Winding through the hills and neighborhoods of Whitby, Porirua, is the Wai-o-Hata stream. A section of this stream runs past Discovery School where the students know it colloquially as Duck Creek. Year 6, 7, and 8 students from Discovery School developed a restoration plan that they presented to the Greater Wellington Regional Council, the Whitby Residents' Association, Adventure School, and Whitby Collegiate in the hopes of gaining support to protect their awa.
One student expresses their motivation for taking action as a way to pave the way for other Discovery School students. “I feel like we need to help the stream so we can set an example for the little kids then they might get interested and carry on what we have started”.
Students started off their plan by taking a baseline survey of the water quality and habitat of their nearby section of the Wai-o-Hata during the field trip run by Mountains to Sea Wellington.
The next phase of the plan is to restore a section of the catchment with the help from partners. This long-term plan will involve continuous monitoring of the stream to determine how the restoration work is impacting their section of the Wai-o-Hata stream.
Teacher Natalie Packer is excited for the journey ahead: “Discovery School loves your programme and I am so glad and proud to be working alongside such a great organisation making changes to our planet through our kura. Let’s do more!!”
The year 9 and 10 students from Porirua College were eager to get back into learning about their nearby freshwater habitats. A 10-minute walk from their kura is Cannons Creek Lakes Reserve. These lakes are formed by the flow of the Kenepuru Stream getting slowed and trapped by manmade walls.
Students predicted that the water quality and health of the stream would be poor. After closer investigation, they determined that there was clear water flowing and heaps of macroinvertebrates. Shouts of “Woah! I can almost see to the end!” while using the clarity tube were heard from the groups. Certain they would only find worms and snails, the trays were actually full of mayflies, dobsonflies, and caddisflies!
After many years of action, Ria Millan and the Ngāke class of Natone Park School, are back in Te Awa Iti, monitoring the waterway, and making some exciting discoveries!
Students discovered some good indications that the water quality has improved over the last two years, and there is less rubbish higher up in the catchment than the last time they were here monitoring.
We are extremely proud of the mahi from this kura. With calls to actions like: “We are going to take care of our future by cleaning the water”, it brings us hope for the future knowing there are young leaders taking care of te taiao in Porirua East.
“We got to see some of the freshwater creatures, seeing how clear the water is and to see if it’s still okay for the creatures that live there.”