Kin­der­garten beats them all

The Northland Age - - Local News -

A small ru­ral kin­der­garten near Whanga¯rei last week out­shone 39 other fi­nal­ists to take out the supreme award at the North­land Re­gional Coun­cil’s in­au­gu­ral en­vi­ron­men­tal awards.

Com­rie Park Kin­der­garten, at Mata­rau, had a long-time pas­sion for en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity, coun­cil chair­man Bill Shep­herd said, and head teacher Anna Alexan­der, the staff and the com­mu­nity were thrilled with the win.

The kin­der­garten also won the awards’ en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tion in ed­u­ca­tion cat­e­gory.

The awards were de­signed to recog­nise and cel­e­brate kaiti­ak­i­tanga in ac­tion and high­light the ‘can-do’ at­ti­tudes and re­mark­able con­tri­bu­tions large num­bers of North­landers from all walks of life were mak­ing to help their en­vi­ron­ment thrive, Mr Shep­herd said.

More than 90 nom­i­na­tions had been whit­tled down to 39 fi­nal­ists in eight cat­e­gories.

Mr Shep­herd said the coun­cil was pleased with and ex­cited by the in­ter­est the awards had gen­er­ated, and hoped to make them an an­nual event.

“Nom­i­nees rep­re­sented a truly di­verse cross-sec­tion of North­land, and in­cluded in­di­vid­u­als, groups and com­mu­nity group lead­ers, iwi, farm­ers, forestry and schools,” he said.

“My fel­low coun­cil­lors and I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the ef­fort that peo­ple have put into mak­ing these in­au­gu­ral awards such a suc­cess, in par­tic­u­lar all those who made nom­i­na­tions, and look for­ward to grow­ing these awards in the years to come.”

The fi­nal­ists had been White­bait Con­nec­tion de­liv­ery co-or­di­na­tor Jas­mine Pirini work­ing with Pe­ria School pupils to re­store their lo­cal stream, Pakonga, in 2017.

se­lected by a panel com­pris­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal cham­pion and

for­mer Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion veteran Chris Jenk­ins, Mike

Kake (Te Tai Tok­erau Ma¯ori and Coun­cil Work­ing Party), NRC biose­cu­rity man­ager Don McKen­zie and the coun­cil’s com­pli­ance mon­i­tor­ing man­ager, Tess Dacre.

The full list of fi­nal­ists in each cat­e­gory can be found at en­vi­ron­men­ta­lawards.

Each cat­e­gory win­ner re­ceived $1000 and tro­phy, Com­rie Park re­ceiv­ing an­other tro­phy, which it will hold for the next year.

A pub­lic field day will be or­gan­ised later this year for the win­ners to share their knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence and show­case their work. More than 20 homes in Kaitaia lost their wa­ter sup­ply for around five hours last week while a Far North Dis­trict Coun­cil con­trac­tor re­paired a leak in a 100mm main.

A coun­cil spokesman said con­tract staff no­ticed a wa­ter loss from the reser­voir on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, and re­alised there was a leak.

They im­me­di­ately be­gan driv­ing around the area, leaks that size of­ten be­ing vis­i­ble, un­til some 45 min­utes later Kaitaia In­ter­me­di­ate School re­ported see­ing and hear­ing wa­ter flow­ing in a stormwa­ter pipe.

Con­trac­tors con­firmed that the wa­ter was com­ing from a leak in the main, and cut the sup­ply to part of North Rd un­til it was re­paired.

No dam­age had been done to the road.

Kaitaia In­ter­me­di­ate School board of trustees chair­man Kevin Matthews said he had no­ticed large vol­umes of wa­ter with a def­i­nite smell of chlo­rine dis­charg­ing from the school stormwa­ter pipe into the chan­nel at the rear of the school.

“I was not sur­prised that they had no­ticed los­ing large vol­umes of wa­ter from the reser­voir given the quan­tity I saw ex­it­ing from the cul­vert pipe, and I wan­dered how on Earth any­one was still get­ting wa­ter north of the leak.”


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