tim mathers

Conservation Week: Exploring the Oparara Basin with my son

This week is Conservation Week. The overarching theme for Conservation Week is ‘Healthy Nature Healthy People’. Green MP Mojo Mathers shares her experience a few years ago exploring native forest with her young son.


“Life is an adventure!” I said to my seven old son as we set of on the track.

“ You never know what’s just around the corner”

Tim was thrilled and that is how we started off on one of the most magical days we’ve ever had together.

We were on our first visit to the Oparara Basin, on the Karamea side of Kahurangi National park.  It is an area that is famous for its large natural rock arches, network of caves and pristine rainforest.

First stop was one of the rock arches. Tim was suitably impressed,  I assured him there would be more to discover.

So on we went. A bush robin decided to befriend us. So much so, he ended up hopping onto Tim’s foot and pecking his toes. Tim was captivated and spent 30 minutes deep in conversation with the robin.

Reluctantly we said goodbye. Tim was hot so took the opportunity to splash in the cool waters of a small river, naturally brown with the tannins from leaf litter that had seeped into the water.

Final stop was at the famous Mirror Tarn. There Tim made his most exciting find of the day. Clambering a fallen tree trunk he found a giant snail shell (powelliaphanta spp).

His delight and joy in his discovery made my day too!

Experiences like this are why I am so committed to protecting our native species, so that all kiwi kids can also take pride and delight in our natural world.

This week is Conservation Week , so let’s celebrate Aotearoa’s incredible and diverse indigenous species and recognise that they need and deserve our protection.

Conservation Week 2016

  • Check out the Department of Conservation website here http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservationweek/
  • Find a Conservation Week event here http://www.doc.govt.nz/news/events/conservation-week/events/
  • Join the conversation about conservation on social media using this hashtag #conservationweek