Stories that make our day

Our success is measured by the impact we have on the nature around us but also on people interacting with us. Our success is evident through the stories being told and shared.

Below are such stories and experiences from our volunteers, course and event participants, community groups and businesses, as well as anyone else we interact with.

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Stream Care Citizen Science working with schools

“Brett has gone to extra trouble to engage the children’s interest by setting his fish traps the evening prior to a session with the children. On several occasions they have been the luckiest students alive to help Brett discover long fin eels in the trap and study and learn more about them up close.” -  Jeanette Dunning, Verran Primary School Principal

“The children who are involved in the stream care programme are developing a keen interest on how best to improve the health of our local eco systems.  The visits to our local stream are informative, practical and eye opening to our students.” - Craig Watson, Deputy Principal Birkdale Intermediate School

Hands on Ecology course

“This is also a great basis for people wanting to work in restoration or horticulture. I have learned so much from this course from you all and now each bush walk I do now seems to take twice as long, as I am busy trying to identify the names of the plants and the types of ecosystems etc.” - Carolyn

“Thank you for introducing me to the wonderful world of New Zealand’s forest. I’ve learned so much and our walks changed my perspective on the nature surrounding us completely." - Sabine

"When you know something more, when you spend time with it, it becomes more beautiful. See things in many states where light and temperature is different, while you are alone or with many, with distraction and without. You will learn about self and other and love both more." - Challen 

Weekly volunteers at our nursery

“I love to feel soil under my nails. My garden at home is too small, so coming here gives me a chance to do much more.”

“It has become my main job! Working with plants you get a sense of serenity and achievement, especially if you are feeling a bit low or disconnected – it makes your self-esteem go up.”

“It keeps your growing skills alive. Every time I come I can’t wait to see how the plants have grown.”

Working with Bayview Primary School

"This year through Enviro-schools I was put in touch with Brett. He has been invaluable to our school community. As a school we value Kaitiakitanga and through Brett's expertise the children are connecting with the environment and becoming passionate about protecting it. The first session Brett did was with approximately 60 kids and parent helpers. He set traps and did water testing, patiently answering all the students questions and explaining what each result meant. He also made short videos naming and discussing all the creatures that were found in the water sample. The students were absolutely intrigued, delighted and amazed with what was in their stream!

The second session Brett did was with a smaller group of students who showed particular interest and passion and so became the “Stream Team”. Some of these students struggle academically at school with formal learning. Brett included every child in this group checking nets, taking samples and asking questions. Brett has an incredible way of protecting children’s mana. He is respectful and kind. Allowing them to openly share their thoughts and ideas without the fear of being ‘wrong’. Students are involved in every step of the process. This type of authentic, project based learning has surpassed my expectation. The students are so engaged that they are driving their own learning around this area, back at school. I have also been blown away by the amount of information, scientific vocabulary and detail the students remember. It is exponentially more than if we read a journal article or had someone come and speak in the classroom. Hands on, practical learning with a Scientist like Brett has been absolutely incredible. I have no doubt that these children will not forget what they have learnt. And will continue to be environmental warriors for their community." - Michelle Hayden, Teacher

Restoration day at Herald Island

“On behalf of the Herald Island Environmental Group I would like to thank Kaipātiki Project and your wonderful trainees for joining with us at our planting day on Saturday. We really appreciate your support and the enthusiasm of your trainees and look forward to seeing the plants we planted in the Herald Island Domain, Alison Ave and Christmas Beach taking root and growing. Thank you all for your contribution to the day and for helping provide more food and habitat for our native birds.” - Jan Diprose, Herald Island Environmental Group Chair

Working with Birkenhead College

"Whaea Takutai has been working with myself and our Birkenhead College tauira (under the guidance of Whaea Judy Te Hiwi) for several weeks now. Whaea Takutai has been assisting in units entitled ‘Harvest and Prepare Harakeke and Raranga Kono’ and ‘Harvest and Prepare Harakeke and Raranga Konae’.

Throughout this time, Whaea Takutai has ensured our tauira build confidence and find their weaving ara. Whaea Takutai has a calm and professional demeanour. She is able to easily form relationships with the students who have developed high trust in her due to her welcoming manner and kind wairua. One main quality which Whaea Takutai exemplifies is an exceptional listening capacity. She truly listens to our tauira and works to get to know them. Whaea Takutai listens to the difficulties they face when weaving and works alongside them to help improve their skills. I myself have found her so easy to talk to and communicate with. I have really appreciated her presence in our classroom. 

Moreover, Whaea Takutai had a consistent temperament and always arrives with a smile. She is never overwhelmed or flustered and this brought a sense of clarity and tranquility to the class. It is this ability to ensure a positive class atmosphere and environment that I really admire about Whaea Takutai.

Lastly, Whaea Takutai has a contagious passion for nature, te ao Māori and plant life. She has a wealth of knowledge on these topics and she readily shares this understanding with members of our class.

I highly recommend Whaea Takutai to any groups wanting to learn more about harakeke, weaving and nature. She is an accomplished weaver, a considerate person to work alongside and she is a skilled kaiako whose mana and disposition help her make connections with others." - Laura Mckenzie Roha  Head of the Department of English and teacher of te reo Māori Manga o Te Reo Pākehā Birkenhead College

Raranga activities with volunteers

"What an awesome morning, feeling so so grateful: learning how to weave harakeke, that there is harakeke to weave, that we have such a great teacher, that we have such a great group of volunteers to share with, that we are learning, being of service, and creating! Thank you Kaipātiki Project!" - Kristi, volunteer

Community groups

"Hello Derek, on behalf of the tremendous group we would like to say thank you for your advice and guidance, we all really enjoy helping out at the nursery. And we are happy to say that we won the Treemendous competition, so we will be ordering plants from you when it is time to. Planting will happen next June. we are also really keen to come back sometime and help out at the nursery." - Harry and the Treemendous group.