29 Sep 2016

Inspiring youth in water management with NZ Aqua Republica Eco Challenge 2016

The inaugural NZ Aqua Republica Eco Challenge, which was conducted from 5- 18 September, was a success! The challenge gave New Zealand students the opportunity to try their hand at managing water resources through the local version of the Aqua Republica serious game.

Aqua Republica is an interactive game created by UNEP-DHI Centre that aims to raise awareness and educate players on the importance of managing limited natural resources. The new local version of the game was created to bring water stewardship to the next generation of Kiwis.

Attracting over 420 pupils from all across New Zealand, the challenge enabled the young participants to simulate catchment management decision-making in an interactive and engaging way, based on real-life New Zealand scenarios. Highlighting the challenges of managing water resources, the game allows students to play the role of authorities or management operators who have the difficult task of balancing between human development and environmental concerns.

We are proud to announce the national winners of the NZ Aqua Republica Eco Challenge 2016 hail from Opotiki, in the beautiful Bay of Plenty region, in the north island of New Zealand. Congratulations team AshMel made up of Ashleigh Turner and Melissa Parkinson. With over 40 hours of game play logged, team AshMel came out tops with team Purifiers and TeamAwesomeSquad coming in second and third places. Our national winners will be awarded with a rafting trip on the Kaituna River with Kaitiaki Adventures and will be celebrated as citizen science role models in their local region. 

The NZAR Eco Challenge was delivered in collaboration with the University of Waikato’s Science Learning Hub as well as other sponsors; The Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Environment of Canterbury, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Auckland District Council, Tasman District Council, Hawkes Bay Regional Council, Waikato Regional Council as well as the Hydrological Society of New Zealand. The number of sponsors that have supported in this initiative is a testament of the interest and the necessity to raise awareness on water resource management among youths of New Zealand.

Our national winners from Opotiki College, team AshMel, and their teacher Matthew © DHI

Karen and Esther from Sacred Hearts Girls College © DHI