Six local primary schools joined a group of homeschool pupils to celebrate World Wetlands Day for the fourth year in a row at Lake Ngatu on 27 and 28 February 2014.
Hosted by Ngai Takoto, this two-day event involved more than 120 students exploring the 2014 theme: Wetlands and Agriculture – Wetlands and water management. Activities included fresh water biosecurity, creating a wetland, investigating kuta both above and below the water, weaving, waitata and story-telling.
Rangitane Marsden Ngai Takoto Chief Negotiator says, "We value the opportunity to showcase the natural resources in Ngai Takoto's rohe. These events are the best way to engage the community about the special nature of reserves within our environs. We are keen for this to continue as an ongoing annual event."
A highlight of the event was the snorkelling activity run by Experiencing Marine Reserves and Ngai Takoto. Kim Jones from Experiencing Marine Reserves comments, "All the activities reinforced the simple message that anything that goes in the lake stays there. It's really important not to urinate or defecate in the water and to ensure sunscreen is applied early to avoid it washing off in the lake."
Paparore School students learning about kuta by snorkeling in Lake Ngatu with Experiencing Marine Reserves educator Kim Jones
Denice Gillespie, Partnerships Ranger Department of Conservation says, "One of the major strengths of World Wetlands Day in the Far North is that it's a multi-partner occasion. Skilled and experienced educators from The Bushland Trust, Enviroschools, Mountains to Sea Trust, Ngai Takoto weavers, Northland Regional Council, Street Maytz, and Te Runanga O Ngai Takoto all worked in partnership with DOC to make the day the success it was."