Water a precious Taonga: school water sensitive programme

Nicole Gibson, Brand Manager
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School water sensitive programme | Morphum Environmental

Morphum Environmental was engaged by Auckland Council to deliver educational lessons and water sensitive design options to select Auckland Primary Schools, as part of their Water Sensitive Schools Programme - a learning journey which celebrates the precious nature of water. Local Boards funded the initiative, which was successful due to the collaborative effort between Morphum Environmental, Roots Creative, school lead teachers and Enviroschools advisors. 

The programme teaches students that water is a Taonga: an object or natural resource which is highly prized. Students learnt about the water cycle, what pollutes our water and the significant impact pollution has on our waterways. They were provided with solutions to improve water quality and encouraged to share their learnings, take ownership and become guardians of our water, not only for our generation, but for future generations. Water sensitive design options, such as rain gardens and water detention tanks, were also covered and installed as part of the programme. 

Year 3 students at Murrays Bay School were fortunate to take part in the interactive learning programme, which was delivered by Morphum Environmental’s Kate Macintosh and Alice Rieger, and supported by Lead Teacher Trish Best. Emily Afoa, engineering design team leader at Morphum Environmental, was involved in the water sensitive design and installation of a rain tank for the school.  An opening ceremony was held in June to celebrate the installation of the rain tank, which will provide a source of clean water for the school’s orchard. 

Interpretive signage for the rain tank was developed by students and teachers at Murrays Bay School to reinforce the messages of water conservation and reuse, educate on sources of stormwater pollution and prevention opportunities, and highlight water sensitive design as an engineered solution to solving water quality problems in local streams and beaches. The project was aligned with the local board’s Love Our Bays programme, which aims to encourage local community members to protect and enhance urban streams in the East Coast Bays area. 

Roots Creative led the educational programme for Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Puau te Moananui A Kiwa, Rowandale School and Onehunga Primary School. Morphum Environmental provided input on water sensitive design options and installation for these schools, and attended the tank opening ceremonies and learning presentations.

Auckland Council’s water sensitive programme is available to members of Enviroschools, a network which supports children to “plan, design and implement sustainability actions that are important to them and their communities”.

Nicole Gibson

Brand Manager