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Ambassador Māia

Kia ora,

I'm Māia the kea. My name means bold in Māori. Like most kea I love to give things a go and am often curious and a little mischievous. I am the ambassador that travels all over the place with Shelley the LEARNZ field trip teacher.

I love getting out and about on adventures. Even though I'm more at home in the mountains, I am looking forward to heading to Wellington for the 2019 Rail Safety field trip.

See you out there,


Monday 12 August

Kia ora,

I have been looking forward to this field trip because I love trains. Trains were common in Arthurs Pass where I grew up. We used to keep a watch out for the tourist trains that always stopped in the village and swoop in to be photographed. Some of my mates were not always well behaved around these trains and I think they would learn a lot on this field trip!

We had a great time exploring the coolest little capital city today on foot and I can’t wait to explore it by train tomorrow.

See you then,


Tuesday 13 August

Kia ora koutou,

We had a great day learning about Wellington’s passenger train services today. Auckland is the only other city to have passenger trains. These trains are electric so don’t add to air pollution. I wish more places had these trains. We saw how technology is used to track and control trains. We even got to play in a train simulator. We also met a train driver and it was really horrible hearing about how many people don’t stop for trains at crossings. It’s so dangerous because trains take ages to stop, even when using the emergency brakes.

Tomorrow we are off to the depot to follow the journey of freight.

See you there,


Wednesday 14 August

Kia ora,

Yesterday we looked at passenger trains, so today we looked at freight trains. Most freight trains run on diesel rather than electricity, but they are still much more efficient than road trucks. Freight trains can carry far more and emit less carbon dioxide. We looked at how the engines called locomotives are serviced. I found out that there are three types of brakes on trains and these must be checked regularly. Trains also carry sand to spread on the tracks to stop the wheels from slipping.

Tomorrow we are going to be looking at the future of rail and transport in New Zealand.

See you in the morning,


Thursday 15 August

Kia ora,

Everyone was so disappointed today about missing our train trip to Featherston, north of Wellington. All the trains had been replaced with buses because of a power outage. Things like this don’t happen very often and it made us appreciate trains even more. Especially after getting car sick on the winding Remutaka Hill Road. Out at Featherston we met some local students. They showed us how to cross the railway lines safely.

Well it has been an interesting, busy week and I’m looking forward to getting home.

See you on another field trip soon,


Māia is looking forward to helping on the 2019 Rail Safety field trip. Image: LEARNZ.

Māia explores the waterfront in Wellington. Image: LEARNZ.

Māia looks at how trains are controlled from a control centre in Wellington. Image: LEARNZ.

Māia sees how locomotives are serviced at the Wellington mechanical depot. Image: LEARNZ.

Māia arrives in Featherston, north of Wellington. Image: LEARNZ.

Māia waits behind the yellow line at the train station. Why do you think it's important not to cross this line when waiting for a train? Image: LEARNZ.