Polly Pekapeka (our Manu | Bird of the Year 2021) is looking for adventure, so she’s off visiting KCCers around Aotearoa – and beyond. Follow all her adventures out and about in nature HERE.
In May 2022, Polly went to stay with Ellie (age 6), Tilly, Rosa, and Drew in Christchurch. Here’s what they got up to together…
Our whānau were so excited when Polly arrived in the mailbox with Ellie’s name on the package! We quickly unpacked her and welcomed her into the whānau by taking her out for a hot chocolate at our favourite kid friendly cafe! We took her to some of our favourite nature spots here in Ōtautahi so she could see some of the beauty of Te Wai Pounamu (South Island).
Our first adventure took us to the Travis Wetlands. We told Polly all about how Ōruapaeroa used to be a massive wetland and was a very special place for our tūpuna māori (ancestors) to harvest raupō and harakeke for building, food and medicine. Ngāi Tahu used raupō to make whare (houses) and mōkihi (small boats) because it was water repellent and could be used to insulate their houses. We told Polly about how Ōruapaeroa is the largest and last freshwater wetland in Ōtautahi. It is home to many native birds and trees so as kaitiaki (caretakers) of the whenua (land) each of us need to make sure we protect it by being tidy kiwis and continuing to teach others about how important it is to take care of the whenua. Polly was very impressed to see so many birds in the wetland, but we didn’t see any other pekapeka because it was still daytime.
We also took Polly to see the New Brighton Pier. Polly enjoyed the wind and the waves. She was very brave to let Ellie hold her wing and walked along the pier to the very end to look over Mahānui (the coastal view towards Kaikōura)
We made a stop at Pūtaringamotu (Riccarton bush), a protected area right in the city where some of the last mighty kahikatea trees can be found. The forest is so dense that if you close your eyes, you almost travel back in time. Polly liked it in the forest very much because it’s so beautiful and peaceful. We wondered if pekapeka lived here in Pūtaringamotu.
We have loved having Polly come to stay and hope she will come back to explore more of Ōtautahi with our whānau, thank you for letting us take care of her, we will miss her batty antics.
Tilly, Rosa, Ellie and Drew
Ka mau te wehi | Awesome! What a great adventure.