Kaniere School students travel to Christchurch

Ten young environmentalists visited a school community that shares their desire to foster a generation of people who think and act sustainably.

The trip to Christchurch gave the students an opportunity to meet with their sister Enviro School (Heathcote Valley School) to investigate a whitebait research project they are pioneering alongside the Marine Ecology Group from Canterbury University, with the hope of replicating it back home on the West Coast.

Their journey began at Canterbury University, where marine ecologist Dr. Mike Hickford offered a private tour of the aquarium and a presentation on whitebait habitat. The group carried out a stream assessment at Steamwharf Stream to learn about the quality of the whitebait habitat, and to use this information to assess the habitat on the Hokitika River.

Together with students from their sister school, the young environmentalists shared learnings from existing research projects and brainstormed other environmental initiatives that could be implemented on school grounds or benefit the immediate community. Together with other local students, volunteers, and the Department of Conservation, the group took part in insect counts, predator control and planting activities at Port Saddle Reserve, learning new skills for assessing and improving the natural habitat in their school grounds.