Neither rain nor COVID nor wind from Antartica can keep Paremata School from completing their EMR programme

Four classes from Paremata School received partial funding from the friends of Taputeranga Marine Reserve this term to take part in the Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) programme.   

The school experienced several challenges and set-backs throughout the programme delivery. The real struggle of booking in pool sessions for four classes worth of students during the red traffic light setting of the COVID-19 framework was an endless back and forth with several pool providers. Then the spike in cases due to the Omicron outbreak threatened the entire snorkel and one class dropped into isolation for the week of the field trips. With weather conditions becoming more dicey as the season progressed, the trip to the South Coast marine reserve had to be canned, instead moving to the rāhui at Pukerua Bay. 

Students and parents had a fantastic time experiencing the beautiful biodiversity of the protected bay, and with so many first time snorkelers, it was an incredibly rewarding way to connect them to their local environment. The great ocean conditions meant participants caught a glimpse of blue moki, eagle rays, large kina and many more breathtaking creatures. 

Despite the set-backs that faced the school, the teachers involved took everything in stride, never phased, displaying incredible determination to do the best by their students. It’s only one of many reasons why we love working with this awesome group!

“I saw a lot of sea creatures that I’ve never seen up close before!”

“I was very excited when I heard that the trip had been moved to Pukerua beach because I live in Pukerua bay. It was so amazing seeing all of the Giant wildlife under the water. Now my family finally will use the snorkeling gear that has been sitting in a cupboard for a long time. Even though we visit the beach quite often we have never actually been snorkeling there!”

“We want to do more action. We are thinking of collecting some data to see how effective the rahui at Pukerua Bay is. We are also doing some art to raise awareness of marine issues.”

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