In June 2016 community investigations began to find an Inanga (whitebait) spawning site along the Rotokakahi Awa in Pawarenga, Northland.

Its success led to 25 Te Kura o Hata Maria students (Years 1-8) taking part in the Whitebait Connection (WBC) programme which focusses on learning about local freshwater-ways and taking action to improve it. Read more here.

The programme links in with PapaTaiao Earthcare, which is an educational programme focused on wai and whenua restoration. Recently, 32 Year 11-13 students from Te Kura Taumata o Panguru and Broadwood Area School completed fencing the spawning site with help from the private land-owner who is keen to support the project.

Students have enjoyed contributing to their local project to improve the sustainability of Inanga by improving habitat and the quality of fresh-water.  One student suggested that, “there’ll be heaps of whitebait for us in the future”.

Future plans include riparian planting around end August 2017 and ongoing monitoring of Inanga, eggs and other native fish.