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 www.oke.org.nz 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.