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Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Year 5 and 6 Speech Competition Finalists - An amazing battle of the pens fought by our senior students. Enjoy the speeches by Tane and Tiia from room 15. Congratulations to Tane, the winner of the year 5 competition!

Have you heard of a Hector’s dolphin? Do they have predators, or are we the predators? Why are they only in New Zealand? I think that hector’s dolphins should not be endangered, because this mammal is so beautiful that they are the key to my heart. We should work with the Bank Peninsula Sanctuary to re populate them.

The Hector's dolphin is one of the smallest dolphins in the world, they do not exceed 1.5m in length. They like to eat small fish and squid. This amazing mammal is endemic to New Zealand, meaning they’re only found here. Did you know that Hector's dolphin fins are curved like a rugby ball and their white belly is for camouflage? When their predators are looking up, they wouldn’t be able to see them and then when their predators look down on their grey silvery back, they will be camouflage again so they will not be able to see them. So now you know how unique they are, don’t you think they’re worth saving?

Hector's dolphin have many predators which are Sharks, orca and even us humans. They can defend them self against a Shark and Orca by working together to frighten the predator away. But they are powerless when caught in a fishing net. They are a mammal and need to breathe air. When caught in a net, they are stuck under the water and drown. Hector's Dolphins do not migrate like other dolphins, there only location is here in New Zealand, specifically the South Island and the West coast of the North Island. If we all work with the Bank Peninsula Sanctuary this mammal will still get to exist.

The Bank Peninsula Sanctuary is a place where they keep species like Hector's dolphins safe by banning most fishing. Do you care about the beautiful hector’s dolphin? Well I certainly do, also did you know that hector's dolphins are more rare than a kiwi?  If we didn't care about this type of dolphin they would no longer exist. To help the dolphins you can report dolphins that are stranded or in distress. Also, next time you’re in Christchurch, head out on a Black Cat cruise because some of the money that you pay will help save the dolphins. I would do anything to save them and I hope you would to. We can all work with the Bank peninsula sanctuary to make them not endangered and help their population increase by 5% per year and maybe eventually get to 10% increase each year.

 Dolphins like bottlenose dolphins are not endemic and go all across the world  
But hector's dolphins on the other hand are endemic to New Zealand. They don't leave this beautiful country so it’s up to you great people  to get off your butt and save them because no other country will do it. Now you know about the hector's dolphin you have no excuse to not save them. What will you do to save the Hector’s dolphin? Thank you.

By Tane Kelleher

 The first time I went to the South Island I wanted to see only one bird. As I stepped out of our car I was created by dozens and dozens of mosquitos. They definitely weren’t what I was looking for. After a walk to the majestic mountains we’d arrived back at our car. We got the biggest surprise of our life. There were green parrots pecking at our window wipers! It was the bird I had been hoping to see - the Kea. I personally think that we should all get an opportunity to see these amazing birds!      

If you’ve never seen a kea and you’re on the lookout, they’re an olive green parrot with a scarlet underwing. So if you’re up in the snow and you see a green and scarlet flash flying by you’re most likely gazing at the world’s only alpine parrot found only in the South Island of New Zealand. This makes them extremely unique which is why I think 100% of all New Zelanders should get the chance to see these cheeky mountain dwellers.  

Their cheeky nature sometimes gets them into trouble like this fun fact. Once a kea locked a DOC ranger in the Muller hut toilet at Mount Cook! It is this thrilling inquisitiveness that makes them endangered and vulnerable to predators. This is because they like to hang around human camping sites and campervan parks. It is these humans that have introduced the biggest threats to the kea and their habitat.

Keas have a number of pests including rats, stoats, possums and cats. Keas nest in holes in the ground in native forests which makes their nests easy to access. So if a stoat or a rat happens to be slinking by and sees a hole in the ground they quickly nip in while the mum is gone. Scoring themselves a delicious meal.This means that they are endangered and numbers range from only 7000 - 3000 left. So if we don’t do something soon there’ll be no more kea left in the whole entire world! It is so simple we can just get pest traps from Bunnings.

You might be wondering why scientists haven’t been able to track down the exact number. It is because they live in the southern districts of the Hurunui River that stretches into the high country of Nelson and Marlborough and up into the mountains. They travel long distances making the exact number hard to count. The area they live in provides the food they eat such as leaves, flower buds and fruits, together with insects. But people are reducing their habitat for farmland, so we need to protect the forests and their habitat before they become extinct and lost forever. 

By introducing pest traps and protecting our native forests, we can help save these unique and inquisitive birds from introduced predators like rats, cats, people and so on! Next time you go to the South Island I hope you are lucky enough to have Kea destroy your car! So do you want these awesome birds to die out? What can you do to help?

By Tiia Cooke

Sunday, 1 September 2019

ESOL students Benjamin and Jihoo from room 10 and 15 created descriptive texts about rafting on the Kaituna River

When I sit on the raft, I can hear people shouting, "Arrghh!" People shout, because they are terrified. I can hear a bird singing, because it is on the tree.

I can see emerald green water, because I sit down on the boat. I can see water bubbling around the rocks. There are three colourful parrots on the tree.

I feel happy rafting down the river. I am scared of falling out of the raft. I am terrified of falling down the waterfall.

By Benjamin Lee

I can hear people laughing, when they are so excited. When we sit on the raft, we can hear people shouting, when they are so scared. When we are on the Kaituna River, we can hear birds singing.

When we are on the Kaituna River, we can see water bubbling. We can see parrots. The water of the Kaituna River is emerald green. When we raft on the Kaituna River, we can see a lot of trees.

Before we go to the 7 meter waterfall, we can feel worried. When we raft on the Kaituna River, we can feel excited. When we fall off the 7 meter waterfall, we can feel thrilled.

By Jihoo Lee