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A weekend of discovery at Waipātiki

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Over 170 big kids, little kids, scientists and enthusiasts converged on Waipātiki Domain on the first weekend of February to discover and count numerous species of fauna and flora as part of the Waipātiki BioBlitz.

The Waipatiki community and Tamsin Ward-Smith from Wild Solutions planned and coordinated the event, bringing together like-minded people in order to highlight and celebrate the environment and the biodiversity that exists in one of our local communities.  

“It was very rewarding to be able to showcase some of the local wildlife gems right here on our doorstep at Waipātiki. And a huge thank you to all the extra helping hands that made the weekend such a success” says Tamsin.

For many budding environmentalists, Ruud Kleinpaste, aka ‘BugMan’ was the highlight of the weekend. Ruud set the scene for the event at the opening session and continued to wow kids and adults alike with his knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for all things living in the natural world around us.

Ruud was joined by ecologists and scientists from Hawke's Bay Regional Council, Te Papa, EIT, Landcare Trust, Plant HB, the National Aquarium, Department of Conservation (DoC) and more.

Denise Fastier, Senior Biodiversity Ranger at DOC believes “we are very fortunate with the number of locals with vast specialist knowledge – including polymath Mike Lusk. It was fabulous to be able to tap into national experts to extend our local knowledge. Whilst the i-Naturalist app does a fantastic job of identifying by photo, there’s nothing quite like learning on the ground from a real person”.

The final count for the BioBlitz is still to come in, but a successful weekend no less. The Waipātiki BioBlitz was supported by Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay. To find out more visit

9 March 2021

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