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Whangaruru School leading the way

This page contains information about Whangaruru School leading the way on cleaning up their waterways and the environment.
Updated: 15/08/2017 2:15 p.m.
​Tiaki Papatuanuku

​Tiny little Whangaruru School is a giant in its own community, leading the way on cleaning up their waterways and the environment. 

Pupils from the school spoke at Whangarei District Council’s public forum and asked for help to clean up their area. 

“We got involved and initially provided them with rubbish bags and then sent a truck out to pick-up all the rubbish. We also provided free dumping of the rubbish as they collected it,” says Grant Alsop, WDC field officer. “The students then designed some signs promoting the importance of keeping waterways clean and we had these installed for them.”

Here is what happened after that, in the words of Whangaruru School principal Matua Jamie, and one of the pupils. Thank you very much Matua Jamie for sharing this with us. 

“This week has been epic to say the least. Early this morning we gathered on the banks of the beautiful Punaruku awa to participate in a revealing ceremony. For a long time now we have dedicated our efforts to looking after our awa. A few months ago, you might remember that three of our students presented at a Whangarei District Council public forum. As a result, the Council kindly helped us fund signage to encourage better care of our environment. I must publicly thank the honourable Mayor Sheryl Mai, Grant Alsop and Mike Saunders who all had a part to play in implementing this plan. Tino whakawhetai, nga mihi. Stirring words were shared this morning as a blessing was pronounced on the area that it be protected and valued. We would also like to acknowledge Rewi Hepi a long serving community member who, for many years has taken responsibility to care for our beautiful environment. He along with many others have paved the way for all of us to follow. It was awesome to mahi tahi with more of our dedicated whanau, passionate about the care and welfare of our place. With our tamariki having a strong connection to this learning the tikanga of stewardship for our special place becomes sustainable. This generation know their part in caring for our environment. Miharo e te iwi.

Yesterday a small group of students and a few of our community members cleaned up the latest dumping of rubbish. The message we share is to tiaki Papatuanuku me arohatia te awa. It is our challenge whanau ma to teach our people to look after our awa. Tu ake whanau, ki tenei mahi rangatira.” – Whangaruru School Principal Matua Jamie.

Whangaruru School - Visiting the awa.

Yesterday our whole school piled onto the little bus.

As we rode to the awa, we sang songs. We sounded awesome!

When we arrived we sang a himene, Tama Ngakau.

After that we had Inoi a te Ariki, then we sang a waiata and Matua Jamie said his korero. Hemana

gave a mihi to tautoko Matua Jamie. Whaea Karlene, Whaea Dianne and Whaea Uschi said some words too.

Last we all had a photo by the sign and then we piled back onto the bus.

It was a very beautiful ceremony and I enjoyed the signs, they are very amazing .

By Navaeh Snowden



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