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New Zealand’s coast gets a helping hand from Kiwi kids

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Kiwi kids can now earn a new reward for helping to protect our beaches and coastal creatures as part of the Toyota Kiwi Guardians programme.

The new Kaiwhakamaru Takutai (Coastal Wildlife Protector) medal encourages children to look after our coastal wildlife.

“By focusing on our vulnerable coastal regions, the Coastal Wildlife Protector medal actively encourages Kiwi kids to learn more about our amazing shore birds and wildlife such as fur seals,” said Andrew Davis, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager of Marketing.

The New Zealand coast is teaming with plants and animals. Some of the more iconic species include sea lions/rāpuka/whakahau, little blue penguins/korora and a range of other shore birds.

Many of these species, however, face similar pressures. Dogs, pollution/litter and human disturbance all threaten the wildlife we share our beaches with.

“All of us can play a part to help protect our coastline. Whether you change your behaviour, pick up litter on the beach or encourage others to do the same via a conversation or a poster, you’ll be helping to protect our coastal wildlife,” Mr Davis said.

To earn the Kaiwhakamaru Takutai (Coastal Wildlife Protector) medal, Kiwi kids just need to visit any part of the coast, or research part of their favourite coastline, and think about how they or their family can help protect it.

They then go online at www.kiwiguardians.co.nz click ‘claim medal’ and tell DOC what they have learnt or what they have done to protect coastal wildlife.

“Whether you live close to the beach or visit the beach for holidays, there are plenty of small things you can do to ensure the safety of the wildlife that call the coast their home,” said Anita Anderson, DOC’s Outreach and Education Manager.

Conservation Week, which runs 14-22 September, provides a great opportunity to get outside and explore the country’s coastal regions. This year marks 50 years of Conservation Week and New Zealanders are being encouraged to take action for our taonga by connecting with nature and giving our native species and natural landscapes a helping hand.

Developed in partnership between the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Toyota New Zealand, Toyota Kiwi Guardians inspires tomorrow’s leaders to protect our land and its birds and animals. The programme highlights family-friendly adventures and activities that support kids to get outdoors, take risks and look after nature.

For more information www.kiwiguardians.co.nz