VIDEO STARS

Pupils rap to save white­bait

Manawatu Standard - - Front Page - RICHARD MAYS

En­dan­gered white­bait species are find­ing sup­port from an un­likely source – a pri­mary school rap mu­sic video.

The video is a spin-off from a study project and school pro­duc­tion year 5 and year 6 pupils at Palmer­ston North’s Rus­sell Street School were in­volved in last term.

‘‘We want to send a mes­sage about white­bait – that by 2050 there could be no white­bait left,’’ pupil Joe Steve­son, 10, said.

That means no more braided kokopu, gi­ant kokopu, short­jaw, koaro or inanga, the ba­sic in­gre­di­ents of white­bait frit­ters.

The chil­dren’s study had be­come a hands-on mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary project.

As well as song-writ­ing and video pro­duc­tion, it in­volved an­i­ma­tion, art, de­sign and cook­ing.

For their live cos­tumed school pro­duc­tion Te Ahu a Tu¯ ranga in the Re­gent on Broad­way, the pupils used mu­sic pro­gramme Garageband to write and record a se­ries of raps, one for each of the five species of white­bait, and an­other for their predators.

Te Ahu a Tu¯ ranga is the rock sa­cred to Ma¯ ori in the mid­dle of Te A¯ piti, the Manawatu¯ Gorge.

Predators in­cluded hu­mans both as white­baiters, and for their role in de­grad­ing river en­vi­ron­ments now con­tribut­ing to the demise of the na­tive fish. ‘‘Our teacher Nic [Ma­son] helped us put it all to­gether,’’ Joe said.

Re­leased on Soundcloud and on Face­book as the Gal­ixi­idae Rap af­ter the white­bait genus by the class call­ing them­selves 7ator’s Got Tal­ent, the next step in get­ting the mes­sage out was to make a mu­sic video for the four-minute track.

Di­rected by year 6 pupil Alex Chris­tensen, 11, the pro­duc­tion team had pre­pared a 56-panel sto­ry­board.

For one of the scenes, they con­verted a school sand­pit into a model of the Manawatu¯ River to film a flash flood, and for an­other to show ‘‘how cow poos and wees get into the river,’’ Fer­gus Bang, 11, said.

Along with Joe, Fer­gus was re­spon­si­ble for me­dia and pub­lic­ity.

‘‘The qual­ity of the Manawatu¯ River af­fects ev­ery­thing,’’ Fer­gus said.

Filmed at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions around the school and us­ing class­mates as ex­tras, the pupils want their video to cham­pion the cause of white­bait as far and as wide as pos­si­ble.

‘‘There are some amaz­ing facts about adult white­bait,’’ Fer­gus said.

‘‘They can climb ropes and walls, any­thing that is wet.’’

The pro­duc­tion team was hop­ing to have the video com­pleted in time for class bar­be­cue day in about five weeks’ time.

PHOTO: DAVID UNWIN/STUFF

From left, Cam­den Woodroofe, 11, Lachie Dale, 10, Alex Chris­tensen, 11, Te­laina Fa’aea, 11, Fer­gus Bang, 11 and Joe Steve­son, 10, on set.

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