Schools looking after inanga

Nationwide Inanga Restoration Project in term two will continue into term three.

Nationwide Inanga Restoration Project in term two will continue into term three.

LEADERS: Guiding students through a nationwide Inanga Restoration Project-Whitebait Connection programme are regional co-ordinator Amy-Rose Hardy (left) and Muriwai resident volunteer Katie Foxley. Picture by Liam Clayton
HANDS-ON LEARNING: Ririia Baker from Sonrise Christian School planting one of many native trees along the Matokitoki Stream just behind their school. Pictures supplied
From left: Capree McGuire, Heavenlee McGuire and Jordan West-Kemp from Muriwai School preparing the site along the Pakowhai Stream for planting.
Fabian Waihape (front), Omahia and Omanaia Harrington (standing), Jordan West-Kemp and Tauatahi Clarke (looking into container in the background), from Muriwai School investigating a site near the Pakowhai stream to compare macroinvertebrates and water quality with the inanga spawning area.

STUDENTS around the Gisborne district are getting hands-on science learning.

Te Puna Reo o Puhi Kaiti, Te Kura o Muriwai, Sonrise Christian School, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Nga Uri a Maui and Lytton High School students took part in a nationwide Inanga Restoration Project in term two, and that will continue into term three.

Regional co-ordinators for the Whitebait Connection (WBC) programme, Murray Palmer and Amy-Rose Hardy, have been working with these schools to deliver the Tairawhiti Whitebait Connection Inanga Restoration Project.

Combined with the resources produced by the WBC group, Gisborne District Council and Nga Mahi Te Taiao have also produced a resource of curriculum links that covers all components of the New Zealand science curriculum for levels 3 and 4, Amy-Rose said.

The resource has also been translated into te reo Maori, to be used by kura kaupapa schools and bi-lingual classes throughout Tairawhiti.

Students were introduced to the whitebait programme through a Powerpoint presentation followed by a visit to a spawning site to identify habitat and water quality suitable for inanga spawning, which provided the basis for the students’ development of a action project for their local waterways.

Amy-Rose said the overall vision of this project is to actively involve schools, tangata whenua and community groups in stream and catchment restoration throughout New Zealand.

Galaxid species

Inanga (Galaxias maculatus) is the most common Galaxid species and is found here around lowland rivers, streams, lakes and swamps, in almost any fresh water that it can reach in its migration from the sea.

“While adult inanga are often seen, juvenile inanga are by far the most abundant species of the annual whitebait run, generally making up at least 85 percent of the entire catch," Amy-Rose said.

“Aside from bringing great culinary pleasure to many of us, Inanga are also an important source of food for many birds and fish, including an important part of the diet of freshwater eels.

“It is vital we are able to recognise Inanga spawning grounds and understand the critical role that these areas perform for healthy stream ecology and the whitebait fishery.”

She said through participating in the project, students become aware of this role and can identify spawning grounds and develop plans to protect or restore both spawning and adult inanga habitat.

Te Kura o Muriwai and Te Puna Reo o Puhi Kaiti have been focusing on the Pakowhai Stream at Muriwai, where they recognised the need for riparian planting to stabilise the stream banks and reduce sediment settling over the spawning area, which severely limits the survival of inanga eggs.

Fenced-off site

Landowners from Maraetaha have provided a fenced-off site on a farm the stream flows through for the schools to plant and maintain.

On Monday, July 3, more than 800 riparian plants were put in the ground. This effort came about thanks to donations of a variety of riparian plants from the Women’s Native Tree Project Trust, and targeted funding from the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust (WBC programme) to buy further plants from The Native Garden nursery.

Treyci Maynard’s class from Gisborne Intermediate School also took part in the ground preparation and planting component of this project.

Sonrise Christian School have recognised that the spawning site on the Matokitoki Stream just below their school has also been adversely affected this year by high flows and deposited sediment.

This led them to identify planting the stream banks near the spawning site to prevent slumping, and reduce sediment entering the stream at the saltwater wedge where the inanga spawn.

STUDENTS around the Gisborne district are getting hands-on science learning.

Te Puna Reo o Puhi Kaiti, Te Kura o Muriwai, Sonrise Christian School, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Nga Uri a Maui and Lytton High School students took part in a nationwide Inanga Restoration Project in term two, and that will continue into term three.

Regional co-ordinators for the Whitebait Connection (WBC) programme, Murray Palmer and Amy-Rose Hardy, have been working with these schools to deliver the Tairawhiti Whitebait Connection Inanga Restoration Project.

Combined with the resources produced by the WBC group, Gisborne District Council and Nga Mahi Te Taiao have also produced a resource of curriculum links that covers all components of the New Zealand science curriculum for levels 3 and 4, Amy-Rose said.

The resource has also been translated into te reo Maori, to be used by kura kaupapa schools and bi-lingual classes throughout Tairawhiti.

Students were introduced to the whitebait programme through a Powerpoint presentation followed by a visit to a spawning site to identify habitat and water quality suitable for inanga spawning, which provided the basis for the students’ development of a action project for their local waterways.

Amy-Rose said the overall vision of this project is to actively involve schools, tangata whenua and community groups in stream and catchment restoration throughout New Zealand.

Galaxid species

Inanga (Galaxias maculatus) is the most common Galaxid species and is found here around lowland rivers, streams, lakes and swamps, in almost any fresh water that it can reach in its migration from the sea.

“While adult inanga are often seen, juvenile inanga are by far the most abundant species of the annual whitebait run, generally making up at least 85 percent of the entire catch," Amy-Rose said.

“Aside from bringing great culinary pleasure to many of us, Inanga are also an important source of food for many birds and fish, including an important part of the diet of freshwater eels.

“It is vital we are able to recognise Inanga spawning grounds and understand the critical role that these areas perform for healthy stream ecology and the whitebait fishery.”

She said through participating in the project, students become aware of this role and can identify spawning grounds and develop plans to protect or restore both spawning and adult inanga habitat.

Te Kura o Muriwai and Te Puna Reo o Puhi Kaiti have been focusing on the Pakowhai Stream at Muriwai, where they recognised the need for riparian planting to stabilise the stream banks and reduce sediment settling over the spawning area, which severely limits the survival of inanga eggs.

Fenced-off site

Landowners from Maraetaha have provided a fenced-off site on a farm the stream flows through for the schools to plant and maintain.

On Monday, July 3, more than 800 riparian plants were put in the ground. This effort came about thanks to donations of a variety of riparian plants from the Women’s Native Tree Project Trust, and targeted funding from the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust (WBC programme) to buy further plants from The Native Garden nursery.

Treyci Maynard’s class from Gisborne Intermediate School also took part in the ground preparation and planting component of this project.

Sonrise Christian School have recognised that the spawning site on the Matokitoki Stream just below their school has also been adversely affected this year by high flows and deposited sediment.

This led them to identify planting the stream banks near the spawning site to prevent slumping, and reduce sediment entering the stream at the saltwater wedge where the inanga spawn.

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