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'Rubbish Taniwha' wins science fair award

When Lauren Geer noticed rubbish flowing through her local river, she knew she needed to find a solution.

The Te Pahu School student has invented a rubbish collector, The Rubbish Taniwha, which has won three awards at the NIWA Waikato Science and Technology Fair.

Northland volunteer teaches manager new language

Northland has the highest rate of volunteering in New Zealand. Around 37 per cent of the adult population volunteer for about four hours per week on average, according to Volunteering Northland. Today we introduce you to one of our selfless volunteers.


Jordan MacDonald probably didn't expect running a native plant nursery would lead to learning a new language.

Egg-citing outcomes for Takahiwai Marae Stream!

2020 heralds hope and anticipation for a Takahiwai stream thanks to hundreds of volunteers and locals who have helped Whitebait Connection (WBC) breathe new life into the waterway.  

It is widely known that native fish populations in New Zealand are in decline, which is partially due to the damage we have done to the spawning habitat of īnanga.  This species makes up over 90% of the whitebait catch, is an important food source for many creatures (incuding us), and can act as an important indicator of waterway health.  Unfortunately, the habitat needed for their eggs to survive is often damaged or absent.  Such is the case for the Takahiwai Stream…or is it?

Fish pass opens up Duck Creek in Auckland

For the landowners along Duck Creek, restoring the stream to its former glory has been a labour of love. First, the mature pine trees along the banks were removed, then native seedlings planted and other weed species managed. The icing on the cake was to remediate a perched, box culvert on the stream that was preventing migratory native fish from accessing wetland habitat upstream.

The landowners made two previous attempts to create fish passage up the culvert but high flows during flood events destroyed their hard work.  Thanks to funding from Auckland Council Healthy Waters, and through the Whitebait Habitat Restoration Project managed by the Whitebait Connection, this barrier has now been fixed.

Students up the creek for project

Featherston pupils led their community in showcasing an environmental project in the town. St Teresa’s School pupils and staff were at the town’s Donald’s Creek on Saturday to celebrate their work.

The project is aimed at improving habitat, returning native fish species, and encouraging community connection to a neglected and forgotten waterway.  The school partnered the Department of Conservation, the Mountains to Sea Wellington group, and other organisations to provide presentations, food, and entertainment.

Campaign aims to grow guardians for Tasman waterways

An environmental group, buoyed by support for its Abel Tasman coastline clean-up, is launching a scheme to get the region's schoolchildren more connected to conservation.

Tasman Bay Guardians is challenging businesses in the Nelson/Tasman to support its adopt-a-school campaign that aims to bring marine and freshwater education to primary and secondary students across the region. The programme can also be adapted for early childhood centres.

Mountains to Sea Annual Report 2019

Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust (MTSCT) has continued to empower communities and take action towards both marine and freshwater conservation.  The trust is committed to citizen science as a way of empowering local people to contribute to national science databases in a meaningful way.

The annual MTSCT report for 2019 has been released, outlining the numerous achievements by Whitebait Connection (WBC), Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) and other sister programmes.

Hikurangi students take petition to Parliament in plea to save native mudfish

Hikurangi's black mudfish might be small and slimy, but the endangered native species has gained a group of passionate supporters composed of an all-girls digital classroom at Hikurangi School.

Teacher Helen Moore said the class of Year 7 and 8s discovered the plight of the black mudfish or waikaka "in [their] own backyard" while learning about native freshwater fish earlier this year.

Matakohe-Limestone Island Trip 2019

We had a wonderful day at our annual Matakohe-Limestone Island trip with 40 participants! The initial departure time was delayed due to the fog, but once it cleared it was an absolutely stunning day! The day started off with a beach-clean-up, followed by a walk around the island and making some amazing rubbish art in the afternoon

Volunteers pull 195 kilograms of rubbish from Abel Tasman

The Abel Tasman National Park has more sparkle for summer thanks to volunteers who removed 195 kilograms of rubbish from the coastline.

The Sunday clean-up organised by environmental group Tasman Bay Guardians for Conservation Week, also saw longstanding graffiti etched into the brittle granite rock at Mosquito (Namu Namu) Bay removed.

Waihara Wetland - Morningside School Planting Day

The beauty of one of Whangārei’s inner-city waterways has been revealed through the efforts of Council staff, local contractors, Morningside School and the Whitebait connection. 

The Waihara Wetland at the end of Rawhiti Street has been a smelly, boggy, tidal ponding area that had little going for it.  Through everyone’s combined efforts it has now been turned into a beautiful stormwater treatment wetland.  

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