Young kids in Marlborough are Conservation Superstars! This passionate group of youngsters aged five to 12 years are leading the way in environmental education and campaigning by becoming conservation and wildlife activists.

As members of Conservation Kids NZ (CKNZ), a club and charitable trust based in Picton, these young Kiwi kids design their own conservation campaigns and events to raise awareness for issues and help preserve our native wildlife. And, as passionate activists they are ensuring their voices are being heard.

Each of the 15 children chosen from the 100 members of the club,  have picked an area of interest and have taken on different titles including Dolphin Activist, Shark Activist, Penguin Activist, Dolphin and Sea Horse Activist, Ocean Health Activist, Orca Activist and Native Bird Activist.

The CKNZ Animal Activist Campaign provides the connection between kids, their passion for wildlife, and conservation. By uniting and inspiring the youth of Marlborough, this campaign provides kids with the tools they need to be active and achieve their conservation goals.

Tash Luxton of CKNZ said the organisation aimed to inspire young people with new experiences that prompted them to ask questions, get answers and find solutions.

“The world seems to listen and take action when a conservation message is delivered to them through the voice of a passionate child. A child that is passionate about conservation simply wants to be heard and for those listening  to take action”

“We inspire them and they inspire us and together we are fulfilling some pretty amazing conservation dreams! Already I feel more confident in the future of the Marlborough Sounds. With kids like these fighting for its conservation, the future certainly looks bright!”

Harlyn, aged five from Blenheim, created a ‘Look after our dolphins’ campaign to educate boaties on how to look after dolphins.

“Harlyn loves Dolphins and wants to help protect them. His campaign is all about educating boaties how to drive carefully around them. You can see him in the photos handing out the new Department of Conservation Marlborough Sounds marine mammal brochures and educating others with a few of his friends.”

Conservation Kids NZ is led by an inspiring group of seven `Conservation Superstars’ who design and run conservation awareness programmes. Some of their activities include education days at boat ramps, informing people on issues relating to the protection of dolphins, native birds, whales, eels and ocean health in general.

The Tindall Foundation has donated to Conservation Kids through WWF, our environmental Funding Manager. WWF distributes funds on our behalf to schools and community groups so they can act as guardians for their local environment, and through education experience develop long lasting skills, knowledge and values that can be applied to make a genuine contribution towards a sustainable future for New Zealand.

Michele Frank from WWF New Zealand said people were listening to the children’s messages and these bright young minds were helping to influence change.

“There are some great outcomes from the children’s campaigns including, promises by people and organisations to ban balloons at organised events; the growing trend amongst families to buy sustainable fish; recycling bags; promoting and planting native plants and trees.

“WWF is totally blown away by the young activist’s passion and intelligence. The future looks good in their hands.”

CKNZ believe that environmental education of future generations that will ensure a better future for not only the Marlborough Sounds but New Zealand as a whole.

Says Tash Luxton: “We provide affordable, safe, fun and educational learning experiences that focus on conservation and wildlife preservation in the Marlborough Sounds. By uniting New Zealand youth at conservation events, we hope to inspire them to become more involved and achieve their own conservation goals and dreams.”

Over the past 12 months WWF has helped us give over $65,000 in Tindall Foundation donations to organisations that support environmental education.

For more information on CKNZ click here