Kindergarten beats them all
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 www.nrc.govt.nz/ 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.”