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Tūhura Ahuahu - cultural and ecological stories from Great Mercury Island

Posted by Barrie Matthews

When: 30 Jul 2019 - 1 Aug 2019

Venue: Online

Organiser: LEARNZ team at CORE Education

Contact: barrie.matthews@core-ed.org

Our understanding of the settlement of Aotearoa New Zealand is developing and becoming clearer as archaeological sites unveil their secrets. Nowhere is this more evident than on Ahuahu Great Mercury Island. Recent excavations are telling new stories of ancestors of modern Maori; their origins in Polynesia, their voyages, lives and lore.

In recent times Ahuahu has become a place of exciting new discoveries:

  • How did people from the tropics adapt to life in colder climates?
  • How could people create a sustainable living from a small island environment?
  • How did the island respond to a human presence and the plants and animals they brought with them?
  • How can we bring environments like Ahuahu back to what they used to be like?

On this field trip you will journey back in time to hear from descendants of early Māori, from archaeologists who will explain what they do in a dig, and from conservation workers restoring habitats and species.

As we acknowledge 250 years since the first onshore meetings between Māori and Europeans, exploring places such as Ahuahu Great Mercury Island will help us better understand our history and our country.

To prepare for this field trip, LEARNZ content will support inquiry into:

  • Early human settlement in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Island sanctuaries
  • Ahuahu Great Mercury Island
  • Ngāti Hei - Tangata Whenua
  • Long-term ecological restoration projects
  • Native species recovery
  • Predator Control and Pest Free New Zealand 2050
  • Tuia 250 first Encounters
  • The effects of new technology

During this field trip you will:

  • follow tweets from Andrew, the LEARNZ field trip teacher
  • Explore Ahuahu Great Mercury Island
  • Visit and interpret archaeological sites including middens
  • Stand on the spot in Mercury Bay where Iwi and Cook met in 1769
  • Get up close to native wildlife and find out how they are inter-connected
  • Count wildlife to see how their numbers are increasing
  • Interpret wildlife data collected over many years for Ahuahu