From Northland to Southland, in big and small towns and cities, schools across Aotearoa are putting up their hands to be kaitiaki of their playgrounds and local environments.
Meet the 20 latest Predator Free Schools and find out how they intend to protect our native wildlife. We now have 51 schools around the country involved in our Predator Free Schools programme.
Three years ago this school started planting trees and planning for a lizard garden. After recently planting another 100 seedlings and successfully attracting lizards to their garden, they are ready to start predator control to help their lizards flourish.
Burnside Primary School — Canterbury
They have a strong science focus with an urban eel project, riparian planting, stream monitoring and their own native bush area. Year 4 students will learn the importance of our native taonga and working together to create change.
Eketahuna School — Manawatu-Wanganui
Students are very aware of the impact of introduced predators, as many of them come from rural farming properties. The school has a strong focus on the environment and is currently building a native butterfly garden. Their next step is to undertake monitoring of introduced predators and implement trapping to protect their native species.
Green Island School — Otago
South of Dunedin this school has a passion for peripatus (velvet worms) and increasing endemic bird and bug life around their grounds. Students have started by building bird feeders, wētā hotels and worm farms.
Hobsonville Point Primary School — Auckland
The ESOL class has been learning about New Zealand’s culture, society, history and environment including New Zealand’s native birds. Next year and with the support of the local high school they will learn how to be guardians of their environment.
Kaurihohore School — Northland
Located north of Whangarei, these school children are passionate about the outdoors and their teachers are keen to build their interest in, and respect for, our native species and sustainability. The year 4 & 5 students currently take part in weekly bush craft classes and are keen to learn and implement predator control.
Korokoro School — Wellington
The Kea Room teacher is passionate about teaching her students how to care and protect the environment. Located near large amounts of bush Korokoro School will empower students to take their knowledge and practical skills home to their own backyards.
Longburn School — Manawatu-Wanganui
Palmerston North-based Kererū Class at Longburn School have been identifying fauna in their nature reserve and recently planted an impressive 2,000 plants. As a natural follow-on they now plan to monitor and trap introduced predators in the school grounds and local reserve.
Mount Maunganui Primary School — Bay of Plenty
In 2019 Year 5 & 6 students have been involved in estuary health, beach clean ups and more recently they collected 120 kilograms of rubbish from the Mount. In 2020 they intend to enrich their learning and kaitiaki role by enhancing biodiversity through the Predator Free Schools programme.
Muriwai School — Gisborne
Ngai Tamanuhiri students are committed to being kaitiaki of their whenua. Classes are taught in English & Rūmaki and everyone has been involved in planting over 2,000 native trees at the school. Year 4 —8 tamariki want to protect these plants, bird eggs and young birds from introduced predators.
Ohakune Primary School — Manawatu-Wanganui
Pupils recently started investigating native trees around their school grounds and have taken ownership of a nearby stream as part of this year’s focus of ‘Turangawaewae, a Place to Stand’. Next year the Year 4 & 5 children will be learning about the meaning behind making NZ Predator Free and how they can play a crucial role in achieving this.
Napier Intermediate School — Hawkes Bay
Year 7 students will learn how to increase biodiversity on their school grounds and ultimately take what they have learnt home. The wider benefit of the programme is to support Predator Free Urban Hawkes Bay.
Ngatimoti Primary School — Tasman
This school is located in the Motueka Valley and has adopted Bark Bay in the Abel Tasman National Park through the Project Janszoon Kaitiaki Programme. The Indigo Room intend to bring their learnings back to their school grounds along with the school stream and nearby wetlands. They hope to support resident tūī, korimako, pīwakawaka, kārearea, kea and kākā to flourish.
Raumati South School — Wellington
This Kāpiti Coast school is keen to attract native birds to their grounds and become a flight corridor for native birds between Kāpiti Island and Queen Elizabeth Park.
Rimu Full Primary School — Southland
A small rural school east of Invercargill loves the outdoors and has been revitalising their grounds with native trees and some secure fencing. They are now ready to focus on predator control to protect their native species.
Rotokawa Primary School — Bay of Plenty
Year 4 & 5 students in Room 8 at Rotokawa Primary School (on the east side of Lake Rotorua) have been involved in planting trees around their school and helping maintain a few traps at Hannahs Bay. Now they want to undertake predator control on their own school grounds. Their teacher intends to work with other teachers in their Kahui Ako (community of learning) programme to share their learnings.
South New Brighton Primary School — Canterbury
This school is kaitiaki of the nearby estuary edge and are keen to support the skinks, wētā, insects and bird life in this area and around their school grounds.
Stanmore Bay Primary School — Auckland
Year 5 & 6 children on the Hibiscus Coast have an established garden, planted native trees and their school backs onto a reserve. The school is keen to support the return of native species to their grounds through monitoring and trapping.
Te Aro School — Wellington
A diverse and central city school with gardens, bees and a skink garden. The students know it is important to provide a safe environment for native plants and wildlife to thrive and their plan is to monitor and trap introduced predators. Ultimately their efforts will tie into the wider goal of making Wellington Predator Free.
West End School — Manawatu-Wanganui
Environmental sustainability is currently a school-wide focus and the tamariki are excited about the opportunity to gain knowledge and awareness of the impact of introduced predators have on their local native species.
Useful links for schools involved in predator control: