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The Drains to Harbour Programme

The Drains To Harbour (DTH) programme empowers schools and communities by providing hands-on experiences in the environment. After these experiences, students are encouraged to put their knowledge into action within the community.

The DTH programme is currently offered in 3 areas - Whangarei, Far North District, and Nelson/Tasman Bay region. 

If you’re interested in participating in the programme please contact 

  • Northland: Isabel Krauss, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Nelson/Tasman Bay region: Justin Strang, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The programme was successfully piloted in the winter of 2006 and has been running in the Whangarei District ever since, thanks to support from the Whangarei District Council. In 2018, it was successfully adopted in the Nelson/Tasman Bay area. Since July 2020, the Far North District Council has also funded this programme for schools in the Far North District. 



Engaging Schools and Communities

The DTH programme involves a classroom introduction to stormwater pollution sources and effects, a field trip to a local stream to investigate water quality, and an optional visit to the local wastewater treatment plant or the Dragonfly Springs Wetland Sanctuary (Whangarei). 

Following this, the students get the opportunity to use the DTH stencils to spray paint the DTH message near stormwater drains at their school and in the surrounding community eco-friendly Paint Plus products.

The Drains-to-Harbour programme offers

  • Free posters, brochures and relevant information for your school to keep.
  • Free stormwater pollution presentation led by DTH educator.
  • Free coordination/organisation of field trips to local stream, wastewater treatment plant and drain stencilling sites.
  • Free curriculum and safety management planning with teachers involved.
  • Free coordination of volunteers to assist on field trips.

A maximum of 2 classes (or 60 students) per school can participate in coordinated field trips to local streams at one time. A maximum of 6 students per school can participate in the drain labelling exercise outside school grounds. 

The DTH campaign is a professional stormwater pollution awareness campaign coordinated in Northland by Isabel Krauss (PGDip in Environmental Science).

Monitoring Stormwater Pollution

With the help of Whangarei District Council, Whitebait Connection has installed a number of LittaTraps around the Whangarei District which schools and communities help to monitor. 

Litta trap map

Source: Litta Trap Map



LittaTraps are gross pollutant traps that can be retrofitted inside a drain and emptied and monitored on a regular basis.dav

They retain plastic and rubbish before they enter the drainage system and therefore before they can reach our streams, rivers, and oceans. They are emptied on a regular basis and their contents recorded.

Data from the Littatraps feed into the Te Tai Tokerau Debris Monitoring Project that was brought into life by Dr. Manue Martinez who is a senior lecturer at NorthTec


litta trap



We are committed to the care and safety of all who we associate with.

See what some of the schools have been up to by clicking on the links below:


 Thank you to our DTH Programme Supporters!



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