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Annual Poor Knights Competition Trip

Marine kaitiaki guardians from Kaitaia to Otago rewarded with Poor Knights snorkel experience!

The annual EMR competition trip is made up of representative students from each school that that participates in the programme. We now offere the trip to all eight regions where EMR is operating, thanks to sponsorship from Dive! Tutukaka and the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation.

The trip started in 2002 with just three students from three Northland schools, a total of 301 schools and 441 students have now participated in this trip. The participation of EMR representative students from the regions is thanks to the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation (including flights, transfers, accommodation and charter for the parents).

Selection criteria 2020


Students were selected based on their action projects undertaken and enthusiasm they show when studying & experiencing the marine environment. The EMR programme involves leaning about marine biodiversity in the classroom, snorkelling in the pool, and investigating the local marine environment before experiencing a marine reserve and taking action with regards to marine conservation in their communities. The national expansion of EMR in the regions is has been supported by  the Tindall Foundation and the DOC Community Fund

“The standards of action projects that go beyond the school environment were superb. Students were involved in a variety of projects that address local marine issues such as presentations on marae, campaigning council and
writing letters to the editor” says programme director Samara Nicholas.

“This competition offers the students added incentive to produce projects and positive actions towards marine conservation within their community. It is not only a special opportunity for the students, but for their parents/guardians too, as they also get a chance to experience the magical Poor Knights, which is a new opportunity for all from the regions’’ says programme director Samara Nicholas

The Bobby Stafford-Bush – EMR Ocean Art prize - Read the criteria here
In addition to the opportunity to represent the school or region for the EMR ACTION prize, we introduced a new prize this year, the Bobby Stafford-Bush – EMR Ocean Art prize. The Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation supports this special prize for young kiwis that have experienced the marine environment with EMR and display that passion and experience through art.

Watch the 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016 showcases of the event.


2019 list of student attendees and schools

Pukenui School - Jamie Valadares
Pukenui Schoiol - Chelsea Rae
Kamo Intermediate - Lily-Mae Smith
Kamo Intermediate - Lily Sioch
Waipu Primary School - Sidney Ellis
Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Tonga o Hokianga - Croatia Rudolph
Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Tonga o Hokianga - Keishana Davies-Moon
Totara North - Cameron Mitchell
Pompallier - Ryan Taylor
Paparore -Caedance Brown
Whangarei Girls High- Taylor Dackers
Tikipunga High- Olivia Bratty
Whangarei Girls High - Jorja Collings
Maungakaramea - Pippa Ryder

Warkworth Primary School - Alex Gray
Warkworth Primary School - Zoran Munro
Koru School - Georose Tuineau-Lafaele
Orakei School- Iohanna Patuwai
Tamaki College - Talya Te Puawaitanga O te Aroha Tamariki
Tamaki College- Charlie Murray
Waterview School - Alexander Hutchinson-Jones

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Harataunga - Rosa Ballard
Coroglen - Aria Rae Macdonald

Kaiti School - Wirimu Ropiha
Makauri School - Stephen Bennett

Puketapu School - Kalilah Fitzsimons
Whanuakura School - Lorcan Honeyfield

Newtown - Ella Katherine Wellington
Wellington Seventh-Day Adventist School - Xinia Fe Haban

Riwaka - Isla Bell-Chambers
Brooklyn School - Harper Kelly

Otago Boys High - Thomas Pope
John McGlashan College - Jonah Coleman

Express your interest

2018.12.05 AlfristonCollege GI LD 050060Are you a teacher and think what we do is pretty cool? Are you a parent that wants to get their class snorkelling? Are you a Scout/Guide group that wants to organise a camp? You've come to the right place! 

Check out our Information Pack for Snorkelling at Goat Island here:

pdfEMR_Casual_Snorkel_Information_Pack_2019-20.pdf245.32 KB

We have both fully funded and casual - user paid options to be involved in our programmes. Express your interest using the form below. 


Information for educators

2019.12.07 TorbaySnorkelDay 09842Kia ora to the teachers part of a full Experiencing Marine Reserves programme!

If you are not yet signed up for a programme you can express your interest here

The key ways EMR supports the curriculum is via Science (Living World - ecology and evolution), Social Science (cultural values of the marine environment, community response to challenges etc) and Health and PE (snorkelling) .We are committed to delivering safe snorkelling excursions and have robust health and safety documentation to match. We provide ALL the snorkel equipment required. We are adventure activity safety audit certified (AAO 534).  You can view our full educators manual here


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