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The process in the NZAquaBots programme is for teams to compete locally in one of the following areas:  Northland, Auckland, Rotorua, Whakatane, Masterton, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, or Invercargill. The top 9 teams (3 from each age group) are invited to Nationals which is held this year in Christchurch on 26 November. The top 2 teams from Nationals are invited to the international competition in the USA, via Sea Perch or MATE.
To register for Nationals please click here
ONLY teams that win at Nationals will be eligible to go to the international Sea Perch competition in the USA. 

Regional Winners and Obstacle Course Times to Beat 2023

Christchurch Area – July 2023

Fastest Obstacle Course Time 1min 58s Christmas Crackers


Standard Class 1 Primary – Scallop Savers (Diamond Harbour School)

Standard Class 1 Intermediate – Robofish (Ladbroke School)

Standard Class 1 High School – Christmas Crackers

Standard Class 2 – CS1 (Balmacewen Intermediate)

What is NZ Aquabots?

NZ AquaBots is the first underwater robotics programme for school-aged children in New Zealand.  In this innovative underwater robotics program, school-aged children forms teams build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle then compete in New Zealand themed challenges. Students learn engineering concepts and hone skills in problem solving, teamwork, scientific communication, and technical applications. Building an aquabot teaches basic skills in design and encourages students to explore naval architecture and marine and ocean engineering principles. It also teaches basic science, electrical concepts, tool safety and technical procedures. Each year the theme of the programme is changed to reflect what is going on in Aotearoa and/or the world.

How do I participate in NZ Aquabots?

Ministry Of Inspiration is the exclusive provider of NZAquaBots in New Zealand. MOI works with local coordinators to run local events delivering the programme developed by MOI in conjunction with RoboNation (Sea Perch).

Anyone or any school can purchase NZAquaBots and have fun with them! Competition procedures are to be followed if students wish to attend the Regional/National event and potentially feed to the International event run by Sea Perch in the USA. To compete, all you have to do is build your NZ Aquabot to the rules for the current year (see below for rules), then participate in a qualifying regional (see further down for a list of regionals).  Teams who place 1st, 2nd or 3rd in their regional qualify for the National event.  Teams who place 1st in the High School Division and Intermediate Division are eligible for the International SeaPerch event run in the USA by RoboNation.

If you have questions, please contact us:

What equipment or tools do I need?

The image below shows the typical contents of an NZ Aquabots kit. To purchase one or get replacement parts please visit our shop. Many of the parts are sourced locally and so may differ slightly from those shown here. You will also need to purchase a battery for the kit locally.  The kit is re-usable, as advanced students need to modify the structure of the AquaBot from year to year in order to compete.


How do I register or get more information

We work with regional co-ordinators in a number of areas.  Register your team to attend a regional here:

Northland/Auckland: Amy Cornelisen Northland Regional: Whangarei Aquatic Centre 5th December

Auckland Regional: Hobsonville School 8th November

Bay of Plenty (Rotorua Based): Jessica Cathro: Rotorua Regional: Mamaku School + Community Pool 15th October

Whakatane Regional: Whakatane Aquatic Centre 14th October

Masterton: Paul Greville Regional: 1st September

South Island (Nelson Based), including Nelson, Marlborough, Christchurch, Dunedin: Amy Cornelisen: Nelson Regional: Richmond Aquatic Centre 17th September

Nationals 2023: Selwyn Aquatic Centre Christchurch, 26th November

For enquiries outside these areas or for more information please email