Battle Week

Take action against litter and become a citizen scientist for Aotearoa’s environment. Join us for Battle Week 7-14 April 2024.

Help us during Battle Week 2024 to take action against litter by registering to hold your very own Upstream or Backyard Battle.

Upstream Battle and Backyard Battle are our citizen scientist programmes.  The data collected by volunteers at an Upstream or Backyard Battle provides a secondary dataset to our National Litter Audit and feeds into a shared database that helps to inform local and national legislation, our educational programming and behaviour change campaigns.

Battle Week is the perfect opportunity to join other schools, community groups and volunteers throughout New Zealand who are passionate about the environment and who are coming together to make a difference and contribute proactively to the solution.

Upstream Battle

Marine litter is a huge concern with the National Geographic estimating that 80% of ocean litter globally comes from land. It’s then often brought indirectly to the sea by rivers, sewage, storm water, or winds, polluting ocean ecosystems and harming both wildlife and humans.

There are very few details known about this litter though – for example where it comes from (and how much) or what exactly is making its way from the land to the ocean through our waterways. We believe ocean conservancy begins with a better understanding of the root causes of ocean pollution and through our Upstream Battle programme we hope to get a better picture of what’s going on.

Upstream Battle is proudly presented by Suntory’s international Mizuiku Education Programme for Nature and Water, which is specifically designed to educate the next generation on the importance of clean water conservation. Both Keep New Zealand Beautiful and Suntory share a commitment to educating young Kiwis and providing hands-on opportunities that inspire and empower them to protect our precious environment. Through this partnership, Upstream Battle serves as a platform for young people to take action and make a difference in preserving the health and beauty of New Zealand’s waterways.

Backyard Battle

It’s not just our activities out at sea or on our rivers and lakes that cause water pollution; a vast majority of litter found in our oceans and waterways comes from land-based activities, being washed or blown into the water by rivers, sewage, storm water or winds. This means that the litter we see inland poses a risk to life both on land and in the water! Through our Backyard Battle programme we hope to get a better picture of what’s going on.

By registering to hold an Upstream or Backyard Battle (or both!) you’ll receive:

  • Engagement in real-world data collection and meaningful action towards Keeping New Zealand Beautiful
  • Participation, training and experience as a citizen scientist
  • A comprehensive resource pack including:
    • Event Guide – with guidance on how to complete your litter survey and tips on how to make your event a success
    • Survey Sheet 
    • Equipment Checklist
    • Risk assessment and emergency procedure protocols
    • Health and safety information
    • Digital certificate 
  • Access to Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s support team
  • Updates on other community led and education programmes
  • A great day out with your school, community, whānau and friends, doing your bit for kaitiatikanga o Aotearoa

For schools, we also offer:

  • Inquiry-based learning linked to a diverse range of learning areas of Aotearoa’s curriculum
  • New Zealand Curriculum links 
  • Risk Assessment Management Sheet (RAMS)
  • A simplified Survey Sheet  (suitable for primary school aged children or younger)
  • A classroom lesson to precede your Upstream Battle covering the water cycle and the importance of keeping our waterways litter free.

Join us

To kick off Battle Week we’ll be hosting an Upstream Battle even in Auckland on 7 April.

Upcoming Events

Share your battle with us

Support us

We’d love to see the aspiring citizen scientists of Aotearoa in action. Share photos from your battles so our Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Padlet page.

If you’re unable to take part in Battle Week but would like to support our education and research programmes you can become a member or make a donation here.

Join us for Battle Week

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Join us for Battle Week

Battle Week