July 28, 2022
On the 27th July KMR team accompanied the Enviroschools Northland team on a tour if the Wai Restoration projects in and around Whangarei.
After a welcome and hearty breakfast courtesy of the Toimata Foundation, we joined local children kaitiaki wai, teachers, landowners and Enviroschols facilitators from around the country on an inspiring whirlwind tour.
We visited Renew School to see their Wai to Moana project, exploring the integration of waterway maintenance, monitoring and planting into the NZ Curriculum and NZCA system. At Whangārei Boys High School we reviewed the WaiFencing programme, which provides training opportunities in fencing skills, and project based learning leading to work placements and professional development pathways. At Pipiwai kindergarten we saw how the community has come together to plant an urban waterway on council reserve, and integrate Wai restoration into the Te Whāriki Early childhood curriculum.
We visited O’Shea Farm where students from Kokopu School completed a WaiPlanting project, witnessing with the kids what remediation work looks like 6 years after planting. At Tangiteroria School we had the opportunity to get inside the teacher, inside the ngāhere to see what the forest systems looks like, and imagine it being woven back into our productive landscapes. Lastly at Dargaville Intermediate we were give insights into how to run a nursery, to generate income and build community in the process.
In all in the day was inspirational and enlightening for all of us, and gives us an insight into what remediation really looks like in combine years and decades. We saw how communities revolve around schools, and how leadership and support by teachers and parents, can empower young people in project based learning that make a real difference to te mana o te wai.