The Department of Conservation is giving a new Kiwi Guardian medal to Hawke's Bay kids who combine te reo and conservation.

There are four Kiwi Guardian sites to explore around Hawke's Bay to earn Kiwi Guardian medals, but the Toa Tiaki Taiao medal could also be earned elsewhere.

"To earn this medal, kids are encouraged to use te reo and spread the word about great nature locations, while learning about its Maori cultural significance," DoC's Nic Toki said.

"This is a celebration of Maori Language Week."


In addition to the special medal, each of the Kiwi Guardians adventure sites had different medal to collect, with four of these available locally.

Medals were available for adventure activities at Ahuriri Estuary, Boundary Stream, Opauahi/Panpac Kiwi Creche and the White Pine Bush Scenic Reserve.

The new medal was one that could be earned anywhere and could be gained in many different ways, Ms Toki said.

These included finding out Maori names for places or species and teaching them to friends, and creating a poster or piece of art in te reo Maori.

Ms Toki said the name of the new medal had a special significance.

"Our Maori Language Week medal is called Toa Tiaki Taiao, which is a new version of the Nature Champion medal.

"When you break it down, toa means warrior or champion, tiaki means to guard or keep and taiao means our natural world or country."

DoC offered several other Kiwi Guardian medals for activities kids could complete in their own backyards, she said.

These included attracting lizards to the garden, becoming a pest detective and building a weta motel.

Just 100 Toa Tiaki Taiao medals would be available as a special feature for Maori Language Week.

The other six action medals, for activities completed at home, could be earned at any time.

The adventure activities at the four sites in Hawke's Bay - and 69 around the country - also had no time limit.