New Guardian on Great Barrier Island

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Great Barrier Island Centre Manager Gemma Parkin (pictured left) updates on what’s been happening lately…

Thanks to the Trillian Trust Kaitiaki, our new semi-rigid inflatable support boat arrived recently. This boat replaces our previous support boat, which after 12 years of service was becoming less reliable than a safety boat should be.

Kaitiaki will take over as our primary guardian of our waters, allowing us to quickly access students if needed and get equipment to remote locations. It’s also the boat we use to teach sailing so it will have a decent workload ahead.

Thanks to the staff and students of Okiwi Primary School and Jeff Cleave from Ngāti Rēhua for blessing Kaitiaki for us before it hit the water.

The change of seasons also brings a change of programmes to Great Barrier Island. Through autumn and winter many of our groups rise to the challenge of an extend stay, joining us for up to five weeks on programmes which include a range of outdoor activities coupled with cross curricular learning.

This extended time on the island also allows students to get out into the community, giving back to environment alongside local environmental trusts. Clearing tracks, planting trees and repairing predator fences are just a few of the things students get up to, to help protect the environment. Thirty extra sets of hands go a long way toward achieving projects that can be hard to do with such a small permanent population.