ISNZ students chosen to embark on voyage to the Kermadec Islands

A group of 20 young New Zealanders will voyage to the remote and environmentally significant Kermadec Islands with the Sir Peter Blake Trust and the Royal New Zealand Navy, on board HMNZS Canterbury at the end of February.

The Sir Peter Blake Trust’s Young Blake Expeditions (YBE) follow in Sir Peter’s footsteps as they travel to remote parts of New Zealand to understand and learn about unique and near-pristine environments.

HMNZS Canterbury departs on 26 February from Auckland and will return on 9 March 2018. The student crew consists of 18 high-school aged students from Timaru to Whangarei and two university-aged Blake Ambassadors.

Year 13 Scots College student George Fyfe is one of the 18 students selected after attending the Sir Peter Blake Trust’s annual Young EnviroLeaders’ Forum (YELF) in 2017. George says, “I was motivated to apply because I was excited by the opportunity to travel to one of the most pristine regions of ocean on the planet. Our oceans are becoming more and more polluted and I wanted to see for myself the challenges that are facing New Zealand’s marine life.”

After returning from the expedition George’s goal is “to communicate what I have seen and learned with the members of my College and community, so that we can form a greater understanding of the challenges facing us and how we must overcome them.”

Other Member School students selected for the voyage include Kenya Ashcroft of Saint Kentigern College, Genevieve Scott-Jones of St Paul's Collegiate School and Yonni Kepes of St Andrew's College.

The expedition travels to the Kermadec Islands, 1,000 km northeast of New Zealand and a significant conservation area for both New Zealand and the world. They’re the visible surface of a chain of about 80 volcanoes, stretching between Tonga and New Zealand. The current marine reserve was created in 1990 and covers 745,000 ha’s and supports New Zealand’s only truly subtropical marine systems.

While on board, the group will learn from scientists, marine ecologists, ornithologists and Blake Leaders William Pike, Andy Hamilton and Samara Nicholas. Sir Peter Blake’s friend and crewmate, Professor Mark Orams is onboard as Expedition Leader. They’ll also learn about ship life and take part in leadership development with the ship’s crew.

Commander Matt Wray, the Commanding Officer of HMNZS Canterbury says, “This is our fourth expedition with the Sir Peter Blake Trust and we are thrilled to host these young leaders on board. The whole crew takes part in developing these young leaders and their knowledge of the ocean and the critical part it plays for New Zealand.”

Outreach is an important part of the Expedition, with schools able to follow the adventure on or join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #YBE2018

This voyage continues the legacy of Sir Peter’s own ‘Blakexpeditions’, which sailed to Antarctica, the Tierra del Fuego and the Amazon to inspire and motivate people to care for our natural environment and to understand the issues it faces.

Year 13 Scots College student George Fyfe, one of the 18 students selected for the

expedition on HMNZS Canterbury to the Kermadec Islands.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018