Environmental Action takes kids to Kapiti.

Six lucky students will be off on an overnight adventure on Kapiti Island this weekend to celebrate their work caring for Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour and the streams feeding into it.

The students have been selected as part of the annual Kaitiaki ki a Kapiti (Kaitiaki to Kapiti) trip run by Healthy Harbours Porirua (A programme of Mountains to Sea Wellington), with funding from Greater Wellington Regional Council and support from Ngati Toa and the Department of Conservation.

Each year Healthy Harbours take a small group of students who have shown exceptional leadership and commitment to their environment on the two-day experience. While there, students will snorkel in Wellington’s oldest marine reserve, go night-time kiwi spotting, and learn about the rich history of the island and the endangered species that inhabit it.

Azizah Isaako, from St. Theresa’s School was thrilled at the opportunity. “Getting to go to Kapiti Island is one of my dreams because it’s an experience I haven’t had before.” As Azizah explains, the word Kaitiaki means guardians, and they have done this work because “we are the kaitiaki of the streams, oceans, rivers and our environment. We are trying to make a difference”

Students were selected at a presentation forum earlier this month where they were given the opportunity to meet like-minded peers and share the stories of their projects with each other.  Projects have ranged from stream clean-ups, riparian planting, freshwater monitoring and weed eradication. The winning students then presented their work with the public last Saturday at the Porirua Harbour Trust’s Tiakina Nga Taonga art exhibition.

Zoe Studd, who manages the Healthy Habours programme said “This years’ presentations from the students really blew us away. It is amazing to see the dedication and passion for their projects. The trip is designed to celebrate the students’ efforts, show them what is possible in their own backyard, and further empower them to take action for the Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour catchment.”

This year’s students are, Jamima Shubart, Maia LaPointe, from Titahi Bay North School.  Rikihana Love, Hamiora Te Kani from Mana College, and Brayden Algar, and Azizah Isaako from St Theresa School.

Follow some of the students projects at our Kaitiaki Projects page.

*PICTURES (Top to Bottom)

01. Up and coming Porirua guardians (from left) – Jamima Shubart and Maia LaPointe (Titahi Bay North), Azizah Isaako and Brayden Algar (St Theresa School) and Hamiora Te Kani and Rikihana Love (Mana College).

02. Jamima Shubart and Maia LaPointe with the mural their school has painted for their nursery and Kahotea Stream Restoration project.

03. Brayden Algar with his artwork showing messages on the harbour.

04. Rikihana Love and Hamiora Te Kani from Mana College where students are working on restoring the mauri of Mahinawa stream on their school grounds.

05. Azizah, Brayden, Rikihana, Hamiora, Jamima and Maia. This years young Kaitikai representatives.

Photos by Keely Skinner.

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