Hiwi the Kiwi

water safety Programme Nawton School.jpg


Helping the children of today, and the youth of tomorrow - enjoy, appreciate, respect, and conserve New Zealand's marine environment

The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council (NZSF), was established 57 years ago, and is now the largest fishing representative body in New Zealand, comprising 56 clubs and approximately 35,000 members.

NZSF’s club’s members are at heart grassroots fishermen who simply enjoy fishing and gathering seafood. As such, NZSF has evolved as an organisation that plays an active part in promoting the sport / recreation of Fishing, and is also a major participant in  fisheries management processes, ensuring that the public’s interests in the fishery are looked after.

Mark de Lacy  aka “The Minstrel” had spent ten years travelling the country presenting the Hiwi the Kiwi character to school children and passing on values and messages through the use of humorous stories and songs that were already now well known to a generation of Kiwi children.

In 2009, New Zealand Sport Fishing Council, in conjunction with The Minstrel, developed and produced a humorous and instructive educational program, “Hiwi the Kiwi Goes Fishing” to teach the children of New Zealand about our fishery and the marine environment in a fun way, and to encourage the young people of today to participate in fishing, learn about water safety and to enjoy the many opportunities that we are privileged to have in New Zealand.

As Kiwi’s we all want to ‘do the right thing’ and everybody knows that eating fish is healthy. Going fishing is also recognised as one of the most popular, not to mention healthy activities, undertaken by Kiwis, with over 1 in 4 ‘having a go’ at it each year.

There are many areas that the program covers. With New Zealand being a country where you are never far from the sea, and with our children able to benefit from all that the sea offers, it is best to educate them from an early age on how to best enjoy, manage, protect and preserve our marine environment. The program also covers all aspects of water safety.

The Minstrel commenced touring the country’s primary schools performing the show in June 2009. In 2013 148 more schools were booked bringing the total number of schools visited to 620 (approximately 200,000 children). It is estimated that a total of 160 schools will book for 2014.
This project is an inspiring programme designed to demonstrate to children the wide-ranging opportunities that fishing provides. It will do this while emphasising the importance of sustainable fishing, safety and protecting our marine environment for future generations.

Recently we have received support from Water Safety New Zealand and Maritime NZ.  We greatly appreciate this assistance and with this we have been able to bring the Hiwi the Kiwi Initiative to 10 low decile schools that would otherwise not have been able to benefit from this programme.

The Resource

The ‘Fish for our Future’ educational resource supports the “Hiwi the Kiwi Goes Fishing Show.” This resource, which is fully integrated, has been designed to align with the new school curriculum. It provides opportunities for students to explore innovative e-learning activities, develop their problem solving skills, extend their creativity and carry out research using an inquiry based learning model.  The resource covers:

Marine life

  • Environmental issues & sustainability

  • Tikianga linked to the sea

  • Recreational including water safety

  • Kai Moana – a source of food

  • Careers linked to the sea

  • Plus a CD containing ICT resources.

The resource was developed and written by Marilyn Small, a Deputy Principal, who has a personal passion for all ‘things’ linked to the sea. Marilyn currently works at the Manaia View School which is in Whangarei.

The Show

The ‘Hiwi the Kiwi Goes Fishing’ Show is totally professional, highly interactive and designed specifically to help satisfy curriculum requirements in Literacy. Music, Dance and Drama, it is loved by teachers and children alike. It is suitable for all age groups Year 1 to 8. Schools continue to applaud the Minstrel’s ability to inspire and amaze kids and teachers alike.

The ‘Hiwi the Kiwi Goes Fishing’ Show features songs like “Hiwi the Kiwi Goes Fishing’ and ‘Paua for the People’ and story poems like “Hiwi Learns to Fly’.  The songs teach kids about ‘Fishing for the Future’. The lyrics are interwoven into the educational resource and explore areas of vital importance to New Zealanders. How to catch fish for food, what to do with it when caught, how to ensure there will be fish to catch in the future, how to protect the coastline and the principles aspects of kai moana and water safety.


Hiwi the Kiwi Caps and TShirts are now available and NZSF has published an illustrated book and CD which is sold as a package. These can be purchased from the Hiwi the Kiwi Website  www.hiwithekiwi.co.nz

Industry Partners & Supporters

NZSF is eternally grateful to the many businesses in the marine and fishing tackle industries, who have gotten in behind and provided a huge degree of support for the programme.