Hauora Moana at Reotahi Marine Reserve

Reotahi Day.jpgGlenn was invited by Northland Regional Council (NRC) to present Ocean Spirit’s Hauora Moana Community Monitoring Initiative at the Motukaroro Reotahi Marine Reserve in Whangarei Harbour this week.

It was a really beautiful day and the qualitative survey technique was very well received by the participants who included: North Tec’s Environmental Management Diploma and Applied Science degree students, NRC employees, Patuharakeke Te Iwi Trust Board and Samara from Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR).

Tipaka Moana – The Hauraki Gulf Oceans Lab

“Nothing for Mother nature without Mother Nature.”

Four days, 28 incredible people and a journey of spiritual enlightenment! Wow! We are very blessed to be a part of this incredible group on Rotoroa Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

We shared our Hauora Moana Community Monitoring Initiative with the group – plunging into 17C water to feel the qualities of the moana and hear her voice. The experience fitted in perfectly with the week’s journey, connecting us all to the mauri of the gulf.

This is an on-going journey that we’re sharing with this group, facilitated by a highly skilled team from The Spirit Lab! Many insights, learnings, words of wisdom and transformation. We are privileged to be part of this journey of Life, in which we’re all participants, with the freedom to experiment ways of being that bring more love, compassion and service into the world

Heartfelt thanks to:


Ngāti Pāoa mana whenua of Rotoroa Island, to all of those who have gone before us, those that we have learnt from.

Foundation North for your partnership

Experiencing Marine Reserves – EMR – for your health & safety, equipment and enthusiasm!

Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari for the 5 plans you had to come up with and hours you spent waiting so that we could get off the island when the wind blew a hooley and we had to do a boat to boat transfer!

Kiran Patel – Filmmaker for your wonderful videography and photography

Fabian and Shaun for the incredibly delicious kai

And most of all to Tīkapa Moana for her welcome, wisdom and resilience.

World Whale Conference


We were thrilled to be able to present at the 2019 World Whale Conference in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia.

Hosted by The World Cetacean Alliance and Fraser Coast Tourism, the conference brought together cetacean scientists, conservationists and whale tourism operators from all over the world to share their knowledge and passion for our cetacean kin.


It was a richly nourishing week making wonderful connections, sharing stories, experiences and ideas. We feel incredibly blessed to have been able to contribute to this global gathering of cetacean lovers!

Deep Time Walk

25 Sept Hatea Loop

For the very 1st time in Aotearoa NZ, 10 willing participants journeyed through the 4.6 billion years of our planet’s history to the present day, learning about key evolutionary events as they walked round the Hatea Loop in Whangarei on 25th September.

The Hatea Loop is the perfect length with 1m being equal to 1 million years. Starting in the Town Basin we walked 4.6km through 4.6 billion years of Earth history. At 24 pre-determined stops we heard about key events from Earth’s evolution and experienced an extremely powerful moment towards the end when our place in time is thrown into perspective. Without giving too much away… it was down to a ruler measurement at the end….

The effect of the Deep Time Walk is extremely transformative and brings home to us the impact our behaviour is having on Life.

This event was organised to coincide with the biggest coordinated set of Deep Time Walks in the world as part of Global Climate Strike week.

A big THANK YOU to everyone that bravely joined us on an adventure they knew nothing about!

Visit The Deep Time Walk https://www.deeptimewalk.org/ for more information.
#oceanspirit #justpickitup


The Deep Time Walk is a very poignant reminder of just how incredible our existence is and provides an essential context to our current human induced climate crisis.

The walk puts into context humanity’s rich ancestral heritage and gives an insight into the inter-connectedness of life. It helps us comprehend Deep Time – the vast age of our Earth – and explores the destructive impact our species is having on the integral functioning of our living world. Deep Time provides “a radical perspective, provoking action not apathy … [it] is the catalysing context of intergenerational justice; it is what frames the inspiring activism of Greta Thunberg and the school climate-strikers, and the Sunrise campaigners pushing for a Green New Deal in America.”

A deep-time perspective requires us to consider not only how we will imagine the future, but how the future will imagine us.

25 Sept 1It provokes me to ask the question: “What sort of future are you living into being…?” 

SeaBin goes back to work in the Tutukaka Marina

IMG_4721 - Copy
Glenn wheels the SeaBin down the ramp close its position in the Marina
The inner catch bag – note the pad in the bottom to soak up oil spills
SeaBin is bolted back into position and the catch bag dropped in
Monday 2 Sept 1
Data Sheet for Monday 2 September
Monday 2 Sept
Natural biomass left after rubbish has been removed – note the separation of land and sea debris and the puddles of oily silty water
Monday 2 Sept 3
Micro Plastics data sheet – note the cigarette butts… which contrary to popular belief do not biodegrade

2019 World Whale Conference ‘Journeys that Inspire Change’

Ocean spirit humpback - Copy7 – 12th October 2019, Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia.

Hosted by Fraser Coast Tourism and Events and the World Cetacean Alliance

We’re very excited to have been invited to be present at this conference next month!

Glenn is speaking on Tuesday 8th under the title:

Diving Deeper into our Relationship with Whales and their Ocean Home

and we will have a stand for the duration of the conference.

Earlier this century we were fortunate to spend several months of the year with the humpback whales of Tonga around the Ha’apai Islands. From our whale watching base on Foa Island, we took people out on our Wharram sailing catamaran and swam with these incredibly majestic beings. As a result of our experiences with the whales, we went on to establish Ocean Spirit Ltd which subsequently gave birth to Te Wairua O Te Moananui-Ocean Spirit Charitable Trust in January this year.

Glenn’s abstract for the conference is as follows:

Ko tãtou te moana, Ko te moana ko tãtou
We are the Ocean, The Ocean is us – Maori proverb

In the Biosphere, water cannot be separated from life and life cannot be separated from water.”  Vladimir Vernadsky (19th century Russian scientist and pioneer of the biospheric sciences).
We modern humans have been living under the delusion of separation: separation of our species from the rest of the life community, and the arbitrary separation of life and the ‘non-living’ environment. But for cetaceans, and indeed, all marine life there has never been any separation between themselves and the Ocean.

The whales (especially the migrating species) need us to understand that the Ocean is one living system, and as such, we must address our personal and collective relationship with this living presence. We need to comprehend and experience ourselves as a part of, rather than apart from our Ocean planet as we explore what actions we can take to secure a positive future for the Ocean, the whales and ourselves.
These are the themes of my book “The Ocean Is Alive: Re-visioning our relationship with the living Ocean”, which was inspired by my twenty year relationship with humpback whales in the Kingdom of Tonga (the subjects of my earlier book “Humpback Whales of the South West Pacific”). 

Transitioning from an anthropocentric world-view to an eco-centric perspective is fundamental to developing a more harmonious and respectful relationship with the Ocean and our cetacean kin. We believe that community based initiatives can play a key role in re-defining these relationships.

This is also a wonderful opportunity to showcase our Hauora Moana (Healthy Ocean) Community Monitoring Initiative whose purpose is to encourage local communities to ‘take ownership’ of the health and well being of their coastal marine ecosystems.


The Tutukaka Marina SeaBin

Plastics, like diamonds, are forever! Every piece of plastic ever produced still exists.


The Tutukaka Marina SeaBin was officially launched on 29th April 2019 and has been busily collecting floating debris and surface fuel oil ever since.


The bin is regularly emptied by volunteers who sort the debris, collate the results and send the data to SeaBin International.

The sorting process involves removing the net bag from the SeaBin, emptying it onto one of Mitre 10’s sponsored tarpaulins and separating the organic from the inorganic debris. Any marine creatures who’ve been drawn into the bag, are carefully placed in one of the seven Mitre 10 orange buckets with sea water in it, and returned to the marina together with any marine biomass. Any terrestrial biomass is composted on land.

Tutukaka Marina SeaBin 3A small

All human generated rubbish is sorted into categories as outlined by the SeaBin Project. Micro-plastics are regularly captured in the bin and range from flakes of toxic paint to plastic nurdles and unidentified blobs. A micro-plastic is any piece measuring less than 5mm. The SeaBin Project https://seabinproject.com/  is building an important data base from debris collected in its 719 SeaBins around the world.


The process is very fiddly and requiries a certain amount of concentration! Some of the micro-plastics are really tiny and in this case small is definitely not beautiful. Micro-plastics are entering the oceanic food chain at an alarming rate and because of their size, removing them from the ocean is an impossible task. Large pieces of plastic photo-degrade in sunlight eventually becoming plastic dust that contaminates all ocean dwellers from zoo plankton to whales.

Thank you Mitre 10 Whangarei for contributing to plastic removal from the ocean.

In Celebration of Sharks

NZAEE Seaweek – Kaupapa Moana 2019

Saturday 2nd to Sunday 10th March 2019.

“Tiakina o Tatou Moana – Care for our Seas”. http://www.seaweek.org.nz/

Seaweek is New Zealand’s annual national week about the sea and is hosted by the NZ Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE). Focused on learning from the sea, it’s designed to inspire all New Zealanders to renew their connection with the sea! Not just for children or those involved with formal education, but for all of us to get to know the ocean around our islands, her habitats and inhabitants better.

Te Wairua O Te Moananui – Ocean Spirit are giving a free talk on sharks in our local library in Whangarei. All are welcome!

Seaweek Library Talk poster

Waitangi Day clean up

Wednesday 6th February is Waitangi Day here in New Zealand. I was once again fortunate enough to volunteer with Eco Solutions to help keep the Treaty Grounds rubbish free!
There was much less rubbish this year due to the support of Waipapa Landscape Supplies who will be industrially composting the majority of the compostable food and drink containers which are plant based in origin.
During my 3 hour shift on this rubbish station down by the wakas, the recycling and compost bins were emptied twice, but the rubbish bin didn’t need emptying…
As the stall holders packed up, our team walked the grounds picking up the last vestiges of plastic to leave the place looking pretty much spotless!
Congratulations once again to Anouk and her team of volunteers for making this such a clean event!… and fun! 😃