Welcome to Environment Network Manawatu

“ Be part of the solutions to the challenges our environment is facing ”

 
Environment Network Manawatu is a network of over fifty member organisations that fosters and encourages environmental initiatives in the Manawatū, in areas ranging from sustainable living to wildlife conservation.
 
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From midnight Wednesday 25 March the  COVID-19 Alert is at the maximum, Level 4. All events on the ENM website are CANCELLED or presumed cancelled. ENM staff and committee continue to work from home, staying in touch with our member groups and subscribers, working together to bring our communities through this uncertain period.
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  • Kawau stream clean-up with Opus at Takaro Park

    Kawau stream clean-up with Opus at Takaro Park

  • Kawau stream clean-up with Opus at Takaro Park

    Kawau stream clean-up with Opus at Takaro Park

  • Kawau stream clean-up with Opus at Takaro Park

    Kawau stream clean-up with Opus at Takaro Park

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International students engage with Palmy’s Plastic Pollution Challenge

A group of students from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea reached New Zealand considering it as an environment-friendly country with stunning landscapes. However, they have seen some disturbing stuff in the waterways during their litter sampling activity at three sites on Napier Road Drain - bottle caps, plastic wraps, polystyrene and more. The samples were bought to Massey, where they were sorted, weighed and recorded. The data gathered will be used to continue the buildup of a useful picture of the scale and impact of plastic pollution in Palmy’s urban streams.

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The students arrived in New Zealand as part of an international short course.  They will share some of their findings and recommendations at the Palmerston North Library on February 13.

Zarina was one of the students and she said she never collected plastic in her country, sorting the waste. It was interesting and useful to her, she said.

“People here care about the environment and get involved in action-oriented work. We are taking that spirit from here”.

“In Korea, we never had an experience like this. I was very much impressed”, said Hui Jung, a student from the group.

Another Korean student, Lee Dohyeon said that he wanted to clear the waterways in his hometown. However, there are no groups or movements there. Regional movements of the community like this are good to make a difference, he added.

The sampling event was coordinated by Massey University and Manawatū River Source to Sea, an initiative of Environment Network.  Manawatū River Source to Sea is on a mission to eradicate plastics from our vast network of waterways and regenerate healthy waterways.

 

Volunteer of the month

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Tackling the Plastic Challenge

Solving the problem of plastic waste is a daunting task. However, for Dr Brian Finch, the solution lies in working together with the community which can create ripples across the country to counter the growing crisis. Eddies of plastic waste emerged whenever Brian took part in sampling projects and aghast by this growing menace, he decided to join the efforts to tackle plastic pollution.

Brian, who served for 42 years at Massey University, is determined to work towards eradicating plastic pollution.  

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“Environment Network Manawatū (ENM) as an organization is a reason I became involved. It is so positive having a network that coordinates individual groups which are taking diverse actions. ENM is creating a sound environmental momentum in the city”

Brian feels that it is important to impart knowledge about waste minimization with schools, because then the kids will share it with their parents, and gradually parents will also get involved and that can lead to families changing their behaviour.

“Working with schools is a world I have been very familiar with. I feel very positive working alongside teachers, particularly teachers enthusiastic about the environment”.

 The chance to be in the environment and doing something physical is very attractive for children.  We must tap into that and get more schools involved to deal with plastic pollution. For instance, for the plastic sorting activity at Te Manawa during the Easter Holidays 2019, many students came along with their parents.

The plastics that enter our water bodies have the potential to choke out our marine wildlife. “While we now have evidence of the level of macro plastics in Palmerston North waterways, it will be really useful to also have a clear picture of microplastics. Microplastics in city waterways is a really important issue because they have become part of the food chain”.

It is time for citizens to become engaged and to demand action from governments and businesses on pressing environmental challenges. “If the city council feels that citizens are demanding higher environmental standards, they will be pushed to make changes.”

Over the last weeks, Brian has taken the Plastic Challenge beyond the boundaries of Palmerston North. In collaboration with Massey, he has been working, as part of the Palmy Plastic Pollution Challenge team, with international business students from Korea, to introduce them to the Plastic Challenge and to support them research alternative solutions for food packaging. The students presented their initial findings at Palmerston North Library on 13 February.

 

From midnight Wednesday 25 March the  COVID-19 Alert is at the maximum, Level 4. All events on the ENM website are CANCELLED or presumed cancelled. ENM staff and committee continue to work from home, staying in touch with our member groups and subscribers, working together to bring our communities through this uncertain period.