Skies clear for Children’s Day

Nina Zink, 10, of Te Anau, perfecting the art of bubble making in Ivon Wilson park. PHOTO: Claire Kaplan

A last-minute change in the weather made for perfect conditions at this year's Children's Day in Te Anau's Ivon Wilson Park.

The Sunday morning rain took a sharp turn for the better by midday, which meant over 250 kids and the young-at-heart got the best of the annual "Play Date with Nature" event in Te Anau.

Kids made tie-dye sheets with toy water guns filled with dye, blew bubbles, read story books in a quiet tree alcove, made their own nature-inspired arts and crafts and even cooked their own damper in an outdoor kitchen as part of the myriad activities on offer. 

If the damper wasn't enough, Plunket's sausage sizzle fundraiser brought in just over $200 for the group.

Department of Conservation (DOC) community ranger Sarah Afriyie-Agyemang said there was an awesome turnout, especially with earlier concerns the rain might keep some people from coming. 

Kids also submitted their ideas to name the latest takahe chick now living at the Te Anau bird sanctuary. Miss Afriyie-Agyemang said some of the creative and honest suggestions kids put forward included "Pecky – because it pecks a lot" and "Fluffy green – because it's fluffy and green".

Children's Day committee member Jo Mann said in addition to 20 adult volunteers who helped man the stations, 20 "excellent" helpers from Fiordland College came out to support the day. 

Kiri Bell of Plunket Te Anau said they would love some more volunteers to join their committee, and either she or Jo Marsh could be contacted at 020-407-71841 or 027-323-1545.

DOC's takahe naming competition is open to the public until Monday, March 19 at 5pm. People can head into the Fiordland Visitor Centre to fill out an entry form or send their name suggestion and reason, along with their own name, contact number and address to


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