For over 20 years the Kiwi Conservation Club (KCC), junior Forest & Bird, has been teaching Kiwi kids about New Zealand’s wildlife and wild places.
KCC now has over 16,000 members throughout New Zealand who receive our Wild Things magazine. Written by Ann Graeme with cartoon-like illustrations by Tim Galloway, the Wild Things magazines make topics like - wild rivers, marine reserves and worms - fun for kids.
In most places around New Zealand, volunteer KCC Coordinators also arrange adventures for KCC members to explore their local beaches, forests and everywhere in between.Some clubs also get involved in local conservation projects like tree planting, creating lizard gardens or making nesting boxes for little blue penguins.Join in the fun and help us teach the nextgeneration about protecting or wildlife and wild places.
Summer Newsletter 2014 - for earlier newsletters see bottom of page.
Raumati Vet Trip 13/06/2015
See the blog by George Hobson at
My K.C.C. Trip to Mana Island
Story by Jasmine Gee
When I went to Mana Island with KCC I saw lots of birds like yellowheads, kakariki, takahe, pukeko and shags. I also saw baby lizards under some rocks. We found insect tracks on the cards in the tracking tunnels but couldn’t tell what type of insects made them. There were two special dogs that sniff out rodents like rats and mice. Fortunately there weren’t any on the island. I really enjoyed meeting new people too.
Shellfish Activity at Pauahatanui
Story by Madison age 7
Today I had heaps of fun! There was a awesome K.C.C activity on. So my aunty said o.k. and took us. We were digging and looking for cockles and crabs. I got to hold one. One of the crabs was called thw decorator crab. I thought it was called that because it could decorate things. I met a girl called Hazil and she loved getting wet. I splashed in the pool lots while we were waiting. She was the same age as me. My favrite thing was sieving because we could find crabs and stuf. By the end of the dayI was tired but I had lots of fun.
Story by Jordan age 9
Today we went to the beach and we learned about the shellfish. Rich, Sophie and Julian ( Marine biologists) were teaching us today. Everone had a brilliant time. They taught us about the seaweeds and the cockles.I liked digging the holes and sieving the sand out into the sea. I had about 40 cockles in my sieve. After we had finished we handed out choclates and cards to the Marine biologists for teaching us.
By Lucy Carver age 11
On the 3rd of May, a small group of KCCers met at the Mana Boating Club to go on a trip to Mana Island. It was a wet, cold day but it did not stop us being excited! The boat we went on to get across to Mana Is. was called the ‘Elusive’, and it was towing the little dingy that would take us across the rest of the way to Mana when it got too rough for the ‘Elusive’ to get across to the wharf. The ride in the dinghy was fun as I had to hold the front end of it up with the rope.
When we reached Mana Island we had to go through quarantine to make sure we didn’t bring any pests such as rats, mice, pest plant seeds. Then we went into the ranger station known as the Lockwood. We got to play ping pong and pool while we waited for Ranger John to come and help us plant trees. We had a choice of planting Nikau Palms or kowhai trees. I chose to plant Kowhai trees because we have them in our front yard. My Dad & I named two of our Kowhai trees; Barry & Bob.
When we had finished planting our Kowhai’s, we headed back to the ranger station. We sat down with a cup of hot milo while we waited for the Nikau palm planters to come back. While we were waiting we saw 3 takahe out in front of the Lockwood. We waited for ages but they still hadn’t come back so we went and looked for them. When we were looking for the Nikau planters my Dad & I saw a Kakariki fly across in front of us.
We found the planters and headed back to the Lockwood. My Dad & I decided to go and find the old lighthouse foundations and when we were going up one of the hills we followed a takahe! On the way back to the ranger station we saw pukeko flying! By the time we got back to the ranger station it was time to go. So we packed up and left.
It was my first time on Mana It was a great day and I hope to go again and visit Bob & Barry.
Matiu/Somes Island Trip
By Ben Smith, age 9
On Saturday the 15th of June we went to Somes Island. On Saturday afternoon we went with a woman called Helen to bring us to a place for Staff ONLY. We helped a pretend fluttering shearwater. I got to see a real blue penguin. We went on a night walk and saw a tuatara and heard lots of blue penguins.I had a good nights sleep. In the morning we went to the hay shed to do cabbage leaf tying and ribbon tying. We were tying ribbons on the wire hoops because they will be used to mark where new plants should go. And the cabbage leaves bundles will be used for fire starting. I felt happy to do hard work. I loved it! We did two walks for 45 minutes and even I thought that was long! Wow! We saw some kakariki birds. There are no rats on this island. The view from the boat was awesome. We left at 12.50 on the Dominion Post Ferry. Holy cow! What an adventure for me and my awesome family!!!
Soames Island II
By Isaac Parker aged 9
It was dark. I was wrapped up in all the clothes I had brought to Somes Island. We were looking for tuatara. We had looked and looked and looked, and still we couldn’t find any. I shone my torch into a space under a fallen tree. Suddenly I saw it! The eyes of the tuatara shining in the torch light. “Guys look!!There’s a tuatara here!!”It took a few minutes for everyone to notice it.
The next day Mum, my brother and I, went back to the same spot we were last night. It was still there.
Fossil Hunting with the KCC
By Zak Rigby
Some people for the KCC went fossil hunting beside the Hurupi Stream in the Wiarapa. We found heaps of fossils in a soft rock.
Bella and Dr. James Crampton did most of the talking about the fossils, like what type of fossils and how old they are. Most of the fossils were 10 million years of age and some were 200 million years old. Back in the days New Zealand was tropical so some people found sea creatures from this error. Most of the shells we found were a type of clam and snail shells. I found this large piece of rock that had calcium crystals growing on it. I chiselled a piece off then everyone wanted to have a go so the rock was crowded with people.
To be allowed to use our hammers and chisels to dig for fossils we had to use protective glasses which looked kind of silly. Most of the fossils were on streams that ran down the hill. We got to climb quite high up the hill to look for the fossils.
Once we had finished our fossil hunting we went for a great walk into the Putangirua Pinnacles. My family took the bush walk track that took longer but had great views from the top looking out to the pinnacles.
For those that are interested - the link below is to James's book. It is a great guide to other fossil hunting spots around NZ which includes Hurupi Stream.
Dolly Varden Beach
The moment I got there I saw smiley faces and heard joyful laughs because it was sunny cold winter day. We started off the session with a talk about birds. There were 3 dead birds. One was a female black bird, fairy prion and a young tui.
Rich Ford and his wife came to help us discover some really interesting facts about marine biology. We all got together in a circle to talk. Then we got instructed by them to look for anything we want to know about a bit better. There were all sorts of creatures and plants like Crabs, Seaweed and even rocks. I picked up odd pinkish red seaweed with little bumps on it.
Then we went under the bridge to find some more creatures. We found some sea anemones that had orange spots. There were some barnacles and star fish. I saw a snail trial that was all slimy. We walked a bit further under the bridge we could smell inky sand yuck!
We grabbed our spade and a sieve. Then we all got teamed up. Then dug out square of sand and put it into the sieve. We shook the sieve around in the water and see what we could find. I found rocks, shells but no creatures. Someone else found a green blooded worm. It was amazing cold winter day.
By Brooke Giblin
Planting at Onehunga Bay
By Ben Smith, age 8
On Sunday 8th July, we did some planting with the Kiwi Conservation Club. It was past
Robyn from Wellington Regional Council organised all the K.C.C. people to do the planting. There were native spinach, corokia, flaxes and many others. I planted two plants and did some measuring and then did all of the recording on the clipboard, except for my plants.
We put the green mesh sleeves over wire to stop wild rabbits eating the plants. We are going to go back next year to check and see if our plants have survived.
We had to plant because not many plants were there on the sand dunes. There used to be lots and lots of bush but silly people decided to chop it down to have cows grazing. The new plants will stop the sand blowing away. And after all that hard work of more than two hours we had biscuits and Milo for the end! I learned to keep going even when there seemed to be so many plants to do
KCC at the Paremata inlet
Written by John McNaughton aged 13
KCC members were lucky to have Rich Ford for a great shellfish activity on Sunday 17 June. The day was dry and a bit cold but overall fine at the Paremata inlet north of Wellington. There were about 25 of us at the beach. At first we all went to find something: seaweed, shell, or animal and brought it up to a tub where we could ask questions. We then went to the piers of the bridge and looked at the variety of species that cling to rocks and pillars. We found lots of sea anemone and limpets as well as star fish and other shells. We looked at some sea grass and also burrowing crabs and their holes . Finally we did a miniature survey of a bit of beach using square sieves and spades. We dug a small 20 X 20 cm hole about 10 cm deep . We then put the sand collected into a sieve then rinsed it with sea water, and counted the different objects found in the bottom of the sieve. It was a very interesting and enjoyable afternoon. Thank you!
Sustainable Home and Garden Show 2012
Written by John McNaughton aged 12
On 24 March, the Kapiti Kiwi Conservation Club ran a small exhibition about NZ native bats at the annual Sustainable Living fair in Paraparaumu, Kapiti coast.
Children and adults of all ages and nationalities called by. Even Te Radar came to visit.
How local? The Maori word for bat is Pekapeka.
There are two native NZ bats: the long-tailed bat and the lesser short-tailed bat.
The greater short-tailed bat is now extinct.
The long-tailed bat is found on Kapiti Island as well as Stewart Island, Little Barrier and Great Barrier islands.
Bats used to be plentiful in New Zealand but are now endangered. Loss of native forest and predators such as stoats, rats, possums and cats are the main reasons for this.
Visitors to the KCC exhibition could colour-in a bat and/or make a bat mobile and/or do a quiz in their age group. It was a great opportunity for adults and kids alike to learn about our only native land mammal. The finished quizzes went into a draw to win a $30 book token. It was lots of fun and we learned a lot about bats!
Written by Christopher & James Matheson
My Mum and Dad, my brother and I went on a KCC trip to the Victoria University Antarctic Research Centre .We saw lots of rocks, one was a fossilised tree. I asked one of the guides why there were trees in the Antarctic. She said, “That’s because the Antarctic wasn’t always at the South Pole, it was connected to Gondwanaland”. When Christopher put on some Antarctic weather gear he looked a bit like a yellow snow man, and then my dad put on the jacket (it fitted him quite a lot better).
In the corner of the room there was a big, black-brown tent. It was triangular in shape with a small circular hole down low in the side. After you crawl inside it feels very small, cramped, and very dark. This particular tent would typically have a separate ground sheet but most modern tents have in-built floors. See also
Here's Happy Feet, our friendly Emperor Penguin during his stay on Peka Peka beach after his long swim from Antarctica. The good news is that he is getting better at Wellington Zoo. More Photos You can find out more about Happy Feet at blog.tepapa.govt.nz/2011/06/23/the-global-penguin-part-1-how-a-lone-emperor-ventured-into-superstardom/ .
Our trip to Mana Estuary 2011
Written by Esther , David and Joseph Sushames
On the 16th of April we went to Mana Estuary.
Esther (Aged 12): The marine biologists Rich Ford and Michelle Beritzhoff taught us about shellfish and other estuary creatures. It was like, raining. We learned about crabs and cockles. I already knew that crabs were cannibals.
David (Aged 10): I saw the ray pits where the rays dig in the sand and find things to eat. We dug up the sand and sieved it and found a whole lot of crabs and cockles.
Joseph: (Aged 6): I liked the crabs because they were little and cute. Someone found a jellyfish. It didn’t matter that it was raining. We all got to use our new gumboots. I had waterproof trousers too so the water didn’t get into my gumboots straight away.More Pictures
Nga Ura Ora 2011
Written by Joshua Stewart aged 12 (seen here removing a thistle)
On the 28th May, Greater Wellington KCC went to an eco-site with Nga Ura Ora for a great afternoon of tree planting and seed gathering. First of all we climbed a hill. After a quick karakia in English from Annie, we looked at young trees and found our favourite tree. Mine was a adolescent five finger. We then regrouped and walked further up the hill and buried two dead blackbirds called Jimmy Harry and Joshua. Then I dug holes and the other kids planted young kawakawas in them. Also we all collected seeds from a karamu tree. After that we drank some kawakawa tea made by Annie. I had a great afternoon. More Pictures
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