There were plenty of captivated faces as "The Bug Man" paid a visit to Onerahi's Dragonfly Springs Wetlands Sanctuary.

Ruud Kleinpaste, aka "the bug man" was in Whangārei yesterday as part of a plan with Dragonfly Springs' Jeremy Busck to do education work in the town.

Kleinpaste held a workshop for teachers and educators at the Onerahi Community Centre, "to explain to teachers we are losing our connection with nature".

The workshop moved on to the wetlands sanctuary, where children joined in.


Kleinpaste gave the teachers resources to teach outside the classroom and showed them ways to incorporate nature into what they're doing.

The children who came along, he described as "absolute flagrant nerds" who were bringing him bugs they found to ask about.

"We've been finding ant colonies, cave weta, case moth caterpillars. We've been finding water spiders, nursery web spiders, damsel flies."

Kleinpaste said for the children it was about inquiry learning. "And what better to do this than in this wetland".

While the children were enquiring about the bugs they were learning literacy, numeracy and science.

"That's the whole idea, to create nature literate kids."

He led a crowd of around 80 people on a second tour of the wetlands yesterday afternoon where he talked about the various bugs he came across.

Children and their parents followed him closely, fascinated with what might come out of his mouth next. After finding a bee on a flax bush he regaled a tale of having 60,000 killer bees on his face.

Meanwhile Kiwi North educator Shirley Peterson was on hand to teach children about different types of pests and traps.

Kleinpaste rounded out his day by speaking at The Calfer Suite in Forum North about the value of biodiversity and what can be learnt from bugs and other organisms.