Wellington – 9 November 2005 – The largest marina in New Zealand is…

Wellington – 9 November 2005 – The largest marina in New Zealand is flying high after being accepted into an internationally recognised programme called ‘Blue Flag’ which promotes clean and healthy coastlines.

Dick Hubbard will be raising a blue flag at a launch at Westhaven Marina on 19 November to signal its commitment to environmental management and education.

The Blue Flag programme, which is in 35 countries, encourages marina and boat owners to take an active role in keeping the marine environment clean.

“Blue Flag has provided us with an environmental focus and we are taking the first step in ensuring that we are doing our part to keep New Zealand’s marine environment healthy for future generations,” says Westhaven’s Manager, Keith Hogan

Westhaven have been providing boat owners with free oil absorbent pads, distributing fact sheets on various boating issues, and will be encouraging boat owners to sign an environmental code of conduct.

“Boating activities in New Zealand are one of the highest per capita in the world and to have our country’s largest marina be the first to sign up sets a precedent,” says Blue Flag’s National Coordinator, Erin Alley.

Blue Flag develops a marinas’ environmental performance strategy using a holistic framework which is endorsed by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).

The framework aims to motivate boat owners and beach goers to carry out recreation and other activities in a responsible and sustainable manner.

All are welcome to the launch which will be at Westhaven Marina on 19 November at 9:15am.

For more information go to www.blueflag.org.nz and www.blueflag.org

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