The world's your oyster

By Tema Hemi
  • Northland
  • Auckland

Seafood operators and a sustainability organisation have brought together students from Kaitaia College, Te Rangi Aniwaniwa and Kaitaia Abundant Life School for an opportunity to earn NCEA credits at Tasty Tio's Oyster Farm in the Parengarenga Harbour. 

Tasty Tio, Papa Taiao Earthcare and Moana NZ have teamed up to educate and engage young people in sustainability projects. 

These 43,000 oysters will help to filter 8,000,000 litres of water every day.  Replanted oysters have been keeping the Parengarenga water clean for nearly a year.

Source: Papa Taiao Website.

Chief Sustainability Officer Marty Taylor says, "They all get enterprise qualifications in NCEA, so that's level two and level three, and they can get university entrance from the course that we do.  They also get unit standards in oyster farming."

The students' interests initially revolved around helping their community in more immediate ways.

"When we spoke to those students they were really interested in things that weren't related to aqua-culture at that time because there was a spate of youth suicides up here and they were interested in how they could generate opportunities for other young people in the community." 

Source: Papa Taiao Website.

Papa Taiao Earthcare is a sustainability and ecological restoration training organisation that enables young people to lead enterprising social, cultural and environmental projects while gaining NCEA qualifications and earthcare skills.

 "It's actually a new direction and it's another opportunity.  There's a sense that when you live in Kaitaia the only way to make a living is to leave Kaitaia," says Taylor.

Source: Papa Taiao Website.