Cleaner coastlines group wins top award

Our Seas Our Future leader Noel Jhinku after being presented with the 2013 Keep Dunedin Beautiful...
Our Seas Our Future leader Noel Jhinku after being presented with the 2013 Keep Dunedin Beautiful Pod award in the Dunningham Suite yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.

A project to preserve the Dunedin coastline cleaned up at the 2013 Keep Dunedin Beautiful Awards yesterday. The premier Pod award was won by Our Seas Our Future for its work promoting cleaner, more beautiful coastlines.

Group leader Noel Jhinku was presented with the kauri pod by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull in a packed Dunningham Suite.

''Keep Dunedin Beautiful started as an anti-litter campaign in 1967 and has turned into something pretty big and pretty special,'' Mr Cull said.

''These awards give leadership and recognition and make a strong statement for our community.''

Mr Jhinku formed the group in 2011, as a social media campaign to highlight marine conservation.

''Since then, he has gone from strength to strength, promoting cleaner, more beautiful coastlines. He has held several very large clean-ups, bringing together people from all walks of life and varying ages,'' Keep Dunedin Beautiful co-ordinator Darlene Thomson said.

The East Taieri Enviro Action Group was awarded the Taylor Community Pride Shield for its work on waste-minimalisation at East Taieri School, where initiatives included the removal of school rubbish bins, to encourage pupils to take their lunch rubbish home to be composted, reused or recycled. Second prize went to Unicol for a can-recycling scheme to buy 46 goats for families in Afghanistan.

''Each week, they filled an average of five glass bins and 25 wheelie bins of recycled material that would have gone to the landfill. They are a real role model to other university residences,'' Mrs Thomson said.

Portobello School was third, for its work planting 600 pikao plants at Allans Beach over the past three years.

Merit awards: Mosgiel Brownies, George Gray, Robbie Lindsay, Boyd Macpherson, George Street Normal School, Kings' High School, Otago Boy's High School, Broad Bay School, Beca-Engineers, Rotaract Club of Dunedin, Sherwood Charitable Trust, Karitane School, Southern Cross Hotel, Arthur St School, Mosgiel Pippins, Idea Services, Roslyn Scouts, Mornington Scouts, Peninsula Rangers, Grants Braes Pippins, University of Otago Fulltime Childcare, Ashburn Clinic, Macandrew Bay Cubs and Play and Learn Early Childhood Centre.

Highly commended: Wakari School, St Martin's Island Community, Contact Energy, Geo Cache, Volunteering Otago and Dive Otago.

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