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It was wonderful to have our kaitiaki mahi acknowledged by being shortlisted as one of three kura finalists in the NZ Biosecurity awards. Our Waitītiko awa (Meola Creek) restoration work has been running for 12 years. The work is driven by the Kaitiakitanga rōpū, the Trapping group and Wastewise who work to restore the biodiversity of the awa area.

The students have been removing invasive weeds and planting native species along the awa – a bush area connecting the school to the Western Springs Park and Auckland Zoo, including the critically endangered lava rock forest.

In the past two years, the inspiring work of students has continued to grow to include planting and maintaining a pā harakeke, establishing and maintaining possum and rodent traps, and gaining the knowledge they need to care for the awa.

The Biosecurity Awards were held at Parliament and attended by the finalist in the following categories:
BioHeritage Challenge Community Award
New Zealand Biosecurity Kura (School) Award
Te Uru Kahika Māori Award
GIA Industry Award
Eagle Technology Local and Central Government Award
New Zealand Biosecurity Science Award
Mondiale VGL Innovation 

It was wonderful to meet some of the volunteer groups, businesses, iwi, schools and individuals who all work tirelessly to improve NZ and keep us safe from invasive pest threats.

Thank you to all the students, teachers and whanau that have done so much mahi in restoring the awa over the years.  Special mention to Whaea Alice Heather who has spearheaded this work for over 12 years, to Whaea Stacey Bryers for continuing the work with the Kaitiaki rōpū and to Paula Marx who runs the trapping programme.   To all the many planters, trappers, weeders and water testers – thank you – long may it continue.

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