What is Project Janszoon?

  • It's a conservation trust. That's a group that works together to conserve, or protect, and even restore a place - this includes the native plants and animals who live there.
  • The trust was started in 2012 and is meant to last until 2042.
  • Project Janszoon works as a partner with DOC (the New Zealand Department of Conservation).
  • The trust is focused on conserving and restoring the Abel Tasman National Park.


Why would a conservation trust offer education programmes and resources?

If the work the trust does is going to really make a difference and last, it needs YOU, students and communities, to care about the place and the work that is done there. It would be pretty cool if that caring spread to care and concern for other natural places, too!

We also think that a national park is a great place to get out of the classroom and do some hands-on learning.


Why does 'Project Janszoon' have such a funny name?

The name for the trust was inspired by the name of the national park it's meant to protect and restore: Abel Tasman.

You might already know that Abel Tasman was a famous Dutch explorer who came to New Zealand in 1642. Though he never stepped off of his boat and onto the land, he was the first European to sight, or see, New Zealand. Okay, maybe one of the sailors on his boats saw land first, but Abel Tasman got the credit because he was the captain. Well, Abel Tasman's middle name was Janszoon (this is the Dutch version of Johnson or John's son): Abel Janszoon Tasman. And from that was born the name of a conservation trust, nearly 400 years later!


Fun fact about the name 'Janszoon'. This is actually the old Dutch spelling of the name. If he were alive today his name would be Abel 'Jansen' Tasman.


How do you say 'Janszoon'?

We get asked all the time how to pronounce Janszoon correctly. The easiest thing to do is to say the name phonetically with an English pronunciation (jan-SOON), but a Dutch person would say something like "yawns-ZONE". Perhaps we should create a pronunciation tutorial? That could be fun! Or weird. Maybe both!


Why does the trust have an end date?

The restoration of the Abel Tasman National Park is a partnership between the Project Janszoon Trust and DOC. The idea is that once the Park is far enough down the road to recovery, the trust can step back and DOC will take over.


Why did they pick 2042?

2042 was picked for a few important, and interesting, reasons:

  • 30 years is enough time to actually begin to see some big, positive changes happen. Making changes to an ecosystem isn't easy, and you have to be patient, but 30 years should let us see our work making a difference.
  • It is a short enough time that many of the people who are involved in this exciting work will still be alive, but certainly older. How old will you be in 2042?
  • There will be some big celebrations happening in the Abel Tasman National Park in 2042, so why not give people something else to celebrate: a park with improved and improving ecosystems, full of thriving native plants and animals!


What are the other big celebrations happening in 2042?

  • Abel Tasman and his crew first sighted New Zealand in 1642. This means that there will be a 400 year anniversary celebration in 2042.
  • In 1942 Abel Tasman National Park was formed by the New Zealand government. So 2042 will be the Park's 100th birthday. That's a pretty good reason for a party, too.


How can our school become an Adopt a Section partner?

We aren't ready to take on any new Adopt a Section partner schools right now, but we hope to add others in the future. Make sure you've created an account and signed up to receive news from us to ensure you're one of the first to know when we're looking for new partner schools.


Can I join the Student Advisory Board?

The Student Advisory Board is made up of students from our Adopt a Section partner schools. Interested students can apply for a position for the next school year in September. Applications are open NOW. Contact us to get the application and apply.