This activity introduces students to various ways people view and use our natural environments differently, and how people make decisions about access to and use of resources.

Tramper looking at Mount Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park. Photo: C Tudhope.
Tramper looking at Mount Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park

Learning outcomes

  • Students will participate in an activity to understand how people view and use places differently.
  • Students will gain knowledge of how people make decisions about access to and use of resources.

Curriculum links

Science: Living world

Level 3 and 4

Ecology: Explain how living things are suited to their particular habitat and how they respond to environmental changes, both natural and human induced.

Social studies

Level 3 and 4
  • Understand how groups make and implement rules and laws.
  • Understand how people view and use places differently.
  • Understand how people make decisions about access to and use of resources.
  • Understand how exploration and innovation create opportunities and challenges for people, places and environments.

Learning levels

  • Primary
  • Secondary 


  • Native animals
  • Forests and green spaces
  • Native plants
  • Pests and threats
  • Alpine
  • Marine and coastal
  • Estuaries
  • Freshwater
  • Historic places
  • Offshore islands
  • Wetlands

Curriculum learning areas

  • Science
  • Social science
  • Education for sustainability

Activity instructions

Download the Preservation versus use activity (PDF, 175K)

Starter cards

These cards could be used for individuals or groups to start thinking about all the people who have interests in an area. They can be altered and or developed.


People will pay a lot of money to stay in a place like this. They can enjoy the lovely scenery and wildlife. It might cost me a bit for consents and building but it would be worth it.

Local iwi member

This is where my ancestors lived and some of the land close by is tapu. We want this area to stay as it is. People can visit the area but it should not be overrun by tourists and their rubbish. 

Worker in local community

Development here would be good because there is not much work at the moment so my family would have to move and we are expecting our third baby.

Department of Conservation

This is a very significant conservation area. A lot of work has been done in this area to restore and protect it because of its biodiversity. We do not want to see any more damage here.

Local school student

I don’t want to see any development here. We visit this area every year and see native birds and plants. We have also just started some planting. I think it’s a beautiful place.


My tramping club loves to come here and use this area to walk and explore in. I don’t want to see any of the area destroyed but we would like more people visit and have a place to stay.


When I go to another country I love seeing places of natural beauty. I don’t always have a lot of time so places to stay and things to do are important to me.

Helicopter owner

I would like to see some more people visiting this area. I am the only person here with a helicopter so would get lots of work and be able to find a better place for my family to live.

Road worker

If more people visited this area we might have to build more roads. That would be good for me because there is not much work here so I was going to have to move into the city for work.  

Local council member

We want to look after this area because of the special animals and plants here but we could use the money from visitors to help protect the area and tell visitors why it is so special. 

Elderly person

We moved here to enjoy the natural beauty of this place. If more people visit they will cause more damage and pollution and we will be the ones who have to clean up after them.


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Share your stories about learning and teaching in nature. Show others what you've done and also help encourage them.

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