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There's lots to love about New Zealand!

Why do you love New Zealand? 

What Now and DOC put this question to kids around the country, with the chance to be a mini DOC ranger up for grabs.

10 days later, over 500 kids had sent in their answers in, and the results indicate that the next generation of DOC rangers have the same appreciation and love for our favourite places and wildlife that we do.

What the kids had to say…

Hayden, 11, from West Harbour says:

Hayden Mills and his little brother on a family walk through their local Waitakere Ranges

“I love New Zealand because it is beautiful, natural and full of awesome things to see and do. My favourite native New Zealand bird is the pukeko, I wish I could have them at my house to look after them.

“The photo is of me and my little brother on a family walk through our local Waitakere Ranges on 2nd Jan 2011. Me and my family love going on bush walks and looking at all the beauty our Ranges have to show us.”

A strong message from Manakau’s Molly:

Molly loves New Zealand's natural beauty

“I love New Zealand because of its natural beauty and we can all keep it that way by recycling and NOT littering. GO RECYCLING!!!”

A future DOC sustainability champion perhaps?

Jayden from Taupo reckons New Zealand’s pretty cool:

“I love New Zealand because it is fun, small, green, clean and you don’t need to fly everywhere in the country.

Jayden enjoys fishing and hunting

“I want to learn more about New Zealand bushes and about Auckland. If you look at my pic you can see I like fishing. I also enjoy hunting.”

The winner:

But DOC and the What Now team decided there was one stand out entry — Louis from Christchurch, who’d put an enormous effort into his video (the only video entry).

Louis has wanted to be a DOC ranger his whole life, so we’re sure he’ll love the experience he has won!

Check out Louis’ winning entry:

Louis’ prize involves a trip to Auckland’s pest-free islands (Rangitoto and Motutapu), checking for any sneaky stoats or rascal rats, tracking takahē, and staying the night to fall asleep to native bird sounds. Louis called it his “ultimate DOC experience”.

Get involved in Conservation Week

‘Love New Zealand’ is the theme for Conservation Week 2011, which began on 11 September and runs until 18 September.

There are heaps of ways you can get involved. Find out about events happening in your area by visiting the Conservation Week website and encourage your friends and family to get along and show their support too!

What Now Conservation Week special

If you were up in time and tuned in to TV2 on Sunday morning, you would have seen our special conservation-themed episode of What Now. If you missed it there’s still time to catch it online on the TVNZ website.

Tell us why you love New Zealand

If you didn’t/couldn’t enter the What Now competition, now’s your chance to tell us why you Love New Zealand. Leave a reply to this post and tell us. We’ll blog the best replies next week.