School Programmes

Education Programmes


Kā Pūtahi Rangatahi Mātauranga Education Programme


The Styx Living Laboratory Trust offer free Wildlife & Cultural Outdoor Education field trips that explore nature and Rongoā Māori through experiential learning.

The fully guided filed trip is based at the Rongoā site, one of the most culturally spiritual location in the Kā Pūtahi and Pūharakekenui/Styx river catchments. With many examples of complex ecological systems, this area is an ideal location to teach both primary and secondary students through real life case studies and experiential learning.

These fun sessions are tailored for students by learning level, and align with the national curriculum, to foster confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners.

Schools are welcomed onto the Rongoā site by Mana Whenua and learn tikanga, Te Reo about Rongoā, Ngahere and the Whenua before splitting into rotating sessions that focus on:

  • Water quality monitoring
  • Bird monitoring
  • Mātauranga Māori Science
  • Rongoā Māori, traditional Māori healing and medicinal plants
  • Understanding and controlling Predators of the Styx
  • The Importance of Invertebrates
  • Native plants and weed control

For more information about our education options including custom programmes, please contact

Free field trips include bus transportation ensuring that there are truly no costs to the school or students. Note: We have a limited capacity to offer free field trips but will do what we can to support students learning. 


Te Waoku Kahikatea Reserve - Field location


This reserve was once farmland but has been transformed into eight hectares of a beautiful native forest and natural waterways. 

Various habitats for wildlife such as lizards, birds and fish have been incorporated, and former farm sheds converted into an open-air classroom for people to come and learn about waterways health and local biodiversity.


Frequently Asked Questions 

1:  What is the maximum group size?

Our maximum size is currently 80 students, teachers and parents volunteers should not exceed 20% of the student group size.

2: Do we require a certain number of teachers/parents to attend?

Yes, but this will vary based on group size and age. We will always ask that at least 1 teacher attends and that they hold a first aid kit along with all student emergency contact numbers.

3: What do you do if the weather is inclement?

We will keep a close eye on the weather leading up to the programme. Although we have partial shelter at our field location, If strong winds or heavy rain is expected we may postpone the trip to a future date. 

4: What should students/teachers bring for lunch?

A packed lunch is best for your field trip. Note that there are no cooking facilities or rubbish bins. 

5: Are you able to accommodate guests with disabilities?

Yes, the walkways are compacted gravel and fairly flat. Please contact us directly to discuss specific requirements.

6: What do I send with my child on the field trip? What do they wear?

The programme is run outside so please make sure students come prepared with weather appropriate clothing. This might include, a sun hat, sun cream, a rain jacket, extra layers, appropriate closed toed shoes. A water bottle and packed lunch. 

7: Are there toilets?

Yes, a portaloo will be available.

8: If we are not taking the bus, where do we meet?

567 Marshland Road, Rongoā Māori Demonstration Site, listed on Google maps as “Kaputone Confluence Conservation Park”






LEOTC School Programme

Learning Through Action is the Christchurch City Council's Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom (LEOTC) and is supported by the Ministry of Education's LEOTC funds.

It is an environmental education programme based at Christchurch's parks, beaches, waste and heritage sites. 

The programmes are:

  • Free
  • Curriculum linked and teacher designed
  • Guided by experienced park rangers and environmental educators
  • Experiential, encouraging student participation

Find out more here:

Freshwater frolicking - Te whawhewhawhe ki rō waimāori

We have passionate people who are keen to support students in learning about the Styx River, on the waterway or in the classroom.

For more information on our education options please contact us at