Conservation and pest ops in the spotlight

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The spotlight has been on the pest operations and conservation tutors at WITT Te Pūkenga. The team’s mahi was recognised at the recent Taranaki Regional Council Environmental Awards and they were highly commended in the Environmental Action in Education category.

The judges commented on kaiako Daniel Waterson and Georgina Ngametua and said the pair’s passion and commitment to delivering good training and the fun, relatable style they have with their ākonga was to be commended.

“It is so special to be recognised for our work in conservation education, as we work hard to make the programmes engaging and authentic. This recognition speaks volumes about the genuine opportunities we provide for our ākonga, but also to the exceptional students we have join our programmes, who gain epic skills and graduate with the expertise they need to get into work they love,” says WITT Te Pūkenga Conservation Tutor Georgina Ngametua.

The exceptional ākonga Georgina highlights have recently celebrated their graduation. Together with Wild for Taranaki and Predator Free NZ, WITT Te Pūkenga celebrated the first cohort of conservation ‘Rangers’ trained in Taranaki.

“It’s been a wonderful opportunity to run ranger training for the first time in Taranaki and create pathways for local ākonga,” says Georgina.

The apprenticeship scheme was facilitated by Predator Free NZ, funded by DOC Kaimahi for Nature, delivered by WITT TP and supported by the Department of Conservation (DOC), Taranaki Mounga Project, Taranaki Kiwi Trust, and East Taranaki Environment Collective.  

“It was heartening to see that many of the ākonga who completed the level 4 Certificate in Conservation (Level 4) had previously completed the level 3 Certificate in Pest Operations,” says Georgina.

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