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National wananga a huge success!

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Date Posted: 02 May 2014 | 0 Comments

The national freshwater and marine education conference-wananga was held this year on the Kuratini Marae at Massey University in Wellington (26– 28th April).  The conference is an annual event that showcases current and up and coming freshwater and marine action initiatives, with 46 participants this year from the Far North to Dunedin.  The theme this year was ‘communicating science for marine and freshwater action!’

The conference-wananga is an opportunity for educators to partake in specialised field training in their chosen field; attendees were treated to personal guided night tours of Zealandia wild life sanctuary and the Island Bay Marine Education Centres, Bait House Aquarium, as well as snorkelling and scuba diving in the Taputeranga Marine Reserve in Wellington. 
Key note speakers, including Green Party MP Eugenie Sage and Dr Alison MacDiarmid gave valuable insights to the current state of marine reserves, freshwater protection and the economy in New Zealand. 
Eugenie Sage went on to say that New Zealanders “define ourselves by our environment” while emphasizing that “you can’t have an economy without a healthy environment”.
The Minister of Conservation, Hon Dr Nick Smith gave an opening address at our conference dinner and spoke about his support for the recent creation of new marine reserves on the west coast and in the sub Antarctic islands of New Zealand.
The Conference is an initiative brought about by the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust that provides the national environmental education programmes including; Experiencing Marine Reserves(EMR) and the Whitebait Connection (WBC).  This year’s conference was held in partnership with the Island Bay Marine Education Centre and with sponsorship from the Department of Conservation and The Tindall Foundation. We also received local support from Tanzit Coachlines and Zealandia.
Wananga participant and programme coordinator Camellia Neilson said “it is always inspiring to engage with educators who are passionate and proactive in their fields”
If you would like more information regarding this years or previous year’s wananga-conference please visit http://www.emr.org.nz  phone Samara Nicholas 09 433 8205 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted in: Conservation Trust Media Releases

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