Activities from the Marine Kaitiaki Course
Image: Thibaud Guerin | ©

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


A unique hands-on training program supporting eight local young adults on their path towards a marine conservation career was launched earlier this week.

Date:  08 March 2022

The program was launched Monday 7 March, it focuses on the principles of kaitiakitanga o te moana across multiple industries.

Funded by DOC’s Jobs for Nature programme, the five months full-time Marine Kaitiaki Course will see students take part in marine education, eco-tourism, research and environmental government projects. This is in addition to attending lectures and visiting fisheries and aquaculture facilities to deepen their understanding and connection to te moana.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for all involved and truly displays collaboration to achieve greater conservation outcomes” says Stephanie Hayes, DOC Jobs for Nature Delivery Manager

The training will give the students tools to boost their careers, gain several certifications, including scuba diving, Boatmaster, marine mammal medic and more. In depth career coaching and the creation of personal kaitiaki project constitutes the final step towards reaching their marine career goals.

“The Marine Kaitiaki Course is more than a course, it aims to empower the next generation of marine conservationists, with a vision for a sustainable future for our moana and local communities,” says Thibaud Guerin, Program Director for the course.

The creation of the Bay of Islands Marine Mammal Sanctuary brought together local marine educators, researchers, eco-tourism operators and coastal hapū. Throughout this platform, the need for more marine education was identified, and the opportunity to transform vision into reality was provided by Jobs for Nature, with funding of $627,000 received.

The collaborative project is a synergy between TriOceans Research Institute, Carino Wildlife Cruises, and Nga Hapu o Te Pewhairangi, and aims to run once a year, every year, for as long as possible.

Background information

The Government’s Jobs for Nature programme is a $1.219 billion COVID-19 recovery investment which aims to benefit New Zealand’s environment, people and regional communities.

As a part of this programme the DOC will allocate $488 million to projects that will create nature-based job opportunities for approximately 4,800 people over a four-year period.

It is supercharging the conservation efforts of DOC, iwi and hapū, councils, and the wider community to implement kaitiakitanga. This funding will help restore the mauri and mana of Te Taiao (our nature) by controlling pests and weeds, restoring wetlands, and returning native bush, rivers, and streams to health.


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