Credit: Leigh Tait/NIWA

Posted on 12 April 2021

2,000+ school kids discovered why rimurimu/seaweed is the next wonder crop

Primary school students across the country took a (virtual) field trip with the Sustainable Seas Challenge during Seaweek 2021. This was our fourth annual trip in partnership with LEARNZ.

The trip, Seaweed – an ocean of opportunity, explored the potential of seaweed to provide environmental, cultural and social as well as economic benefits to local communities and the nation.

This year’s experts were:

  • Brett Cowan, Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura Kaumātua – who discussed the cultural significance of rimurapa/bull kelp to Māori and ways they use it
  • Rob Major, Cawthron and part of the Building a seaweed sector project team – who discussed what rimurimu is, where it grows, its role in marine ecosystems, threats, and existing and potential commercial uses

At least 2,000 students have taken part so far, but the number is likely higher as enrolment is not compulsory.

This year’s resources will remain online and open access.

Go on the trip

About the Sustainable Seas Challenge-LEARNZ partnership

We have partnered with LEARNZ to run a ‘virtual’ fieldtrip for school children during Seaweek, since 2018. Around 90% of primary and intermediate schools in Aotearoa New Zealand are registered with LEARNZ.

At least 14,000 primary and intermediate school children have taken part over the last 4 years – the true figure will be higher as this is only the number of enrolled students; advance enrolment is not required.

Resource archive

The resources from the 3 previous trips are publicly available:



The topics covered include: ecosystem health, ecosystem connectively, marine stressors and tipping points, kaitiakitanga of marine environments, plastic pollution, and mussel restoration using mātauranga Māori.

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Building a seaweed sector
Credit: Leigh Tait/NIWA
Building a seaweed sector

Developing a seaweed sector framework for Aotearoa New Zealand.