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Connecting kōura and kids

Updated: Mar 11


Joe Palmer taking a group for a guided snorkel
Joe Palmer taking a group for a guided snorkel

On Saturday the 9th of March 2024, 100 participants were treated to amazing conditions in Te Tapuwae O Rongokako marine reserve. The EMR Snorkel Day was run by He Awa Ora, He Tai Ora Trust as part of the Wai Connection project in partnership with Tairawhiti Environment Centre.


Briefings were done while we waited for the tide to drop. The choppy lagoon transforming to a mill pond as the barrier reef buffered the waves. During this free event, participants were kitted up in masks, snorkels, fins and wetsuits before heading down to the waters edge. After a final safety briefing it was time to snorkel. For some whānau, it was the first time peeking through a mask. The shallow waters showed a glimse of what the coastline would have looked like. Kōura under every available ledge, blue moki in 1m of water and a nursery for juvenile trevally.


Kōura peeking from under a ledge
Kōura peeking from under a ledge

Event organiser Amy-Rose Hardy says, "It was fantastic to be able to give the tamariki and their wider whānau the opportunity to safety explore their marine reserve with a guide."


Fun for the whole whānau
Fun for the whole whānau

Ari McGregor saying, "Incredible experience. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Felt so safe and comfortable with Hana and our two kids."


Jolene Matenga stating that her highlight was, "The experience! And the fact they had wetsuits to fit us bigger ladies and the guide helped with our kids."


Jo smith saying, "It was an amazing day! Great staff. Thank you so much. It was a special day to remember with my daughter in nature.



Getting kitted up for a snorkel in the marine reserve
Getting kitted up for a snorkel in the marine reserve

This event was funded by Water Safety New Zealand and supported by Mountains to Sea to be run by He Awa Ora, He Tai Ora. Images taken by Lorna Doogan - contact lorna@mountainstosea.org.nz for use.


 






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