EMR was first piloted in Taranaki with St Pius School in 2011. The local host for EMR in this region is Nga Motu Marine Reserve Society; who work in collaboration with the Department of Conservation. EMR Taranaki had over 100 at their community guided snorkel day last summer
Taranaki has a unique coastal environment, that is far more open and exposed than many other parts of New Zealand. There is some recreational and commercial fishing here when weather allows it. There are two local marine reserves, only one of which is accessible in practical terms to students, and then only occasionally. There are opportunities for exploring and studying the intertidal rather than subtidal areas of our local environment
Another crucial aim of the programme is to introduce young people to marine conservation through EMR programme, this introduction is evident http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/midweek/7045454/Hooked-on-marine-reserves
In the final stage of the EMR programme it is time for the students to take action. As a way of encouraging the action projects, EMR offers 4 places for Taranaki students and their parents on the annual trip to the Poor Knights, the media associated with this experience made front page of the Taranaki Daily news http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/8723340/Marine-visit-an-awesome-experience
"EMR is unique. It draws publicity and creates the opportunities to highlight the marine environment through the media. Community groups enjoy helping out because their kids are involved and with parents included as a crucial part of EMR from the outset, many become marine advocates too." Mike Tapp, DOC Taranaki.
History of establishment
The local umbrella organisation for EMR in Taranaki is Nga Motu Marine Reserve Society, which works in collaboration with the Department of Conservation, while the teachers deliver the programme, they are effectively the coordinators, These teachers are also snorkel instructors, trained and endorsed by the EMR programme, this model contributes to EMR’s success in the region. With the Society as the umbrella organisation, local funding can be sourced to support the programme development and delivery locally and costs associated with long distance to travel to other marine reserve areas. Local funding has been provided by Origin Energy, other funding for the programme this year came from DOC head office and the Tindall Foundation through EMR’s national expansion. This year Taranaki classes travelled to Goat Island, in previous years they have been Wellington also, supported by Wellington EMR coordinator Julian Hodge from the Island Bay Marine Centre, they experienced Kapiti Marine Reserve. The general objective of EMR programme in Taranaki is to build community support for marine conservation, including the recently-established Tapuae Marine Reserve on Taranaki’s West coast, this is incorporated into the delivery, and as the programme develops, more ideas are coming up for more local marine experiences.
Action reports from Taranaki:
- Development of DVD to promote good recreational fishing habits, based on ‘Fish for tomorrow’
- Production of posters in partnership with Fuji Xerox, Ngati Mutunga, and local schools to place marine conservation messages in front of every primary student in North Taranaki, (8000)
- Children sharing importance of riparian management to wider rural community in interest of healthy local marine environment.
- Children highlight the existence of Tapuae and Paranihihi marine reserves through colouring competition in North Taranaki
Raewyn Niwa’s class from Manukorihi is leading a community based restoration project in Waitara, involving the Friends of the Waitara River, the Community Council, Corso, DOC, the Taranaki Regional Council and the local Manukorihi hapu.
St Pius X School
Held a public marine conservation evening in conjunction with the Nga Motu Marine Society meeting.
Check out the media around this event http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/midweek/8838972/Pupils-power-conservation-in-marine-reserve-studies
“As a general observation many of the boys in particular have displayed a higher level of engagement in general learning programmes as a result of beginning the year with EMR. This is probably due to the hands-on nature of the programme, and the fact that the programme is based on a real need that they can recognize and identify with” Pat Swanson EMR teacher coordinator, Taranaki
In November 2012, EMR national coordinator Samara Nicholas visited the region to further consolidate our partnership and relationship with DOC and the Nga Motu Marine Reserve Society. I was treated to a guided tour of the marine reserve (although it was rough, so we did not get in!) and the new marine information centre.
EMR features strongly in the Taranaki regions conservation news: