Creative Conservation and Community Cleanup for Māui Dolphins | WWF New Zealand

Creative Conservation and Community Cleanup for Māui Dolphins

Posted on
19 June 2017

Aucklanders are on a mission to save New Zealand’s Māui dolphins.

An artist, an actor, a café and multiple students and individuals from the Auckland region have joined the Māui Dolphin Challenge. This WWF-New Zealand campaign challenges people to fundraise by pledging to do something involving the number 63 to save the last 63 Māui dolphins, the smallest and rarest marine dolphin in the world. Whether it’s walking 63 kilometres or picking up 63 kilograms of rubbish, people across the country and overseas are signing up to take part in creative fundraising challenges.

Enthusiastic students from Kohia Terrace School, Epsom​, ​Auckland, are engaging with the Māui Dolphin Challenge by picking up 63 pieces of rubbish for four weeks and much more. The school Challenge team comprises of 27 students, aged six and seven.

Kohia Terrace School Teacher Katie Williams said: “The kids are super excited about this Challenge. We have done many activities about Māui dolphins, including written reports, art work, and picking up rubbish every day and tabling it.

“At school our focus for this term is endangered and extinct animals, and we chose to study Māui dolphins – a NZ native and found really close to Auckland, which the children could easily relate to.”

In the words of Kohia Terrace School students:

“Māui dolphins are important because they are endangered and are only found in NZ! We need to protect them.” (Xinyu and Mayoori) 

“We wanted to take on the challenge to help save the dolphins. Also, we like learning about them.” (Enzo and Blake) 

“Tell everyone to stop littering and pick up their rubbish. And tell the fishermen to not use set netting and make it law!” (Jamie and Chloe)

WWF-New Zealand Campaigner David Tong said: “Māui dolphins are found only off the west coast of the North Island – nowhere else in the world, and they’re right on the brink of extinction"​. 

“Together we’re aiming for a world where Māui dolphins are a common sight in the waters of Aotearoa New Zealand, but to achieve this goal we need help.”

This year’s Challenge has attracted the support of a diverse range of New Zealanders including passionate people from the Auckland region. 

Auckland-born actress based in Los Angeles, Anna Hutchison (from North Shore) starred on Shortland Street, Go Girls, Power Rangers and Underbelly, and is also getting behind the Challenge. Anna was upset to hear that there are only an estimated 63 Māui dolphins remaining, so for the month of June she is running 63km a week to help raise funds.

Grey Lynn-based stencil artist Flox is offering up the chance to win a limited edition Flox Sea Walls Digital Print as her Challenge. Every person who donates will be in the draw to win a wonderful print which features the beautiful Māui dolphin. 

The youngest Challenger,​​ ​four-year-old Scarlett from Waiatarua, loves Māui dolphins and wants to help protect them. She is not only baking cookies and picking up rubbish, but spreading the word about these animals with presentations to her kindergarten friends​ ​and local primary schools.   

Eight-year-old Meme from Port Waikato is picking up rubbish from her local beach for 63 minutes and is writing a 63-word letter to the New Zealand Prime Minister asking him to help Māui dolphins.Little Island Coconut Creamery and Niceblocks are getting behind Meme’s challenge.

Marayke and Rose from Remuera are planting 63 trees each in regional parks around Auckland. 

The folk from Herne Bay’s Dear Jervois café feel very strongly about the environment and wildlife. They are giving the proceeds from Unicorn White Hot Chocolates to support Māui dolphins for 63 days as their Challenge.

Ripe Deli (at Grey Lynn) is selling their famous worm juice for $4 a bottle and donating all the proceeds to the Challenge. They are extremely passionate about Māui dolphins, and are raising awareness with their customers and in the community. 

How to get involved in the Māui Dolphin Challenge:

1. Choose a challenge – no matter how big or small.

2. Create a fundraising page at mauidolphin.org.nz

3. Get your friends and family to sponsor you – spread the word far and wide!

4. If you aren’t able to take a challenge yourself, you may like to sponsor an existing challenge at https://www.everydayhero.co.nz/event/Maui-dolphin-challenge/find_a_challenger 

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Kohia Terrace School children showing their Māui dolphin artwork. From back left Bader, Audrey and Brooklyn. From front left Jerry and Reagan.
© Kohia Terrace School
The folk from Herne Bay’s Dear Jervois café are giving the proceeds from Unicorn White Hot Chocolates to support Māui dolphins for 63 days as their Challenge.
© Dear Jervois
Eight-year-old Meme from Port Waikato is picking up rubbish from her local beach for 63 minutes and is writing a 63-word letter to the New Zealand Prime Minister asking him to help Māui dolphins.
© Isa Olson
Grey Lynn-based stencil artist Flox is offering up the chance to win a limited edition Flox Sea Walls Digital Print as her Challenge.
© Flox
The youngest Challenger,​​ ​four-year-old Scarlett from Waiatarua, is not baking cookies and picking up rubbish, and spreading the word about these animals with presentations to her kindergarten friends​ ​and local primary schools.
© Lilly Family
Ripe Deli is selling their famous worm juice for $4 a bottle and donating all the proceeds to the Challenge.
© Ripe Deli