Students spend night on island
Six lucky students had an overnight adventure on Kapiti Island last weekend to celebrate their work caring for Porirua Harbour and the streams feeding into it.
The students have been selected as part of the annual Kaitiaki ki a Kapiti (Kaitiaki to Kapiti) trip run by Healthy Harbours Porirua, with funding from Greater Wellington Regional Council and support from Ngati Toa and the Department of Conservation.
Each year Healthy Harbours take a small group of students who have shown exceptional leadership and commitment to their environment on the two-day experience.
While there, the students snorkelled in Wellington’s oldest marine reserve, went night-time kiwi spotting, and learnt about the rich history of the island and the endangered species that inhabit it.
Azizah Isaako, from St Theresa’s School in Plimmerton, was thrilled at the opportunity.
‘‘Getting to go to Kapiti Island is one of my dreams because it’s an experience I haven’t had before,’’ he said.
Azizah said the word kaitiaki means guardians, and he and the other students have done this work because ‘‘we are the kaitiaki of the streams, oceans, rivers and our environment. We are trying to make a difference’’.
Students were selected at a presentation forum earlier this month where they were given the opportunity to meet like-minded peers and share the stories of their projects with each other.
Projects have ranged from stream clean-ups, riparian planting, freshwater monitoring and weed eradication.
The winning students then presented their wor to the public on November 19 at the Porirua Harbour Trust’s Tiakina Nga Taonga art exhibition.
Zoe Studd, who manages the Healthy Harbours programme said: ’’This year’s presentations from the students really blew us away. It is amazing to see the dedication and passion for their projects.’’
Studd said the trip is designed to celebrate the students’ efforts, show them what is possible in their own backyard, and further empower them to take action for the Porirua Harbour catchment.
This year’s students are Jamima Shubart and Maia LaPointe from Titahi Bay North School, Rikihana Love and Hamiora Te Kani from Mana College, and Brayden Algar, and Azizah Isaako from St Theresa’s School.
For more information on Healthy Harbours Porirua head to MountainsToSeaWellington.org, where you can also follow the students’ projects.