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Ambassador Taniwha

Kia ora

My name is Taniwha and I am the class mascot for Rūma Whitu at Karoro School in Māwhera/Greymouth. I have been on a few LEARNZ Field Trips before and always loved the experiences I've had. I'm looking forward to going on the Spirit of New Zealand and learning about hauora and how I can be a kind and confident team member.

Noho ora mai.

See you around!

Nā Taniwha.

Monday 19 February

Kia ora,

It has been a while since my last field trip so I’ve been really looking forward to jumping aboard the Spirit of New Zealand. We flew over a thousand kilometres from Dunedin to Auckland to meet the ship. I have my own little bunk but there isn’t much room with 50 people onboard a 45 metre long boat. 

It was awesome to set sail and leave Auckland behind. I even got to go for a quick swim. I’m hoping that cyclone Gita won’t affect us too much tomorrow. We are sheltered behind an island so it shouldn’t get too rough.

Talk soon,


Tuesday 20 February

Kia ora

I was expecting a big storm today, but ex-cyclone Gita has tracked south of where we are. We were able to set sail and learn more about how to sail a tall ship. It was so much fun, especially when the winds increased. I learned that the ropes used to raise and lower sails are actually called lines. Later in the trip I hope to be able to climb the rigging and help stow sails. 

We are now hiding from the weather and hoping to go ashore tomorrow to explore.

See you then,


Wednesday 21 February

Kia ora,

After a few days at sea it was quite nice to set foot on land again. We paddled inflatable rafts over to Waiheke Island and explored Man O’ War Bay. At first I found it hard to paddle but with a bit of help from the trainees and some practice it got much easier.

I also learned about all the different sails on the Spirit of New Zealand. There are 14 sails altogether but you don’t need to use all of these unless the winds are really light.

I can’t wait to climb the mast tomorrow.

See you then,


Thursday 22 February

Kia ora,

We made the most of our last full day onboard the Spirit of New Zealand. We went sailing in a little boat known as a lugger and it felt so much more exciting than being on the ship because you are so close to the water and the boat responds so quickly to changes in the wind. A lugger has one sail and I learned how to control this and use the rudder to steer the boat. It was so much fun when the wind increased and we ended up zooming across the water.

We also climbed the mast, which was quite terrifying but I felt very proud to reach the top.

It has been a fantastic adventure and I can’t wait to go on more adventures with my classmates when I get home.

See you soon,



Taniwha is looking forward to jumping aboard the Spirit of New Zealand tall ship. Image: LEARNZ.

Taniwha farewells Auckland as he sets sail on the Spirit of New Zealand. Image: LEARNZ.

Taniwha monitors our progress and weather conditions from the Wheel House onboard the Spirit of New Zealand. Image: LEARNZ.

Taniwha takes a rest after helping to paddle an inflatable raft ashore. Image: LEARNZ.

Taniwha hangs out on the Spirit of New Zealand ship. Image: LEARNZ.

Taniwha climbs the 27m mast on the Spirit of New Zealand. Image: LEARNZ.