NZ War­riors take on handy gar­den­ers’ role


What do the New Zealand War­riors do off-field? Well, some days they vol­un­teer their time help­ing schools in South Auck­land.

Their lat­est stint was help­ing im­ple­ment a gar­den for the stu­dents of Wey­mouth Pri­mary.

Otara boy and War­riors cap­tain Roger Tuiv­asa-Sheck says he’s not much of a gar­dener him­self but is pumped to help out where he can.

‘‘We [the team] just want to get around and help as much as we can. It’s in­ter­est­ing and cool to see the kids get be­hind it,’’ he says.

Happy to be spend­ing his time mak­ing gar­den boxes, he says ‘‘back­yard gar­dens are part of the kiwi life’’.

Sim­i­larly, ‘The Beast’ Manu Vatu­vei says even though he might not have planted any- thing ever, he’s more of a ‘‘handy­man’’ when it comes to work around the house.

‘‘I’m a good handy­man and love to get dirty. I do the lawns,’’ he laughs.

‘‘It’s awe­some for us as a club to go out and help the com­mu­nity. It’s what we like to do.’’

The ‘‘work­ing bee’’ gar­den at the school has been spon­sored by OKE Char­ity.

They have such gar­dens at Pa­p­a­toe­toe West and Pa­p­a­toe­toe East schools and Bairds Main­freight Pri­mary in Otara.

Their tar­get is to get all pri­mary schools in Pa­p­a­toe­toe set up with a gar­den by the end of 2018.

OKE Char­ity chief go-get­ter Paul Dickson says they are hop­ing to help one more south Auck­land school out this year.

‘‘We are try­ing to de­velop life and so­cial skills in our kids by pro­vid­ing fruit and veg­etable gar­dens to schools,’’ he says.

The OKE Work­ing Bee is be­ing sup­ported by funds col­lected from char­ity’s Head­2Head walk held last year.

The first Head­2Head Walk took place in 2012 and has been held an­nu­ally since then, rais­ing over $50,000.

It costs $10,000 to pro­vide a school with all the fun­da­men­tal re­sources like the green­house, gar­den shed, com­post bin, gar­den tools for the chil­dren, pot­ting ta­bles, etc.

Hence, they’re al­ways look­ing for do­na­tions and vol­un­teers. If it’s some­thing that in­ter­ests you, visit to out more.

Also, if other low decile pri­mary schools around South Auck­land are keen to get in­volved and OKE has the re­sources to sup­port, they would be happy to help. find

From left; David Fusitu’a and Pa­trick Si­p­ley work out their green thumbs.

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