Large numbers turnout across Taranaki for annual seaweek event

Karen Pratt

A large group were at the Hāwera Aquatic Centre for the new snorkel trail as part of Seaweek.

Hundreds of Taranaki people helped celebrate Seaweek by attending a range of events.

For the first time, Experiencing Marine Reserves brought their snorkel programme to South Taranaki with a pool snorkel trail held at the Hāwera Aquatic Centre where over 30 participants of all ages attended.

The programme had students research marine reserves, implement action projects to raise awareness about marine conservation and experience snorkelling both in and outside a marine reserve to compare the difference.

Karen Pratt, a volunteer who assisted with the event, said the feedback on last week’s programme had been overwhelming.

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“There were two five-year-olds, a girl and a boy, who thrived on the experience and made incredible progress,” she said.

“A number of kids were delighted when they were able to have a second go at the marine trail.”

Seaweek is held annually with events held right across the country and this year’s theme was Tiakina o Tātou Mōana, or Care for our Seas, which aimed to highlight the impact of plastic, litter and other pollutants.

Elvisa Van Der Leden, EMR Taranaki Coordinator, was pleased with the positive feedback on the event’s Facebook page and said she hoped to bring the event down to Hāwera again in the near future.

The week began in New Plymouth with a Ngamotu Beach Community Snorkel Event. More than 50 people attended the third and final community snorkel day. They were among more than 300 people who attended Seaweek Events.  

EMR also worked with Whanuakura School in Patea, Puketapu School, Mimi school and Highlands Intermediate and many of the schools that took part also staged their own beach cleans and other conservation-related activities.

Other Seaweek celebrations included a beach clean hosted by Taranaki Conservationists and a sea-themed Crackjacks pre-school reading session at Puke Ariki by author Neville Peat. 

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