Children by sea illustration

Image: DOC


We Kiwis love our backyard. Whether our own gardens, parks or our big kiwi backyard! Because we love it, we want to take care of it.


Show your kiwi backyard some love by helping to clean a water source be it a stream, river or beach. 

  • Find a water source near you – be it a stream, a river or a beach, get your parents involved and get messy to clean it up!
  • Either before or after you do your clean up, find someone in your community who can tell you why this water source is important to them. This could be local Māori, a community group or anyone else that has a connection to that stream, river or beach. 

Let other people know what you have learnt about the water source and why it is important to keep it clean!

Lachlan cleaning up a beach.
Lachlan cleaning up a beach
Image: Becs Gibson | DOC

What you’ll need

Find a stream, river or beach that is easy to get to.

Now you have found your water source to clean, make sure you ask your parents as they’ll need to go with you.

You’ll also need:

  • gloves or something to pick things up with
  • warm clothes
  • good footwear that won’t slip on rocks or banks
  • a bag to take the rubbish away with.

Check the weather conditions on the day and make sure you are prepared.

For more information, see:

Approach the community!

Find out what makes the stream, river or beach you cleaned up special to someone in your community.  Here’s some help to do that.

Option 1: Find out who your local iwi is. You can do this by heading to Te Kāhui Māngai – this has an interactive map of New Zealand. Click your region and find the iwi which covers where you live. Once you know who your iwi is find their details in the 'Representative organisations' tab. See if you can find the iwi’s website or talk to someone from the iwi.

Option 2: Visit your local library or city council and ask them what they think or who you could talk to.

Option 3: Talk to someone you know in town – this could be someone from a local conservation group, your church or a club you or your parents belong to.

Claim your Kiwi Guardians medal

Water champion medal.
Toa Tiaki Wai/Water Champion medal

Come back online and tell us where you did your clean-up, what you found, who you talked to about your water source and why it is important to them.  

Then sit back and wait for the postie to deliver your Toa Tiaki Wai/Water Champion medal.

Click on the yellow button at the top of the page to get your Kiwi Guardians medal.

Each Kiwi Guardians action has a different medal - see how many you can collect to prove that you are making a positive difference to the environment and learning on the way.

Don’t forget to take photos while you are in action. Share the photos using #KiwiGuardians and #Lovemybackyard so we can see what you’ve done.

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