Far North community committed to Keeping New Zealand Beautiful

This month, not-for-profit organisation Keep New Zealand Beautiful welcomes a new volunteer Community Branch in Kaitaia, Far North.

Keep Tai Tokerau Beautiful has been founded by Kaitaia local Judah Atkinson, and is the 33rd and latest Community Branch in New Zealand. Each branch is made up entirely of volunteers passionate about their local environment, and each regularly holds events and coordinates local litter clean-ups and planting activities. The Te Tai Tokerau region encompasses Northland, including Kerikeri, Whangarei and Kaitaia.

Mr Atkinson volunteered with and later became a trustee of local environmental group Te Pokapu Tiaki Taiao, which operates out of the Eco Centre in Kaitaia. The group has worked hard to beautify the community of Kaitaia, but needed to grow. “Because there are so many projects and we are such a small team, we have had to sacrifice some opportunities,” says Mr Atkinson. In aligning with Keep New Zealand Beautiful, he hopes to leverage the national body’s resources and get stuck in with beautification projects across the scenic Far North region.

Mr Atkinson says he has ambitious goals for the branch’s future.

“Initially I would like to have planting events, recognising the bird life that certain areas no longer have due to deforestation,” said Mr Atknison. “I would also like to work with councils by putting public bins further into residential communities to discourage litter, encouraging recycling in the community and introducing a compost exercise, street by street”.

Heather Saunderson, CEO of Keep New Zealand Beautiful, has welcomed the new branch.

“We’re excited to have such a passionate group Keeping Tai Tokerau Beautiful,” she said. “Northlanders know their community the best, and are best placed to make a difference locally. By coming into the Keep New Zealand Beautiful fold, this group of volunteers leans on the resources and research of the national body, while being able to apply their local connections to provide the best outcomes for their community.”

Mr Atkinson is encouraging locals to get involved and do their bit for the environment. People who are interested in joining the branch or volunteering should get in touch with Judah via the Keep New Zealand Beautiful website.

“I am eager to see more people join and put forward their contribution to the community, giving their time to help our country to hold onto its clean green image.”

By starting a branch in your community, you can help Keep New Zealand Beautiful to create a better Aotearoa. For more information on Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s existing Community Branches or how to start one in your local area, please check out this page.

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