Te Rūma Rātā and te Rūma Pōhutukawa: Kaitiaki of birds and habitats at Fairhall School

| By Michael Stringer and students< Fairhall School

At the beginning of the year te Rūma Rātā and te Rūma Pohutukawa made a kaitiaki pledge to be guardians of birds and habitats at Fairhall School. We first set out to learn in particular about New Zealand birds, lizards and wētā so this could help inform how we could make a difference to their habitats around our school and local community. We also worked with local environmental educators and our Enviroschools facilitator to deepen our understanding of the native bush that is in our ngahere and what plantings might encourage more wildlife to visit.

Finishing the details of the whare wētā.

As we celebrated kaitiakitanga across the school in Term 2 we began to take action based around what we had learnt. We installed whare wētā and pekapeka (native bat boxes) in our school ngahere in the hope some New Zealand locals would visit us. We set tracking tunnels around our school to identify any presence of predators that were here. More than half our class then went and set personal traps around their houses and farms to catch them. We also tried to make others become aware of the need to protect our native species and made papier mache birds as a way to get the message across and highlight their beauty.


Learning from kārearea/ falcon experts visiting from Marlborough Falcon Trust .

We were also fortunate to have a visit from the Marlborough Falcon Trust and the advocacy kārearea, Fern, during our learning journey. This inspired an idea to make bracelets and necklaces which could be exchanged for a donation to the trust. We held a day where all the tamariki in our school had a chance to do this. We successfully raised $447.20 which we donated to the Falcon Trust to help them to continue doing their amazing work.

Feeling proud of their mahi at Fairhall!

Checking out the bird feeder.

Banner image: Happy fundraisers, raising funds for kārearea.