Ri­par­ian plant­ing

Franklin County News - - FRONT PAGE -

Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture and Biose­cu­rity Damien O’Connor vis­ited Puni re­cently, to check out the hard work Puni School stu­dents have put into the Balle Bros’ ri­par­ian plant­ing ini­tia­tive.

Stu­dents, teach­ers and par­ents have planted around 2500 plants along­side the Mauku stream, rang­ing from na­tive cab­bage trees, manuka, to­tara, pit­tospo­rum and na­tive ground cover.

O’Connor said it was vi­tal for chil­dren to play a part in such ini­tia­tives.

‘‘The re­liance as a coun­try on pri­mary in­dus­tries is huge and we need to get more kids out there and all grow­ers have to be ac­tively in­volved in it. Knowl­edge doesn’t just hap­pen, they (chil­dren) need to be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing it.’’

Puni School teacher Cor­rina De-Arth said the chil­dren loved pitch­ing in.

‘‘We’re try­ing to teach chil­dren to give back to the com­mu­nity, to take re­spon­si­bil­ity in the en­vi­ron­ment and to recog­nise the links be­tween what we have here on our doorstep and how it links to the wider world.’’

Tommy Gib­son, Olya Ere­mee, Nate Moloney and RJ Rapi watch as Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture Damien O’Connor plants a sapling.

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