Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Waikawa - Jack & D'Magio

Portland Island – Trip Of A Lifetime

Te Mahia School is involved with the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group and is also a Bronze Enviro–school.  During the year, the school has had workshops both at school and in the local community. These workshops have focused on sharing the knowledge and skills of local kaumatua and kuia in the Mahia community. Their children act as kaitiaki by acting locally and thinking globally.

As part of a year long challenge, two students were selected to travel with the Department of Conservation to spend a week on Waikawa, (Portland Island).  Jack Delaney (Year 7) and D’Magio Karangaroa (Year 5) from Te Mahia School, Helen Jonas, Eru Karangaroa & Joan Ropiha left Mahia Beach last Tuesday by boat and travelled to the island. 

On the island, conservation work such as trapping for, rats and stoats was undertaken.  Tracking tunnels had peanut butter inside to entice pests to walk over the ink. This was used to determine which animals were on the island.  Small Darwin ants are on the island, a survey was done to find how wide spread they were. A green paste was used to lure them to eat it in little containers. If there were ants in the containers, lids were placed on them. The Darwin ant is bad news for the native wildlife.  The NZ shore plover (a critically endangered bird) is on the island and a goal of DOC is to increase the population of these birds. Also the NZ Dotterel (another endangered bird) is on the island as well.  The group observed these birds and were trying to see if there were chicks and nests. One NZ Shore Plover chick was caught, weighed and metal banded. 

Staying at the woolshed during the week was a comfortable base for the group. Meals and dishes were prepared and all mucked in to have a very enjoyable week.  This really was the opportunity of a life time for the 2 students as so many Mahia locals have never been to the island.  They are very grateful for the opportunity and learnt so much. Many thanks to the Tawapata South Incorporated committee for allowing the two students to travel to the island. Also to Helen Jonas who went above and beyond with making this opportunity happen for the two boys.

(Written by Jack and D'Magio)

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