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Is the Ultimate Conservation Kiwi in Your Community?

Is the Ultimate Conservation Kiwi in Your Community?

There's nothing more important to New Zealand right now than the health of our environment, which is why one Auckland business is rewarding those people who are doing their bit to protect their own backyard.

Leading sustainable tourism operator Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari is on the hunt to find the country's top 30 community conservation heroes in celebration of this month’s Conservation Week.

They have joined forces on social media with 10 other key partners - all of whom are deeply invested in the preservation and conservation of Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf Marine Park - to ask the public to share stories and vote for their favourites. Some of the partners include Wildside, which is the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) community Facebook page, and Sustainable Coastlines.

"There are so many amazing everyday Kiwis out there who are selflessly volunteering their time and energy to look after our environment. We believe these people are our country's unsung heroes," says Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari’s Research and Conservation Officer, Catherine Lea.

The business - which operates boat trips daily on their hi-tech research vessel from the Viaduct Harbour - is asking people to nominate those in their community who are the ultimate example of Kiwi conservationists.

People can enter by sharing their nominations on Facebook - either on Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari’s page or on one of their partners' pages - and using the hashtag #conservationkiwis

"When it comes to conservation, we know that when people learn more about a species or an environment that's special to them, they connect and engage to actively protect it," says Ms Lea. "That's why community conservation is an achievement that deserves to be celebrated and recognised."

Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari will shout New Zealand's top 30 conservation heroes out for a special eco-safari on November 11. The event will bring together not only these conservation Kiwis but also some of the top marine research experts in New Zealand.

"We are lucky in New Zealand to have some of the most abundant, diverse and amazing environments in the world but, now more than ever, we need to all work together to protect these," explains Ms Lea.

The Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari's crew is made up of marine biologists and ecologists, committed to the conservation of the unique marine ecosystem that occupies the waters right next to New Zealand's largest city.

Conservation Week Background

Conservation Week runs from October 14 - October 22. To celebrate it, Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari and other key partners, such as Sustainable Coastlines, Keep New Zealand Beautiful and Kiwi for Kiwis, are encouraging all New Zealanders to share their stories and nominations for those heroes in their community who show a commitment to conservation. Entries can be made by posting on their Facebook page between October 3 - October 21. The winners - who will be chosen by popular vote and by a panel of conservation experts - will be announced on October 22.

During Conservation Week, Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari will also be holding free open mornings on the boat - located in the Viaduct Harbour - on October 21 and October 22.

Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari Background

Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari is a family-run business that started in 2000. It is dedicated to helping people discover Auckland's whales, dolphins, birds and island scenery while protecting habitat and species for future generations. The research conducted on board the boat by marine biologists and ecologists is used to help assist in the preservation and conservation of key species within Auckland's Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.


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