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Photo competition to celebrate Marine Reserve’s 20th birthday

The 20th birthday of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve will be celebrated with a Family Fun Day on Saturday from 1 to 4pm. In the lead up to the event, a photo competition is being run as part of the marine reserve’s 20th anniversary celebrations.The competition, on the theme ‘take only memories, leave only footprints,’ run by the Department of Conservation (DOC), is about celebrating the conservation values and heritage of the site, as well as encouraging people to get into nature and enjoy this unique piece of New Zealand.“It’s an excellent opportunity to showcase the great photographers in our community and at the same time increase community awareness, appreciation and knowledge about the marine reserve,” says East Coast DOC Community Ranger Anna Barber.The photo competition is open to all members of the public. Photos being entered do not need to be recent, but they must be taken of or in the marine reserve.“Awesome prizes are up for grabs, sponsored by local organisations Dive Tatapouri, Gisborne i-SITE, Gisborne District Council, Tairawhiti Environment Centre and Sean Shivnan Pharmacy” says Ms Barber.Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve was established in 1999 as the result of a joint application by local iwi Ngati Konohi and DOC. Twenty years later the benefits are evident, with an abundance and huge variety of marine life. The reserve has also become a community resource for education.Ms Barber suggests those looking for inspiration should first and foremost head out to Te Tapuwae, but can also find more information about the reserve on the DOC website.All winners will be announced at a Family Fun Day on Saturday 16 November to celebrate the reserve’s 20th birthday with all entries on display. A People’s Choice Award will also be decided by the public. Entry forms with further details are available on the DOC website, local DOC office or e-mail abarber@doc.govt.nz.Entries close on November 14 at 3pm.

PHOTO COMPETITION: Stormy skies over Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve, marking 20 years this Saturday. Head along to the Family Fun Day on Saturday afternoon, and in the meantime try your hand at photographing the Reserve for a photo competition, which ends this Thursday at 3pm. The above picture was the winner of the 10th anniversary photo competition. Picture by Sarah Varenne