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Oct 07, 2021

The Gaia Collection’s Community Collection Challenge: Two Students Making A Difference One Species At A Time

70,000 native species call Aotearoa home. Each and everyone of them is unlike anything else in this world, but sadly over 7,500 species are currently at risk of extinction.


Eli Bennett and Olivia Ediriweera, two year 13 students from Wa Ora Montessori school saw this issue and decided something needed to be done. They saw the countless species here in Aotearoa that are on the brink of extinction with no awareness or attention being brought to them. Some species are so endangered that every year it is wondered if this will be their last.

So, The Gaia Collection was born. The Gaia Collection is a Young Enterprise Scheme business which was formed on the idea of spreading awareness and protecting some of Aotearoa’s most endangered wildlife, before it's too late.

These students dedicated to conservation launched their line of sustainable wooden laser engraved earrings in the shape of three different endangered species in mid June with the aim of sparking more conversations about the importance of Aoetearoa’s wildlife. CFO Eli Bennett said that “Diversity enriches our life, biodiversity is what gives us life”.

These students want to make an impact, so they have been working with Forest and Bird to donate $5 from every pair sold to their Fairy Tern Project.

The Fairy Terns are a coastal bird found in Northland and are one of Aoetearoa’s most endangered birds with less than 40 birds left… These students hope to make a difference for these birds as if nothing is done it is absolutely possible that they could be lost in the next couple of years.

Read more here.