Ocean Champion Challenge

Fri, 04 June 2021

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Ocean Champions 2021

Thank you to all individuals and groups that took part in the Ocean Champion Challenge this year - its the first year that we made it a requirement to send us a video entry and we were so pleased with the videos we received! We would like to congratulate all the entrants on a job well done! 

Senior Ocean Champion: Zoe Luffman, this years finalist receives a $500 cheque from the New Zealand Coastal Society who has been sponsoring this award since 2018. The prize money goes to support her great beach-cleaning work that she's been doing since she was ten years old!

Group Ocean Champions: 

Tāhuna Learning Habitat, the new entrants class at Ormiston Primary School, won a class trip to Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s for their fabulous effort to teach everyone else in their school, community and country to do the same- 'pick it up'. Saddened by by videos about plastic in our oceans and seeing rubbish down the drains when they were out exploring, they wondered - "how could we make this better in our school, our community and our country?" They decided to let everyone know they can make a difference by making less rubbish and picking up any rubbish we see - and made an awesome video about it.

Ruakaka Eco Heroes a group of 22 students from from Ruakaka Primary school, year 4-6. Their class won a LittaTrap from Enviropod to install at their school which will stop plastic and other nasties reaching our oceans via the stormwater drain. The Eco Heroes group meet once a week to discuss "BIG" problems connected to their local environment around Ruakaka and to take some community action. In light of the Ocean Champion Challenge, the Eco - Heroes group brainstormed problems connected to their marine environment and voted on the most impactful problem that resonated with them; Dog Poo on Ruakaka beach. The students then contacted the Whangarei District Council to try to do something about the Dog Poo problem. They designed a prototype of a Doggy Poo bag dispenser and as an ongoing community action are working together with the Council to try to develop a sustainable solution - see the whole thing outlined in their video entry!

Tiki Tour Games
, a six person 
Young Enterprise business team from Pakuranga College in East Auckland who are passionate about protecting the environment. They produced a fun and simple board game focused on sustainability. - to educate individuals on how they act more environmentally-friendly, while tying in New Zealand and classic Kiwi aspects. As their video entry is this year's runner up, this group received a box of eco-friendly goodies from our sponsors.

Honorable mentions also go out to: 

  • Te Iti Kahurangi Kāhui Ako (T.I.K.) across schools litter beach auditors  made an excellent film about their beach clean & audit done with Sustainable Coastlines litter intelligence methodology.
  • Bream Bay Early Learning Centre submitted a fabulous entry, sharing their artistic journey of knowledge together; learning about the interconnectedness of our land and sea to try to save both the kauri tree and Tohorā in our local area.
  • Makauri School Year 3's  also sent us a great entry which tells the story of their snorkeling adventures with EMR, within and outside of a marine reserve and the video shows the outcome of their beach clean with graphed results  - their class will receive a reuseable bag courtesy of our sponsors Rethink!
  • Art at Sumner Hub shared a very creative initiative with us - it is their hope that using beautiful ceramic painting pallets and water pots inspired by the sea means the group are not contributing to plastic pollution.
  • Taradale High School year 12 and 13 Gateway class participated in this Ocean Champion Challenge with collecting rubbish before it gets into the waterways/rivers to prevent the rubbish from ending up in the oceans.  They made a lovely short video to highlight the importance of all members of society disposing of their rubbish in an environmentally friendly manner.

All of the Junior Ocean Champions (16 & under) recieved a certificate and goodies from our sponsors. Congratulations: Leon Ord-Walton, Fionn Fitzmann, Blaire, Regan & Brooklyn Brown, Aliya & Mia, and Mishika & Maanvir Chawla

Thank you to so much to all our generous sponsors of the Ocean Champion ChallengeNew Zealand Coastal SocietyEnviropodRethinkEthiqueHarper Collins Publishers NZKlean KanteenRemix PlasticExperiencing Marine Reserves, and Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s – for providing some fantastic prizes! This year we are able to send prize packs to all the Junior Ocean Champions, all the Senior entrants and to as many of the groups as we could. 

What is the Ocean Champion Challenge? (Open for entries again in 2022!)

The national Seaweek Ocean Champion Challenge – Moana Toa Whakatara –  is a call for all environmental heroes to share with us what action they are taking to help solve a problem impacting the marine environment.

For this year’s entry into the Ocean Champion Challenge, we invite you share your story in a short video or photo slideshow of your efforts to protect or restore our marine environment.  Alongside the video file, please include a little bit about what inspires you and what you are doing as a kaitiaki to protect our moana.

We would like to use this challenge as a platform to celebrate the work of many passionate ocean advocates and share their stories – we can all be ocean champions if we rise to the challenge we set ourselves.

Criteria for all entries:

  • Entrants can either film the video themselves, narrate the video or have someone filming them.
  • Videos can be ‘photo slideshows’ or ‘photo stories’ but should include some narrative that tells us about what you are doing and why.
  • Entries must be sent as Mp4 (standard video files), no less than 1 minute but no longer than 3 minutes.

There are three award categories and lots of fantastic prizes for Ocean Champions 2021!

Junior entrants (16 & under) All entries will all go into a prize draw for a selection of fantastic spot prizes from our sponsors, Rethink, Ethique, Harper Collins Publishers NZ, Klean Kanteen, Remix Plastic and Experiencing Marine Reserves

Senior entrants (17+) The finalist will receive a $500 cheque to support their work sponsored by the New Zealand Coastal Society who has been sponsoring this award since 2018.

Group entrants (any group – 2 people or more!) Group winners will receive a LittaTrap from Enviropod to install at your school or anywhere in your community. A LittaTrap stops plastic and other nasties reaching our oceans via the stormwater drain and is key in the fight against marine pollution.  And for an outstanding group of students (up to 30) that enter, there is a class trip to Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s up for grabs!

Please make sure entries include the following with your entry & send to seaweek@merc.org.nz

Full name(s) and category of entry
Email address/contact phone number
Brief biography or description of the participant(s) or group entering the Challenge

Make sure you answer these in your video:
What is the marine environment problem that is being addressed?
How will your work impact the marine environment?

With your permission, video entries will be featured on the Seaweek website and social media channels. Also, if you, your group or your class have a website, blog or facebook page with more information about your project or challenge please include a link!