Events in 2022

The focus of 2022 was growing community support, education, and getting in to do the hard mahi. 

There were 5 public clean up events, 1 kids holiday cleanup in Ashhurst with RECAP and 4 private events (Massey University Veterinary Students Association, Parkland School, Smith & Sons, and Lady of our Lourdes school). PPC also did 5 educational workshops and 3 school litter cleanups with Children’s University, supported 1 school waste audit with Glen Oroua School by Precycle NZ, and hosted Beam along the Stream, a public educational scooter tour of Palmy’s Urban streams and drains with guest speakers.  

We removed over 1T of litter from streams, 128 bags with an estimated 8.5kg per bag. 155 volunteers were involved.


Beam Along the Stream 

Beam along the stream was an e-scooter tour of Palmerston North’s significant streams and drains, including the Mangaone stream, Te Kawau stream and Pioneer Highway drain. There were guest speakers who met the group at points along the track to discuss relevant topics including the history of Palmerston North and its urban waterways, the history of Plastic Pollution Challenge, pest plant biosecurity for urban streams, and about the future of Palmerston North with designing our city in a way that avoids the historic stream issues we are now dealing with. The participants were then asked for feedback on how to improve the waterways, reduce litter, make the space more inviting, beautiful, and usable, and what would make them more likely to use the space. This feedback helped guide the strategy for 2023. 

Beam along the Stream - Historic, present and future tour of Palmerston Norths streams and drains - YouTube 

Events in 2021

The 2020-2021 Challenge was all about putting the strategies developed during the June 2019 PPPC community workshop into action.

Most of urban Palmerston North City is built on top of Te Kawau Stream catchment and the 2019 PPPC sampling results showed that it was also where the largest amount of plastic litter is accumulating. Te Kawau Stream was therefore the focus of our first, pilot, neighbourhood restoration project.

In Spring 2020 we ran the first part of the 'Arohatia Te Kawau' project. The programme (shown below) was released at our Launch Event on Monday 31 August and a printable version can be downloaded here.

During September - November 2020, over 500 people were involved in cleaning up Te Kawau stream and helping to restore it's mauri. Our conservative estimation is that over 1.5 tonnes of rubbish were removed. In addition to the clean-ups, nearly 400 people came along to the events that were run in parallel about rethinking and reducing our plastic use. Plus we spoke to over 400 school students about our project and how we can take action together here in Palmy to work towards a future with less plastic in it. It was a very busy few months!

Selected media articles:

Check out the video of the clean-ups made by Runner Films

Korean Students Exploring Alternative Food Packaging

A group of students from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea arrived in New Zealand in January 2020 considering it as an environmentally conscious country with stunning landscapes. However, they witnessed some disturbing levels of plastic pollution in the local waterways during their litter sampling activity at three sites. Their samples were brought to Massey, where they were sorted, weighed and recorded as a practical element of their environmental education programme. The Korean students came to New Zealand as part of an international Massey University PaCE course in business studies which was designed and managed in conjunction with the PPC. They shared some of the findings and recommendations from their involvement in the PPC at the Palmerston North City Library on the 13th February 2020 and you can access their presentations here:

Alternatives for Polystyrene

Plastic Love

Problems of Tteokbokki Delivery Packaging

No Polystyrene no Pain


Events which are open to the public will appear here as details are confirmed. If there are no events showing, and you are keen to get involved, please get in contact with us via