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Conservation Week

This page might include information, links, and events that are specific to 2019. It will be updated as soon as 2020 information becomes available.

Tou rourou, toku rourou, ka ora te Iwi

With your contribution, and my contribution, we will thrive

image of students digging.

Conservation Week/Te Wiki Tiaki Ao Tūroa

Conservation Week 2020 takes place from 5 – 13 September.  

Conservation Week is run by the Department of Conservation (DOC) to encourage people to get involved in nature and help to take care of it. Each year DOC works with community groups across New Zealand to spread the conservation message. 

For schools, Conservation Week provides an opportunity to explore the living world strand of the science curriculum, the concepts of place and environment in the social sciences curriculum, the future focus issue of sustainability, and values such as community and participation, and care for the environment.

Teaching resources and inspiration

Conservation Week 2019
The official Department of Conservation website for Conservation Week 2018 offers information, resources, and conservation week events to support your involvement.

Education for sustainability
This resource helps teachers to engage students in learning about sustainability and to encourage them to act sustainably and contribute to New Zealand’s well-being. It makes connections between the learning areas, vision, principles, values, and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

Enviroschools foundation
The Enviroschools foundation supports an action-based approach to education through which children and young people plan, design, and implement sustainable projects, and become catalysts for change in their families, whānau, and the wider community.

LEARNZ is a free online programme for students at curriculum levels 2–8, targeting science, geography, social studies, arts and technology. See the site for current virtual field trips and a list of field trips for the coming year. Each field trip website has background resources, student activities, teacher support, and curriculum ideas to prepare students for a 3–4 day interactive experience.

Meet the Locals
This TVNZ series follows different local conservation issues and projects and is available to watch on YouTube.

Understanding kaitiakitanga – Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
This section of Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand has links and information about kaitiakitanga, a way of managing the environment, based on the traditional Māori world view. It explores the concepts of guardianship, protection, preservation, and sheltering. The page can be viewed in English or te reo Māori.

Caring for the environment Te tiaki i te taiao
Te ao kori (the world of movement) is a Māori celebration of life through movement and its many expressions, and is part of the health and physical education learning area. In this series of lesson plans, the natural environment is explored through a Māori perspective, using the framework of te ao kori.

In this primary level unit with an education for enterprise theme, students can explore how human actions can have both a positive and negative impact on the natural environment. They take a "walk and talk" tour in their local community.

School Journal resources

Search the Instructional Series for journal stories with a conservation theme. Texts that would work well to support this learning are:

Bringing back the Birdsong by Shanthie Walker, Connected, Level 2, 2017
For years, introduced predators have been killing birds along the Kepler Track in Fiordland. Students in the Kids Restore the Kepler project are working with the Department of Conservation and the Fiordland Conservation Trust to reduce the number of predators living in the area. Their mission: to bring birdsong back to the Kepler.

Water Worries by Rachael McMillanL3, April 2012
Water Worries combines explanations and persuasive arguments in a report that describes the serious water issues we face in New Zealand. 

Designed for Good by Philip Cleaver, L3, May 2017
The New Zealand environment has been badly affected by introduced pests such as rats, stoats, and possums. Designed for Good follows the process of developing an effective and humane trap to reduce these pest populations. 

Kaitiaki of the Stream by Pātaka Moore and Monique LaganL2, October 2013
This non-fiction article is based on the work of Pātaka Moore of Te Wānanga-o-Raukawa in Ōtaki. In a talk to local students, he explains the history and significance of the Mangapōuri Stream. He also discusses how the stream, which is now unhealthy, might be restored. 

Our Gifted Garden by Bernadette Wilson, Junior Journal 49, Level 2, 2014
This article recounts how students from Raumati South School, an Enviroschool, entered an environmentally sustainable garden in the Ellerslie International Flower Show in Christchurch and won two prizes!

Connected resource

Hukanui Enviroschool by Rupert Alchin, Connected 3, 2002, pages 16-21; Level: 2, 3, 4

Your students could get involved in some social action projects like the one described in this Connected article. A project could be developed in your area, in conjunction with local iwi, that encourages the community to explore and care for the conservation issues that are closest to home. This resource illustrates how a Connected article could provide a model for students to engage with science in the context of a real life issue.

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Oakura School – Homes for penguins
Oakura Community and the Department of Conservation (DOC) needed some assistance with a penguin project. So they went to the obvious place for help and approached the children at Oakura School.

Updated on: 23 Aug 2019