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.