Litter Intelligence

Developed in 2018 by charity Sustainable Coastlines, in collaboration with Stats NZ, the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for the Environment, Litter Intelligence is a long-term programme to inspire and inform better decisions for a world without litter through action and education.

Litter Intelligence participants are trained, and survey data verified, to collectively provide open, scientifically rigorous litter data from numerous survey sites around Aotearoa and the South Pacific.

Northland Regional Council (NRC) has two Litter Intelligence sites within the Whangārei Harbour – Hātea River (since 2019) and Onerahi at Pah Rd (since 2021) where surveys take place quarterly. Council also undertakes summer surveys at several popular beaches.

Litter Intelligence is a key contributor to NRC's coastal litter monitoring in Northland programme, and recently added stormwater and freshwater sites to their data platform.

NRC Litter Intelligence sites and locations

Northland Litter Intelligence insights

This displays stormwater, freshwater, and beach litter survey data and insights collected within Te Taitokerau (Northland).

Data - Explore citizen scientist litter surveys for detailed data on litter quantity and type. For Data Results, select Survey Type, Country (New Zealand), and Region (Northland) using the filters for automatic updates. 

Insights - Explore by location, material, quantity, and download data for personal analysis or projects. For Insight Results, change the location to New Zealand > Northland and apply the filter, then access Beach, Freshwater, and Stormwater tabs above the filters.

(Hover and select a tile image below to explore.)

Take action

While important, quality data and powerful insights are still not enough to solve our litter challenge. We need action. Explore Litter Intelligence’s collection of action stories for inspiration and tools to help you act for a litter-free Aotearoa. There are all kinds of solutions, with something for everyone. Done something different? Submit your own action story below.


The Litter Intelligence Education Programme develops individuals skills and capabilities in creative leadership, problem-solving, presentation delivery, storytelling, influencing techniques, community engagement, citizen science and much more.