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Award Winners - “Environmental Action in Water Quality Improvement”

Bales of hay staked in place with yellow topped waratahs dot the streambanks in Whangarei’s Mair Park, looking strangely out of place as the river meanders past. 

The bales are serving a remarkable and unusual purpose; they are artificial spawning habitats and egg nurseries for one of the nation’s most loved and at-risk native fish, Inanga (whitebait species).

Inanga spawning site discovered in Kaipara

The Whitebait Connection (WBC) was contracted by the Landcare Trust in 2015 and 2016 to undertake an Inanga spawning habitat investigation in the Wairau, Paparoa and Pahi River systems. The work forms part of a larger body of work that is focussed on catchment and biodiversity restoration within the Northern Kaipara Harbour through the Reconnecting Northland project which is a partnership between the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and Landcare Trust (LT). This project has proven to be successful with Inanga spawning sites identified in all three focus rivers, with the first being the Wairau River.

Young helpers pitch in for whitebait in the Far North

Deputy National Coordinator, Nina Pivac has been busy in the Far North delivering the Whitebait Connection programme to local kura including Paparore School, Kaingaroa School and a collective of Ngataki, Te Kao and Te Hapua Schools. 

This has lead to some serious action being planned by these schools in a bid to restore their waterways.

Rare find

Thanks to Khandallah School students, a native whitebait species has been rediscovered happily living - and breeding - in their local park. 

The 'Green Team' Envirogroup went out spotlighting and fish-trapping with freshwater educators and found the fish, known as a banded kokopu, living right next to the popular local playground in Khandallah Park.

Conservation community works to sustain Whitebait Connection

It might not have made for light work, but many hands contributed to planting along the Rotokakahi Awa at Pawarenga last week, in a bid to sustain the river's tinanga and whitebait populations for the future.

Around 50 people, including students and staff from Te Kura o Hata Maria, members of the Pawarenga community, the Northland Regional Council, members of the Broadwood gym, Whitebait Connection co-ordinators and two French tourists planted just under 500 native plants to restore the spawning site.

Snells Beach stream affected by Boathouse Bay development

A sparkling stream teeming with life was left oxygen choked and polluted after contractors felling trees blocked it, residents say.

The north Auckland waterway, which has been noted as an important inanga (whitebait) spawning site, sits next to the stump of the former 150-year-old Norfolk pine at Snells Beach which residents tried to save the Boathouse Bay development from felling.

Snells Beach School

Snells Beach School is embracing the environment with this years theme, Care For Here.  One of the first activities, was a clean-up at the Snells Beach waterfront, including the grass area.  

The Year 3 and 4 students will explore the Snells Beach Stream as part of the Whitebait Connection Programme.

Save our whitebait, children tell Council

Look after our rivers and save our whitebait was the message given to Christchurch City Council by a group of passionate young conservationists.

Three students from Opawa School and four from Waitakiri Primary School gave presentations at a council meeting on Thursday, helped by their teachers.

Inanga restoration project inspires future scientists

MURIWAI School students have been taking their out-of-class learning to the next level by investigating the health of an inanga-spawning site near their school.

In a segment of Pakowhai Stream, the students, from year 1 to year 8, monitor changes in habitat, water quality and study the aquatic life.

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