No one was more surprised than 14-year-old Charlotte Stark herself when she was chosen to present at the Education and Science Select Committee at Parliament last month.
The Patea Area School student said firstly she had been thrilled to have been chosen to go out on a fishing boat to the Tamaki Reef project off the coast of Patea.
Going out with marine scientists and students from Hawera High for two hours had been fantastic, she said.
"We fished and I caught two blue cod. The others caught snapper and a couple of small sharks.''
Then a trip to Parliament was the ultimate, she said.
"It was interesting, exciting and scary, "she said.
"But it gained me credits in Science and Literacy. Though I was nervous at first I really loved talking to the politicians about the importance of protecting our sea beds. I think they all listened. I hope so.''