Topic: Wetlands and Waterfowl Project

Topic type:

Wetlands and Waterfowl Project


MacMaster Trophy

The Andrew Dixon MacMaster Trophy was donated by Dr. Tony Reiger, retired American teacher and life member of DUNZ, in memory of his father in law. The trophy is a conservation award for school projects associated with wetlands or water fowl, and carried a cash grant of $US250. It was intended to be a catalyst for further funding and was trialled in the Wairarapa for the first time in 1994, eventually to be contested nationally.

The MacMaster Trophy was presented to Masterton Intermediate School in its inaugural year for its work with the Waterfowl Programme. There were three parts to the programme:

Waterfowl Studies - a group of students met every Friday afternoon for 5 consecutive weeks a term to learn about the importance of wetlands as a freshwater eco-system, varieties of waterfowl and how to protect and breed them, habitat, food, predators, guest speakers, and visits to other wetlands,

Wetland Development and Maintenance - an in class syndicate based programme with students fully involved for two weeks, twice a term,


Waterfowl Monitors Programme - volunteer students feeding during school and their own time, landscaping and developing the area further.

The school at the time had its own waterfowl enclosure with its own ╩╗pets╩╝, a black swan called Ziggy and a duck called Donald, among NZ Scaup, Carolina Wood Ducks, NZ Shoveller, Brown Teal, Mallard Ducks and a Peacock.

Today the waterfowl are no longer enclosed, as in 2002, the school, in conjunction with Wetlands Care and Banrock Station Winery, developed its own wetland. It is the source of a great deal of pleasure to parents and others who bring their children/grandchildren along to feed the wide variety of ducks that have made the wetlands their home.