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Ambassador Alvin

Tēnā koutou,

I am Alvin the LEARNZ ambassador. I go on all the trips with Shelley and help look after the other ambassadors from your schools. This is going to be an awesome field trip to Nelson.

You will find out more about some of our primary industries and discover how a mussel farm, sheep farm and forestry business are using technology to become more sustainable.

I can't wait to head to the sunny city of Nelson. Sign up your ambassador now so that I have some company on the trip.

See you soon,


Monday 5 June

Kia ora,

I found it strange travelling on a public holiday today. There was hardly anyone at Dunedin Airport and even Christchurch Airport wasn’t very busy. 

The weather was also a bit bleak and we couldn’t see much from the plane until we were nearly in Nelson. I haven’t been to Nelson for a while so I’m looking forward to spending some time in the sunshine capital and finding out more about our primary industries.

See you in the morning,


Tuesday 6 June

Kia ora,

It was a stunning day in Nelson today and it was hard to believe that it’s actually winter. We spent the day out at the SPATNZ mussel hatchery where they breed mussels and grow baby mussels for two months until they are big enough to take out to mussel farms in the Marlborough Sounds.

It was cool seeing the tiny mussels in their larval stage where they can swim around. You can’t see them until you look under the microscope because they are so small.

It was neat to see how scientists have worked out how to breed mussels and I can’t wait to try some of them, once they are harvested.

See you tomorrow,


Wednesday 7 June

Kia ora,

We had such a cool day out at Thorvald today. This is where they turn sheep milk into cheese and yoghurt. I have only ever seen cows being milked so it was a bit different seeing sheep in the milking shed. A lot of technology helps to milk sheep and keep everything clean. Julie who supplies milk to Thorvald showed you how she knows exactly how much milk each sheep produces and how the milking cups are able to stop pumping automatically and release, making milking much easier and better for the sheep.

It was fascinating seeing yoghurt being made but my favourite part of the day was trying sheep milk, cheese and yoghurt. I was surprised at how much it tasted like cow’s milk, only creamier. 

Tomorrow we are heading into the forest.

See you then,


Thursday 8 June

Kia ora,

We certainly managed to make the most of the last day of Our Primary Industries field trip. The weather was glorious and we followed the growing of trees to the growing industry of engineered wood. Pine trees grow so fast and can be used for so many different things but I never realised that pine trees can be engineered to be as strong as steel by peeling the logs into thin layers and choosing the strongest layers to stick together.

It has been such an interesting field trip finding out how to add value to natural resources using a bit of good old kiwi ingenuity not to mention some great science and technology.

See you on another field trip soon,



Alvin is looking forward to travelling to Nelson for the Primary Industries field trip. Image: LEARNZ.

Alvin has time for some reading on the flight to Nelson. Image: LEARNZ.

Alvin takes a look around Nelson. Image: LEARNZ.

Alvin looks around the mussel hatchery. Image: LEARNZ.

Alvin helps get the sheep into the milking shed. Image: LEARNZ.

Alvin finds out how pine trees are logged in a forest near Nelson. Image: LEARNZ.

Alvin checks out some finished LVL engineered wood at Nelson Pine Industries. Image: LEARNZ.