A happy tui, an elegant royal spoonbill and a flaming red kaka beak bush are just some of the vibrant designs produced by local students to be turned into signs for the Watercare Costal Walkway.
Two classes at Viscount School, Māngere, spent several weeks researching local fauna and flora and making posters, which we have turned into information panels.
Each class voted for their favourite poster and 19 designs were finally selected. Over the past month, the signs have been installed near bird roosts on the northern section of the walkway, which runs from Ambury Farm to the Otuataua Stonefields.
Each information panel features a colourful picture and some interesting facts. Thor Dey from room 17 drew a swordfish swimming above some waving seaweed. He discovered that swordfish are night-feeders and have a few predators, such as sharks and killer whales.
Oriana Leaupepe drew a white heron and found out that these birds are very large ̶ more than 90cm tall and have the Latin name ‘egretta.’
Watercare environmental technician Liam Templeton was stunned by the students’ artistic talents, who are aged between 11-13 years: “It’s a great way to get the next generation involved to make them aware, from an environmental point of view, about what goes into the harbour and about the different species that live there.
“I’m blown away by the imagination and creativity the students have shown and it’s been great to see their reaction when we’ve shown them the finished information panels, dotted along the foreshore.”
This is the third time since 2015 that we have invited local schools to produce artwork for the walkway’s information panels.
The coastal walkway is hugely popular with cyclists, walkers and bird lovers. A quarter of the national wading bird population can be found in the Manukau Harbour at any given time and more than half will pass through the harbour at some stage in their life. Bartailed godwits are the latest arrivals and can be seen wading, feeding and using manmade bird roosts we have provided.