National Launch of World Wetlands Day-RAMSAR 40th anniversary celebration.
February 2nd 2011
40 wetland creatures created by children across the country will frame the shore of one of New Zealand’s last remaining healthy dune lakes.
A gathering of people as the sun rises over the first wetland site on the planet to see the dawn of World Wetlands Day.
As the sun rises, local kaumatua welcome the day with a ceremony of song, karakia and haka.
As a specially written song is performed, people gather by the shore of the lake and release woven emblems to the sounds of the putatara, thus marking the official launch of World Wetlands Day and the 40th anniversary of Ramsar..
At the conclusion of the ceremony, 40 flax are planted to commemorate the anniversary.
Oscar holiday programmes will create the 40 wetland creatures.
A special webpage has been created on the Department of Conservation (DOC) website for children to upload poems, clips, photos about wetlands. The creators of the wetland creatures will have video clips of them talking about their creature and their inspiration uploaded onto the webpage. Click here to go to DoC's webpage.
Local iwi are organising the dawn ceremony and waka.
All media outlets are invited to attend.
The event is being coordinated by the Department of Conservation in Kaitaia in partnership with Far North Environment Centre, Ngai Takoto, Bushlands Trust, Northland Regional Council and the Whitebait Connection.