantastic. An enthusiastic team has been coming out regularly to sort the contents of the bin and then record their findings on a data sheet.

The data sheet is accessible to the SeaBin Project based in Australia and feeds into their international data collection base. You can visit their site

The SeaBin collections are a great educational tool and awareness raising vehicle to enable people to change their behaviour in favour of less rubbish in the life of the planet!

Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Award

Ngunguru Primary School is a Finalist in the 2021 Environmental and Sustainability Education section of the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards!!

We’re sharing this because of the recognition Ocean Spirit got from their Environmental Education teacher, Heidi Kappely:

Kia ora Glenn and Janey, I wanted to share our wonderful news with you since your Hauora Moana Surveys were an integral part of my application in the PM Excellence in Ed. Awards. A great achievement that we are all proud of. 

Prize giving is not until September but in the meantime we will be hosting a film crew and also the Judging Panel.  You are more than welcome to join us for this if you wish.

Heidi brings a hugely inspiring energy to Ngunguru school with her Environmental Education programme and her Kete Aronui group, who spend one day a week out of the classroom involved in local environmental work. She is a worthy successor to Loren Hope who started the Earth Ed programme at the school a number of years ago.

An Ocean Life!

Learning From not About the Ocean

Mena kei te hauora te moana ka pera ano te hauora o te iwi.
If the Ocean is healthy so too will the people be healthy.

Our next talk will be to Mt Maunganui Underwater Club on Thursday 3rd June. It is one of the largest and oldest dive clubs in New Zealand, with a long and varied history dating back to 1956.

“We live in a time of growing ecological crisis and the science-based evidence points the Finger of Blame clearly in our direction. In recent times more and more attention has been directed towards the state of the planet’s Ocean.

Glenn’s talk will focus on the many and varied ways in which the Ocean supports life on our planet and discuss what the Ocean needs from us in order to return to a state of robust and resilient ecological health.”

Protect Our Gulf

We were honoured to be guests of the Protect Our Gulf campaign last week at a fundraising dinner.

Hosted by Te Motu vineyard on Waiheke Island, we dined on absolutely delicious kai with loyal supporters of the campaign, who are making huge efforts to stop Ports of Auckland dredging in the Hauraki Gulf and then dumping the dredgings in the moana south of Aotea Great Barrier Island.. Please visit their FB page Protect Our Gulf to show your support.

Glenn was the speaker for the evening and his descriptions of encounters with octopus and a humpback mother and calf deeply touched everyone’s emotions.

The following day we were joined by a group of people keen to experience our Hauroa Moana community monitoring from Ben and Ari’s beautiful yacht, Rosalie Claire. We motored round to Island Bay – beautiful above water, but underwater the bay is degraded and lonely with virtually no fish or invertebrate life. We were joined by Mark Russell, founder of Kelp Gardeners, a citizen science project on Waiheke to pilot controlling kina populations to reverse the phenomena known as kina barrens.

We still have a long way to go as a species in our relationship with the more-than-human world… but we must take heart that there are increasing numbers of people raising awareness and taking action on behalf of Gaia and all Life on board!