Te Tuna Tāone, established in 2021 and still active today, is a student group dedicated to enhancing biodiversity in the Muir Park stream and supporting the well-being of eels (Tuna) in our urban waterways and rivers (awa). We meet regularly and discuss strategies to take proactive measures for the betterment of the Tuna and our waterways. Our project truly resonates with Te Kura o te Tauawa Halswell School, as our school name indicates we are closely linked to our local awa (stream) Te Tauawa a Maka (Nottingham Stream) and the Tuna that inhabit our awa. Te Tauawa a Maka is a minute walking distance from our school and the awa provides a real authentic context for our Te Tuna Tāone inquiries. 

Muir Park Riparian Planting, Weeding and Water Analysis and Stormwater Superheroes

Every term the team of Te Tuna Tāone go to Muir Park to plant or weed. We plant riparian plants such as carex, harakeke to make the streambanks more solid so silt and dirt does not fall into the awa (river). Riparian plants also act as a barrier for rubbish and leaves getting blown into the awa. Our native plants provide shade and a habitat for Tuna and other species to live in.

The weeding makes sure that the plants don’t die from suffocation. 

While we are at Muir Park we conduct regular water analysis to check the water’s temperature and clarity. We also teach younger project members (Teina) how to do a water analysis. 

We are also the first school (kura) to take the Stormwater Superhero Trailer  out to our local community. We took it to Halswell New World to educate the shoppers about how to be a stormwater superhero so Te Tauawa a Maka / Nottingham Stream can once again be a healthy stream for the tuna and us. We wanted to tell all the grownups, whose stormwater from their homes goes to Te Tauawa a Maka /Nottingham Stream, about what lives in the awa and what they can do to keep their stormwater clean. We also made this flyer (see below). And it went into over 2,000 letterboxes – that is how many homes stormwater flows into our local stream.

Things we can do to help the Tuna

  • Wash your car on the grass. (When water lands on grass it easily soaks through but if it lands on hard surfaces it flows right into the river with whatever it finds on its way.)
  • Keep the stormwater drains clean (The storm water drains are meant for water but sometimes rubbish goes through the drains and goes into streams and rivers to then pollute the streams and rivers and ends up into the tunas stomach.)
  • Always pick up rubbish (If we pick up any rubbish that we see, the rivers won’t get polluted. )
  • Try to have a plastic free lunch – If you have a plastic free lunch box then it will encourage others to have one too!
  • Muir Park is a community garden and everyone is welcome to go down and do some weeding!