It was seven weeks ago that we left Te Anau YHA where we’d put our time to good use booking plenty of events for the Nelson area. We were fortunate to be granted the same treatment by the wonderful YHA folks in Nelson for the fifteen events we had arranged up here. Our Wendekreisen Campervan is great for getting around and keeping costs right down but, with so many events in a short time, having access to plentiful hot showers and substantial cooking facilities (not to mention internet access) was again hugely appreciated and makes it that much easier to turn up to our events looking and feeling fresh!

We spoke to kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools, at a museum, a children’s conservation group, an adult’s conservation group and even a group school event where the hosts decided to invite other local schools to an environmental awareness day held around our presentation. We also had our first ‘off-the-cuff’ presentation in Nelson YHA for 3 of the clientele who were interested in what we had to say.

Our Kindergarten presentations are generally around half an hour long with a focus on stories about sharks and videos of them swimming around peacefully – as they tend to for the vast majority of their time. We introduce them to sharks we got to know well in South Africa, the respect they show each other and discuss truth in the media, playing ‘True or Not True?’ with videos labelled as shark attacks. Of course all videos shown are ‘Not True’! Our presentations invariably result in all sorts of shark related activities such as drawing, sewing and swimming around the playground and we’ve had wonderful feedback:

“The shark playground play changed immediately after you had gone from chasing each other to catch and eat to children talking about that sharks rarely kill people.”


Our presentations to primary and older children vary in length depending on the time slot available with the standard being around 45 minutes with time for questions afterwards. We go in to more detail on the importance of sharks in the environment and the troubles they face while keeping the important messages from the kindergarten talks. We highlight the importance of analysing the information we’re given by the media and coming to informed conclusions rather than blindly accepting what we’re told. We also encourage the children to follow their passions and that just about anything is possible if you set yourself to making it happen. It’s an age at which we feel it is especially important to teach the values of sharks and the impact of various forms of media such as TV, films and the internet on both sharks and our own general beliefs. We’ve had some amazing comments from these groups in particular:

“Thank you for your presentation, it has really inspired me to try harder.”

“My son got home from school and gave me a 30 minute talk on all the shark facts he learnt at the shark lecture that day!!  AMAZING!  From a child that just says school was “good” every day and no more words than that….he could not stop talking about sharks!!”


The adult presentations are similar in content to the longer school presentations. We do however give more in depth examples and case studies. We also discuss some points in greater detail; in particular when discussing shark attack profiles and the theories of what is actually happening when people are bitten by sharks. We mention some cultural history of sharks, in particular their ties with Maori legends. Maori warriors often respected Great Whites, Hammerheads and Makos for their speed, tenacity, strength, perseverance and agility.

In our short time in Nelson we spoke to over 2600 people and received £330 in donations to bring our current total to £6,709!

We even managed to get out and about a couple of times to see some of the local scenery – including complimentary tickets to the rugby to see Christchurch Crusaders play the Wellington Hurricanes, generously donated by Victory Primary School!