Occasionally we're given the opportunity to write articles about what we do. In some cases someone else wants to write about us! Here you can find these occasional writings:
Why does Taupō for Tomorrow matter to anglers?
When students ask me why the Tongariro National Trout Centre (TNTC) hosts freshwater education programme Taupō for Tomorrow, I answer: “We can’t have a healthy fishery if we don’t have healthy streams”. This simple truth is why Genesis Energy, DOC and the Tongariro National Trout Centre Society come together to provide this educational resource to people from all over New Zealand.
Whether we use freshwater for angling, power production, farming, or whio/blue duck, every single one of us values our freshwater resources. This means that we can work together for mutually beneficial outcomes. The seemingly unorthodox partnership between power generators, conservation, and anglers, behind Taupō for Tomorrow is evidence that we can find common ground (or water as the case may be!).
Taupō for Tomorrow aims to inspire in students a sense of kaitiakitanga/guardianship for their freshwater resources. The first step is addressing the fundamental question: Why should I care? Well, why should any of us care? Now that I think about it, I do like to drink water, and sometimes I even bathe! Maybe you charge your phone drawing energy from hydroelectricity, or swim in the summer, perhaps you even go fishing! Freshwater is one of the easiest resources to see as personally relevant – which makes my job a little easier.
Next, we consider: What threatens this resource that is so precious to all of us? I have yet to see a group that fails to come up with any threats to freshwater. We are fortunate in Taupō district to have stunning waterways that are pretty healthy; but we are no exception when it comes to the many threats to the sustainability of this resource.
These two steps lead to the inevitable, and vitally important, question: What can I/we do to help? This is exactly where that sense of kaitiakitanga comes in. Students learn about the ways we can protect freshwater environments and resources, both individually and as a society. As anglers, most of you will already know how healthy rivers and lakes support you, and are probably aware of the many threats to those waterways – you already have a sense of guardianship. The main benefit of Taupō for Tomorrow is that it provides students with experiences that cement their guardianship of our waterways for the years to come.
For some, that experience is catching a fish, and realising that it relies on the pristine waters of Taupō streams. For others, it might be seeing wild whio on the Tongariro River – for a bird more endangered than kiwi to live near us is very special. Whatever the trigger is, it’s connecting our wants and needs with our actions around freshwater. That’s why TNTC hosts Taupō for Tomorrow, why Genesis Energy funds it, and why DOC supports it.
By Krysia Nowak (educator)
Taupō Fishery Focus; e-newsletter