Hero photograph
Photo by Lisa Dovey

Te Tuna Tāone

Lisa Dovey —

A Celebration of the huge amount of work our children have done to help protect the Long Finned Eels in out local environment.

At the beginning of 2021, all of the children in Ōtūmatua and Huritini were introduced to longfin tuna through our work with Te Tuna Tāone. As part of this the children participated in a session at Nottingham Stream, investigating the stream health.

The seniors experienced the stream monitoring and met the tuna first which was extremely beneficial, as a small group of senior children - the ‘Senior Tuna Group’ - wanted to become more involved in the project. This meant that when it came time for the juniors to visit the stream, the Senior Tuna Group were able to be ngā kaiako, teaching the juniors how to measure the health of their section of the stream, with parents and a kaiako accompanying each group of juniors for supervision around the water.

Senior Stream Day Video

Junior Stream Day Video

Following on from the two stream days, the senior and junior students brainstormed what they liked and did not like about the stream and what they and others could do to improve Nottingham Stream for the tuna. They refined their actions and have aimed for three main aspects for improvement:

  1. Raise the local community’s knowledge about the longfin tuna, their endangered status and what everyone can do to help the tuna (Juniors).

  • created an educational postcard to be dropped into local residents mailboxes in Halswell (Postcard).

  • a video to share with their whanau, school and wider community about the importance of tuna and what you can do to help (see link above).

Inform the local community about how stormwater affects the longfin tuna. The Senior students have:

  1. learnt how to use the council Stormwater Superhero Trailer so that they can operate it, outside Te Hapua (Halswell Library/Community Centre) and the Halswell New World (letter asking), to educate the community about longfin tuna and stormwater (handout to give out);

  2. created a variety of posters for local shops to show in their windows;

  3. written to local shop owners to ask for permission to display the posters; and

  4. plan (Covid permitting) to present in person their project and findings to Halswell Community Board and Christchurch West Melton Zone Committee.

Improve the two stream sites (Nottingham Stream Reserve and Muir Park) to provide a better habitat for the tuna.

  • The Senior students have:

  1. met with staff of the Christchurch City Council (CCC) and the Halswell Community Board to discuss planting and use of boulders to improve the riparian zone and water flow/variation at both sites visited;

  2. gained agreement from CCC to plant and put in boulders/rocks to improve habitat at the Nottingham Stream Reserve site;

  3. used CCC guidelines to create a planting plan for the Nottingham Stream Reserve site using appropriate plants that will help improve the stream environment for the recovery of the longfin tuna;

  4. presented at a whole school assembly and held a non-uniform day and raised $790.80 to pay for the plants and plant protectors; and planted 50 plus plants at the Nottingham Stream Reserve site on Monday 27 September 2021.

With the amazing amount of work these children have completed, we did enter them in the Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board Awards.  Unfortunately, they were not finalists, but we do want to celebrate their dedication and work ethic throughout the year.

Congratulations Theo, Duncan, Xinyue, Isabella, Flynn, George, Felix, Trelise, Terence and Maddy. 

Ka pai tō mahi!