Aotearoa was once covered in native forest that provided a habitat for our special flora and fauna. Now, due to habitat loss and pest invasion, this habitat is under threat and needs our help. Aongatete is a precious lowland forest in a unique mountain and coastal landscape. Hosting a unique mix of plants, birds, reptiles and invertebrates whose northern or southern limits meet here, it’s significant as almost all Kaimai forest of this type has been converted to farmland. Aongatete Forest Project have been protecting 500 hectares of native forest since 2006, using traps and bait stations to protect the rare plants and animals that live there. They are a completely volunteer operation.
Our in-class lessons with Bay Conservation on Friday 28 April included a 20 minute presentation to introduce conservation and the importance of looking after our forest (Ngāhere). We then moved around a rotation of three 15 minute activities. We covered the conservation status scale, our native kauri tree and ngā tamariki o Tāne (the children of Tane Mahuta). We will be following up our learning with a visit to Aongatete - a taonga, a treasure, right on our back door step. We have no doubt that our tamariki will be guardians, kaitiaki, for our environment into the future.
By working alongside Bay Conservation Alliance, our learners will discover how incredibly unique New Zealand is, gain an insight into many of the conservation challenges in New Zealand, and learn a set of practical conservation skills. We support the well-being of nature everywhere – our forests, streams, wetlands, harbours, estuaries and coastal areas as well as our own backyards.