Resource links for Teachers

Pre-visit resources

Find out about the Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari project by watching some of these short videos before you visit:

The vision and history of the Maungatautari project (12:39)

Please note that the commentary on this video talks as if it is the present day. This was created in the early 2000s. The pest-proof fence surrounding Maungatautari was completed in 2006 and pests were then eradicated from the mountain. Today, only mice remain on the main (larger) area of the mountain whilst the smaller enclosures are mammal pest free including mice. This has enabled translocations of many rare and endangered species to be returned to the mountain.


A snapshot of Sanctuary Mountain: Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari in 30 seconds!


Short video about Maungatautari through volunteer interviews: Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari - Through the eyes of our volunteers (2:22)


Short video about the Sanctuary Mountain Story from Trust Waikato: The Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari Story (1:53)


Short video about a kiwi release with Trust Waikato: Sanctuary Mountain - Kiwi release (2:03)


The First Kiwi release for the kōhanga kiwi project on Maungatautari with Kiwis for Kiwi: First Kiwi Release (0:51)



Involve your students in the planning for your trip and they could earn an ‘Expedition Leader’ medal from the Kiwi Guardians programme:

Leave No Trace! Use this short video by DOC to begin a discussion with your class about how we can care for the environment when visiting a sanctuary or nature reserve: Visit the Kiwi way (1:21)

Sanctuary Mountain® Maungatautari is a Toyota Kiwi Guardians site:

Apply on this website for your class to be sent a medal and certificates for visiting Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari!

Investigating New Zealand Biodiversity and Conservation:


Short videos:


New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy (2:04)

Due to our isolation, Aotearoa has evolved into a series of islands with rich and unique biodiversity. Many of our plants, birds, bats, insects, fungi, reptiles and marine life are not found anywhere else in the world. We’re lucky enough to have ancient rainforests, tussock grasslands, vast seaweed forests and braided rivers on our doorstep. 


However, our biodiversity is in crisis. As it stands, we currently have over 4,000 indigenous species threatened or at risk of extinction.


Ranger Kōrero – Exploring Biodiversity (DOC) (7:06)


Learn about the difference between native, endemic and introduced birds: Endemic, native or introduced birds


Learn more about 10 common New Zealand forest birds using this interactive: NZ Bird ID

Ranger Kōrero - Exploring Conservation (DOC) (6:30)


Why New Zealand needs predator control (DOC) (1:46)


Learn more about pests and the impact they are having on our wildlife:


Read the factsheets – these could be used in expert groups. Then try to solve the mysteries on the slideshow: ‘Who’s that animal pest’


Have a look at what some of the pests are eating!



Assignment Asia: Saving New Zealand’s Birds (13:17)


New Zealand is a haven for unique wildlife. Many endangered bird species, like the kiwi, or the kaka, can be found there, but they are threatened by introduced predators like stoats. In 2019, Owen Poland spoke to Sir Rob Fenwick about his vision for New Zealand to be predator free by 2050 and looked at the various ways New Zealand is trying to eradicate pests – from building the world's longest pest-proof fence to teaching school children how to trap pests. Sir Rob Fenwick passed away on 11 March 2020, but his vision for a predator-free future in New Zealand lives on.

*Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is featured in this short documentary.


Māori Myths and Legends- Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa


How the Kiwi Lost Its Wings

Tāne asks Kiwi to help save the forest - but it comes at a great price.

Video by  Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

He Paki Taonga i a Māui: Te Ngarohanga o ngā Parirau o te Kiwi | How the Kiwi Lost Its Wings


Rata and the Children of Tane

Video by  Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

He Paki Taonga i a Māui: Ko Rata me ngā Tamariki a Tāne | Rata and the Children of Tane


List of wildlife on Maungatautari:


Department of Conservation information

Pests and threats

Native animals

Native plants

Bird songs and calls


Interactive – Learn 10 common New Zealand Forest Birds


Department of Conservation Takahe Recovery Group

Takahe videos:

Takahē return to the wild (7:04)

New Zealand's Murchison mountains hide a very special creature. A species considered extinct for half a century.

Takahe Recovery Programme (3:38)

BLAKE Ambassadors Lachie Scarsbrook and Anna Clark provide an insight into a day-in-the-life of Department of Conservation rangers at the Burwood Takahē Centre.


Resources to support unit planning

DOC conservation education resources:

Inquiry Learning Cycle for conservation education:

Conservation education resources:


Unit planning resources: In the environment resource series


Conservation Dogs Programme Education Resource

Lesson plan 5 features Bella the Kiwi dog working at Maungatautari!


Science Learning Hub – Teacher PLD

Nature – a context for learning

Te Repo – Wetlands as a context for learning

Takahē – a context for learning


Science Learning Hub resources:

Native, endemic or introduced?

Protecting native birds

Mātauranga Māori and Science



Predator Free NZ toolkit for kids and schools

Predator Free 2050: A practical guide to trapping


Ministry for the Environment resources


Early childhood resource:

Exploring nature with children booklet


Post-visit resources:

Take conservation actions back at school or in your own backyard!

Kiwi Guardians actions medals

DOC conservation activities

Enhancing biodiversity in your green space: Conservation Education resources (

Tools for environmental action: Conservation Education resources (

Kiwi conservation club activities




Seek by iNaturalist – helps you identify plants and animals near you!

NZ trees – Familiarise yourself with New Zealand’s native trees.

Birds of New Zealand – interactive app version of the book

Flora Finder – for iPhone or iPad


Listen to nature while you work!


New Zealand Sea to Mountain Ambience | Study, work, relax, immerse yourself in nature | 10 minutes

New Zealand Forest at Night Ambience | Study, work, relax, immerse yourself in nature | 5 minutes

Sounds of Te Tui a Tane (southern enclosure) at Maungatautari, September 2020 (4:00)


Wellbeing - DOC

Mā te taiao, kia whakapakari tōu oranga. Let nature in, strengthen your wellbeing.