Meet our Karioi volunteers – dedicated to surfing – and making a difference too.
Whaingaroa/Raglan is one of the top surfing locations in the world and has lots of international visitors. This year two of these visitors have seized the opportunity to be involved as interns in the A Rocha-led Karioi: Maunga ki te Moana – Mountain to Sea project.
Emily Leucht arrived courtesy of the Pacific Exchange Emerging Professionals Program (PEEPP). In her homeland of Hawaiʻi, decimated native ecosystems are often isolated and inaccessible for community members, whereas in Aotearoa, threatened native species are often found in habitats closer to human communities. Reflecting on these proximal distinctions, Emily has been exploring how the use of art can creatively cultivate and foster our relationships with native and threatened ecosystems – even in instances when these species are remote from our daily experience.
Nathaniel Glickman, Canadian and passionate surfer, visited Raglan in 2014/15 and became an enthusiastic Karioi KIDS team member – running the marine educational activities. Currently completing a Marine Science degree at Victoria University, Nate has returned, eager to contribute to the program. “It’s no secret” Nate says, “to anyone who has graced the shores of Whaingaroa Harbour that this is a very special place. It’s also obvious that it’s a community that will undergo major changes in the next few decades. My inspiration to work with the children of Raglan stems from the desire to help inspire the next generation of locals to be passionate stewards of this incredible ecosystem they are blessed to be a part of. Without the powerful voice of these inspiring children, there is a risk of losing the magic that happens where the Mountain meets the Sea.”
Emily and Nate have been wonderful additions – bringing with them a load of enthusiasm, creativity and a deep love for the ocean (and of course, surfing!) They have been heavily involved in our Karioi KIDS environmental education program, including being integral to our presence at the annual Maui Dolphin Day. As Emily describes it, “this opportunity and being part of the Karioi program has inspired and enthused my commitment to community involvement in outdoor education and action.”
We’re always on the lookout for people with availability, creativity and passion to be involved with Karioi and other A Rocha projects around the country. If this sounds like you, email us at: [email protected]