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.”

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.

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