• Add to new collection

Can we make New Zealand pest-free? Inspire – overview of the resource

Urban ecosanctuary ZEALANDIA, with support from WWF New Zealand, has produced a comprehensive teaching resource supporting schools to explore the pest-free vision with students. This series of lesson plans focuses on students becoming actively involved in contributing to a pest-free New Zealand.

This overview outlines the structure of the unit, provides links to the New Zealand curriculum and outlines how to utilise the iNaturalist technology to record data. It walks teachers through a process of scientific inquiry, starting with an experiential opportunity to inspire students – a visit to an area of native bush they can identify with.

Explore further with prompting questions:

  • Is the area protected?
  • Is there a restoration programme in place?
  • Is there pest trapping?
  • Why or why not?
  • Why is pest trapping important?

Download resource overview: Inquiry: Can we make New Zealand pest-free?

Download resources: RAMs (Risk Analysis and Management) – tracking and trapping programme; Trap-setting guidelines

Additional supporting resources

He tikanga – te reo Māori and English terms – The activities in this ZEALANDIA lesson plan are intended to be used throughout the whole unit, not as a one-off activity. The intent is to help students become familiar with te reo Māori and English terms mentioned throughout the resource.

Mathematics and statistics in a real context – The two main elements of this lesson are analysing examples and gathering other sources of data, and collecting and displaying data to analyse to effect real-world outcomes. It can be adapted for higher levels of learning and shows the relevance of mathematical skills in a real-life context.

ZEALANDIA lesson plans series

Nature of science

Conservation efforts are improved when we understand how living organisms interact and how to effectively target pest species. 

Activity ideas

Find out how a weasel going through a tracking tunnel at  ZEALANDIA was the first sign of that this pest had got past the predator-proof fence. In the activity Making a tracking tunnel, students monitor the presence of pest species in a neighbouring gully or their school grounds.

Careful observation is an important part of science, as outlined in the activity Observation: learning to see.

In the activity Mapping the future, students are encouraged to connect and create a sense of belonging by exploring changes that have taken place in their local environment in the last 50–100 years and to plan for the next 50 years.

Related PLD

In the recorded online PD session Teachers using the Hub – Bird conservation and literacy, teacher Kim MacPherson talks about the Science Learning Hub’s resources and how she used a literacy approach to engage and explore science issues with year 7 and 8 students.

The webinars Pest detectivesEco-explorers and Eco-champions also support educators with conservation inquiry and action.

Useful links

ZEALANDIA has many other educational resources. For advice or assistance in implementing this programme please contact the ZEALANDIA Education team, If your school is in the Wellington region and you would like support to run this programme, access ZEALANDIA’s free Outreach programme by contacting

Find out more about local and global conservation efforts by WWF.

If you want to get involved at an individual or community level, check out Predator Free New Zealand Trust.

Read about DOC’s work with Predator Free 2050.

The Backyard Sanctuaries website has lots of information on trapping​, our wildlife, pests, workshops and more.


ZEALANDIA is the world’s first fully fenced urban ecosanctuary. It has an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore a Wellington valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state. For 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature as the world’s leading conservation organisation. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.


    Published 8 March 2017 Referencing Hub articles