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New Kiwi Guardians medal for Māori Language Week

New Kiwi Guardians medal for Māori Language Week

The Department of Conservation’s Toyota Kiwi Guardians education programme is getting a new te reo activity in honour of Māori Language Week.

Nic Toki, DOC’s Threatened Species Ambassador says, “Toyota Kiwi Guardians is an education programme designed to get kids out into nature and foster a love for the environment.”

Kids can go on mapped adventures around local nature sites or complete conservation actions in their backyards, and are rewarded with medals.

As Threatened Species Ambassador, Nic says it’s important kids form a strong connection with nature at an early age so that future generations will continue to protect and care for our threatened species.

Nic says, “Our Māori Language Week medal is called Toa Tiaki Taiao, which is a new version of the Nature Champion medal. When you break it down, toa means warrior or champion, tiaki means to guard or keep and taiao means our natural world or country.”

“To earn this medal, kids are encouraged to use te reo and spread the word about great nature locations, while learning about its Māori cultural significance. This is a celebration of Māori Language Week.”

Kids will be able to claim their medals from the 11th September and with only 100 Toa Tiaki Taiao medals available, it will be a special feature for Māori Language Week.

Toyota Kiwi Guardians is run by the Department of Conservation and Toyota New Zealand. To participate, kids visit adventure sites and follow the special map to track down a Guardian’s Post. Alternatively, they can complete tasks in their own backyards, eg: build a Wētā Motel or track their cat.

There are currently 69 Toyota Kiwi Guardian adventure sites around the country and seven action medals, which has led to over 12,000 kids becoming Kiwi Guardians.

For more information about Toyota Kiwi Guardians or to learn about the Toa Tiaki Taiao (Nature Champion) medal, please visit


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