In 2004, Waimarie called a hui inviting consent holders, Northland Regional Council, Department of Conservation, Land Care, schools, trusts and marae, where we proposed a restoration project including education, propagation and planting for the local waterways.
An old shed was converted into a nursery as well as makeshift classrooms. Students and parents from local schools and students from NorthTec attended our educational programmes where they gained knowledge about the propagation of native plants as well as protecting our waterways.
Since the start of these programmes, two marae, nine schools (along with local community e.g. locals, land owners) have experienced our hands-on workshop with the Whitebait Connection programme. The WBC delivered the environmental education programmes which focused on exploring local streams and their ecosystems and identifying habitat and bio-diversity fresh water ecology. This programme has also had local community involvement and support.
Throughout this time, school and tertiary students have learnt about horticulture at Waimarie which has in turn, helped Waimarie plant restoration sites on the river. This has been a huge benefit and advantage to the community at large for both educational and environmental reasons.