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Water - a balancing act

Welcome to the Water field trip for Term 1. This trip is supported by Irrigation New Zealand and the Ministry of Education/Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga


Water is one of the most important substances on earth. If there was no water there would be no life on earth. It sustains every living thing and our way of life.

Water is one of New Zealand's most valuable assets. Because we're a small island in a large ocean, high rainfall fills our rivers, lakes and underground lakes (aquifers) to provide many sources of water. Even so, our water supply is limited.

New Zealand is a food producing nation and water is at the heart of every part of the food production cycle. This field trip is a water journey exploring how we manage water sustainably for farming, food and our future: finding the balance between using and conserving. You will follow the journey of water starting where it falls on our mountains: you will see water trapped and conveyed to farmers who apply it to their crops, where it is absorbed into plant material, processed into food and transported to you, the consumer. What a journey!

introduction to water from LEARNZ on Vimeo.


You're off to Canterbury. Bordered by mountains to the West and the Pacific Ocean to the East, the Canterbury Plains slope gently towards the sea. On this trip you will travel from west to east following the journey of our most valuable asset - water!

Field Trip Plan

    Monday 18 March

    Travel day: Join Andrew and the ambassadors as they travel from Kerikeri to Darfield. During the journey, Andrew takes the chance to photograph and talk about some of the interesting features of the trip.

    Tuesday 19 March

    Day 1: The field trip begins at the Central Plains Water storage pond near Sheffield. Here you will look at the origins of this water, how it is taken for irrigation, and the need for careful water management regarding sustainability. 

    Wednesday 20 March

    Day 2: You will be based at a farm on day 2. You will get to see irrigation systems in action and find out how modern technology is making irrigation more efficient.

    Thursday 21 March

    Day 3: On the final day of the field trip you will see how irrigation is important for businesses and jobs, and how irrigation water can also be used for other purposes aside from farming. You will also get to see what jobs and industries come about through irrigation.