Barney Whiterats by Glenn Colquhoun

Barney Whiterats was a famous swagman who spent nearly forty years travelling the roads of Southland and Canterbury. At the time – from the 1870s right through until the 1930s – there were a lot of swagmen in New Zealand. They walked from place to place, looking for work and a meal, and maybe a bed for the night.
This aspect of our history brings to mind the homeless people in our society today, and the different way other people treat them.

The Remarkable Reti by Kiwa Hammon and Duane Culshaw

A reti is a fishing device, used by Ngāti Pāhauwera to catch kahawai on the Mōhaka River. The iwi regard the reti as a taonga, and the article provides a great example of how traditions, along with stories and waiata, are handed down through the generations.

What is Biosecurity, by Andrew and Anna Dickson

This article introduces the concept of biosecurity and explains how, as a group of isolated islands, New Zealand developed a unique range of ecosystems. The arrival of plants or animals from other countries could be disastrous for our environment. Therefore, our borders are constantly monitored by biosecurity agencies to protect our environment, agriculture, and our health.

He Tohu exhibition website, by National Library - English medium teaching resources

He Tohu is a permanent exhibition of three iconic constitutional documents that shape Aotearoa New Zealand:

  • 1835 He Whakaputanga Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of NZ

  • 1840 Te Tiriti o Waitangi The Treaty of Waitangi

  • 1893 Women's Suffrage Petition Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine

Cook Landing Site & Cook's Cove field trip

At Cook Landing Site and Cook's Cove learn about Captain James Cook's historic first landing during his circumnavigation of New Zealand.

The Cook Landing Site National Historic Reserve is located on Kaiti Beach Road in Gisborne. It commemorates the first European landfall and meeting with Māori in New Zealand (1769). Since, the landing site has changed dramatically, although it continues to be recognised as a place of national significance.

Cook’s Cove Walkway is situated at the southern end of Tolaga Bay, 52 km north of Gisborne.

The teaching resource provides background information on the history and conservation management of Cook’s Landing Site National Reserve and Cook’s Cove Walkway.

Meretoto/Ship Cove and Motuara Island field trip

This resource has been developed to assist teachers in providing an interesting and exciting outdoor education experience at Ship Cove and Motuara Island. Learn about Captain Cook’s favourite landing place and how New Zealand's plants and wildlife live on a pest-free island in the Marlborough Sounds.

This educational resource contains background information on the natural and human history of the island, suggestions for class and site-based activities, and student activity sheets. “Getting there” information is included, and other things to take into consideration when planning your class trip.

Te Takanga o te Wā

Te Takanga o te Wā Māori History guidelines, a flip book in both te reo Māori and English for year 1-8, was completed in 2015. It is readily available from the Ministry warehouse Down the Back of the Chair. It is also available from the Ministry website TKI.

Access Māori medium PDF

Access English PDF

Māori Rock Art

Join a rock art curator to discover how the first people in New Zealand depicted extinct birds and trace their story as they recorded their contact with the first Europeans in drawings of ships, horses, and houses. Learn about how Māori rock art sites were connected with river systems and mahika kai (resource gathering areas). Find out about how rock art was made, recipes for paint, and techniques for carving, painting, and drawing. See how rock art is now threatened and the work done to preserve and protect it. See for yourself how rock art fits with other traditional Māori arts raranga/weaving, whakairo/carving, ta moko/tattooing, and ancient artefact styles. See how rock art has inspired contemporary Ngāi Tahu artists and how it is used by people today.

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Resources and Society - case studies of NZ innovation in the context of sustainability

Coal is an important natural resource and it can be found throughout New Zealand. Coal is used world-wide to generate heat and electricity. Coal is a key ingredient in the production of steel. Coal is also used to make products such as adhesives, antiseptic, soap and many other household items.

New Zealand coal is valued for its special qualities, particularly its low ash and phosphorus content, its suitability for steel making, and its high heating value.

The major coal producing areas in New Zealand are Waikato, the West Coast, and Southland. On this field trip you will see two different mining operations at Rotowaro Opencast Mine and Huntly East Underground Mine. You will follow the mining and processing of coal in Huntly, through to the production of steel at New Zealand Steel Ltd in Glenbrook.

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Rangitoto - a treasure island in the Hauraki Gulf

Rangitoto Island is the youngest and largest of Auckland's volcanoes, and is the only volcano of its type in New Zealand. It is administered by the Department of Conservation in conjunction with the Tangata Whenua Nga Tai and Ngati Paoa. Rangitoto is a public reserve. Much of the island is covered in pohutukawa forest with a huge variety of plant life beneath the sheltering canopy of the trees. Recently pest-free, there are plans to turn Rangitoto into a wildlife sanctuary.

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Renewable Energy - ideas in practice for a sustainable future

Energy use and sustainability are hot topics right now. For centuries people have relied on fossil fuels such as coal and oil for energy. Fossil fuels are a non-renewable source of energy and when they are burnt as a fuel they release carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. As individuals and groups we can investigate alternative sources of energy and decide to use more renewable, cleaner forms of energy.

Alternatives to non-renewable fossil fuels include biomass such as wood pellets. Come along as we learn how wood pellets are made and why we might consider using them. Visit New Zealand's largest wood pellet plant in Taupo and see how they utilise waste wood from sawmills to make clean burning wood pellets.

Take a look at other sources of renewable energy in Taupo and see how technology is being used to provide more sustainable forms of energy.

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Wandering Whales - surveying migrating humpbacks in Cook Strait

Whales belong to a group of mammals called cetaceans, which also includes dolphins and porpoises. Of the 38 cetaceans known to inhabit New Zealand waters, 22 are whales.

The Cook Strait whale project aims to find out about the recovery of humpback whales in New Zealand waters. The surveys help scientists learn about the migration habits of these whales. Photographs taken of the whales are catalogued to identify individuals and estimate population sizes and movements. Genetic sampling is also carried out to determine the relationship between individuals seen in New Zealand and other populations. This information will be used for management and protection of humpback whales in the Southern hemisphere.

Commercial whaling in New Zealand ended in the 1960s. Ex-whalers from the last whaling station to be operated in New Zealand now use their skills to help spot whales for the project.

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Airport! - International Gateway to Christchurch

It's been a long 10-hour flight! You've completed your arrival card and your Boeing 777 aircraft has taxied up to the air bridge.

Welcome to Christchurch International Airport! During this field trip you will journey as an international traveler through the airport terminal. You will present yourself and your passport to Immigration staff at border control, claim your luggage, get sniffed by an MPI detector dog and see how Customs work to keep our country safe.

You will discover the airport is one large community supporting you as a traveler, arranging freight movements and contributing to the economy of the city, region, and country. You also have special and rare permission to ride in a state-of-the-art fire truck, see how well prepared the airport is for emergencies, and explore how the environment is cared for.

Argo Floats - tracking the pulse of world oceans

Argo Floats are mechanical robots that float in the oceans and send important information to satellites. This voyage onboard the RV Tangaroa will have scientists from NIWA, NOAA and CSIRO who will be deploying both 'regular' Argo Floats and a new Deep Argo Float that will descend to 5,500m below the surface.

He Hokinga Whakaaro - reflecting on the First Encounters of Tangata Whenua and Cook in 1769, when New Zealand history changed forever

This field trip is a virtual journey back in time. You will stand on the very beach where, centuries ago, one of the first Māori waka landed in New Zealand. You will scan historic landmarks from a boat in Poverty Bay where Captain Cook anchored the Endeavour almost 250 years ago. In between you will visit a marae, identify local plants collected during Captain Cook's voyage, and find out about traditional use of plants by Māori. This trip fits well with big ideas like whakapapa, identity, communities, environments, taonga.

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Kererū Count - kaitiakitanga in action

Did you know that kererū (native wood pigeon) are essential to New Zealand's native biodiversity? They are the only birds that can disperse big seeds of many of our native trees like miro, tawa, taraire, and nīkau which enables them to survive. So kererū have an important role to play in sustainability. Although the disappearance of these birds could be a disaster for the regeneration of our native forests, on this field trip you will find plenty of good news stories of people working effectively to increase the population of kererū.

This field trip is also supported by The Tindall Foundation.

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Where are we? - navigating and positioning on sea, land and air.

We all need to know where in the world we are. People rely on knowing their exact location so they can plan and carry out daily activities. In the past you may have used a paper map to find out where you are, now you can use a smart phone. This technology is not only making life easier and safer, it is also changing the world!

During this field trip you will travel to Wellington to investigate the uses and impacts of location based-technology as you journey on land, sea and air. You will meet all sorts of people who work with clever location-based tools and discover more about possible careers in this growing industry.

Waka Voyaging - exploring hauora during an ocean adventure

Thousands of years ago, the ancestors of Māori journeyed out of South-East Asia and across the Pacific Ocean. It was a migration that took thousands of years. These people were some of the world's greatest waka builders and sailors. More recently, a waka revival has been gathering momentum throughout the Pacific, including here in New Zealand. People are rediscovering the traditional voyaging style of their ancestors, and connecting with the spirit of their journeys on the open sea.

On this field trip you will meet the crew of Nukutaiao Waka Hourua as they make their final preparations for a sailing expedition to Noumea, a 1600 kilometre, three week ocean voyage using ancient wayfinding techniques. You will learn more about this traditional double hulled waka, along with the training and preparation needed to be a sailor on board for the journey. You will find out what skills and attributes are required to be part of the crew, and how being part of such an expedition can positively affect one’s hauora.

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Our Primary Industries - sustainable futures through animal welfare, biosecurity, and food systems

Travel to Nelson to see how some of our primary industries are using science and technology to enhance the value of their products and ensure they remain sustainable. This field trip is supported by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

For a sustainable future, our primary industries need to maintain the highest standards of biosecurity, food safety, and animal welfare. During the field trip, you will see how these systems work together to protect and grow our primary industries and our way of life in New Zealand.