School programme

Our harbour

Te Awarua-o-Porirua

Years 1-13. 90 min

Free for Porirua schools, or $2 per child per programme.

Explore the heritage, ecology and sustainability of our harbour.

When you walk into Te Awarua-o-Porirua Gallery you are surrounded by glowing large drawn murals on the wall about the different kinds of birds, fish, insects, animals and people who have lived around Te Awarua-o-Porirua for over 800 years. The gallery ‘reads’ like a pictorial timeline and history picture-book come to life. It’s a great way for younger children to explore how life around the harbour has changed over time and we will use objects from our tactile collection to investigate the technology of the different times portrayed. Your visit could also include a look at the adjacent Whiti Te Rā exhibition.

Te Awarua-o-Porirua can also be used to explore issues around pollution, sustainability and the need to improve and keep our harbours and waterways healthy for future generations.

Pre & post visit ideas

  • Find out about the story of the taniwha Awarua
  • Investigate what it means to be the kaitiaki of an important place
  • Explore the harbour-side walkways, go for a walk ( from Pāuatahanui and from the harbour front at Porirua) and take photographs of it
  • Organize a class photographic display of the harbour which shows off its scenic qualities as well as the many different ways people and birds use and enjoy the harbour
  • Create a nature diary on your walk and collect leaves, grasses, seed heads to stick in. Sketch what you see
  • Decorate some local shells and think about what you can make out of them
  • Organise a rubbish clean-up at the harbour side. Create a survey and plot a graph of what different types of rubbish you find
  • Research about how pollution (especially plastic) is threatening our oceans
  • Invite someone from the City Council to discuss with your class the problems facing the harbour and discuss what is being done and future solutions to keep our harbour healthy
  • Collaborate together to create a rubbish sculpture (But clean the rubbish first!)

Contact us

Email [email protected] or phone (04) 237 1512 if you'd like us to tailor a programme to meet your learning goals.