2022 Projects

Did curiosity kill the possum

The East Taranaki Environment Collective would like to find the answer to this question, and recently began managing pest control at Everett Park, near Inglewood. A trap network will be laid to target possums in the park with the help of students from Norfolk School, involving setting up cameras to observe possum behaviour and testing four trap designs.

Using virtual reality (VR)

An Alzheimers Taranaki project, was carried out in a previous Curious Minds Taranaki project in 2020 which revealed the power of virtual reality to trigger complex and detailed memories for people living with dementia. Now their follow-on project will see local digital technology students and Dr. Linda Jones further explore the effects of these VR triggered memories and evaluate their benefits.

Mai te Awa ki te Moana

The project involves Ōkahu Inuawai me ētehi atu Hapū using their local knowledge and understanding (mātauranga-a-hapū) to better understand and care for the takutai moana (foreshore and seabed) in the Ōhawe area of South Taranaki. They will work with Professor Kura Paul-Burke of University of Waikato, a mātauranga Māori science expert, to build a methodology for monitoring significant coastal sites, this is the first step in their ultimate goal of restoring rockpools and reefs around Ōhawe.

Shark Spy Taranaki - Diving Deeper

is driven by the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre. In 2021 they conducted an earlier project which provided valuable information on some of the 14 or so shark species in Taranaki waters. This year the Shark Spy Taranaki - Diving Deeper project involves several schools and community groups collecting baited underwater video that has been deployed in partnership with Chaddy’s Charters.

Keeping you safe

A Taranaki Retreat project, will be exploring how physical support environments impact the wellbeing and recovery of those experiencing emotional distress, aiming to provide information of value to the Retreat and other services supporting people in distress.

Ngā motu Whānui Manumoana

Facilitated by Taranaki Mounga Project, will see a group of coastal Taranaki schools and hapū investigating new methods of monitoring the seabird populations on the Ngā motu islands, using drones to record population numbers, with the aim of minimising human interaction in the process.

2021 Projects

Tarakihi Taiora

Te Kāhui o Taranaki are working with the Ngāti Moeahu hapū to reconnect whānau, hapū and iwi to Tarakihi through GIS, remote sensing technologies and marine science.

Wētā Watcher

Wildlife.ai is collaborating with local community, conservation and education organisations to test the effectiveness of a device that autonomously takes photos of ground-dwelling invertebrates and herpetofauna (lizards/geckos).

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Regenerative Farming

More than 30 Taranaki dairy, sheep and beef farmers are collaborating with scientists, and regenerative agriculture specialists for regenerative farming trials to improve soil, pasture, and animal health.

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Shark Spy Taranaki

Shark Spy is collecting sightings and information on sharks, rays and skates (including egg cases) along Taranaki coastline to help quantify the species diversity, abundance, and more.

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TempoFit - Running in Schools Programme

Taranaki intermediate schools are helping TempoFit launch a pilot of a ground-breaking running and exercise programme for 11 to 13-year-olds.

Pests, Threats and Our Birds

East Taranaki Environment Trust are working with Norfolk School and other partners to understand the difference in native bird life abundance between different pest control areas and establish baseline data for pest control in Everett Park.


A group of Inglewood High School students are investigating how an automated growing system can be developed and how such a system compares to traditional growing methods.

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Soil Your Undies Taranaki

Enviroschools is working with students at four schools on this fun approach to understanding soil biology and the role of earthworms and dung beetles as ecosystem engineers through burying cotton underwear and its comparison to a similar study in Otago.

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Call of Litter Duty

Egmont Village School and Marfell Kindergarten are working with Litter Action NZ to use a new app in investigating where litter in their community comes from and what actions they can take to influence a reduction in litter ending up in the environment.

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2020 Projects

Ground Breaking Mushrooms

Utilising spent coffee grounds from cafes around Taranaki, students are experimenting with how different substrate mixes and environmental variables effect oyster mushroom growth. 

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Exploring a Place for Virtual Reality (VR) in Dementia

Alzheimers Taranaki are exploring if VR is an an effective way to support cognitive and social skills in dementia clients.

Auroa School Sound Lures

Auroa School are investigating the way sound can be used to increase the efficiency of pest traps. 

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Our Green Ōpunake Journey

Ōpunake Kindergarten and Sustainable Taranaki are exploring the impacts of point of purchase information on recycling behaviour to positively shift recycling habits.

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Seachange Surveys

Seachange Surveys is a citizen science project that aims to help local communities monitor coastal species - primarily kaimoana (seafood) - in their rohe moana (coastal area).

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He Whenua, He Tangata, He Oranga: A Fashionable Fight

Students from Te Wharekura o Te Pihipihinga Kākano Mai i Rangiātea are exploring how traditional Māori knowledge and indigenous dying methodologies can innovate 21st century textile manufacturing processes and systems.

Haurapa Kiwi

Haurapa Kiwi is aiming to change the way kiwi translocations are monitored in Taranaki using drones for telemetry location tracking.

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Papa Pokepoke 

Exploring the unique features and properties of papa/clay found within the Ngāti Mutunga rohe to foster a greater understanding of how it originated in Taranaki and potential as a material for building.

What makes the sub-tidal reefs of the Taranaki bight unique? This research project as part of the PSP pilot project reveals.

How do you make a hydrosol? Students from Toko School set out on a journey of discovery with the Curious Minds PSP pilot project.

Curious Minds Taranaki Reports

Curious Minds Taranaki Case Study 2021
Curious Minds Taranaki Case Study 2020
Summary: The impact and potential role of Curious Minds Taranaki
The Impact and Potential Role of Curious Minds in Taranaki