Topic: Environment

Whananaki School wins $10,000 Environment Award

By Taroi Black
  • Northland

A small school in Northland has won $10,000 for an environmental project through Canon Oceania Grants. The project by Whananaki School looks at a decline in the local ecosystem.

Whananaki School are now pioneers in their own right.

Principal Shaun Tipanea says, “It's absolutely amazing for a small school like ours to have this opportunity to enter into a competition like this, but also for a small school like this and to share what we have. And just to show you don't have to move to the biggest schools when you have everything right on your doorstep here.”

The prize is over $10,000 worth cannon camera equipment and includes a still and video camera.

Student Kahurangi Mita says, “Well our school does a lot not only enviromentally but like physical education like sports. We are a very competitive school so we have our athletics day. We also have our kapa haka festival where we perform our kapa haka so it would be good to get some shots with our new cameras too.”

They were given the award over numerous other applications throughout NZ because the school noticed a decline in its local ecosystem.

Canon New Zealand 63" Ceo Kim Conner says, "So we had a rating scale around the importance to the community the difference and uniqueness around the project and the uniqueness of where this school is situated. I think when we narrowed it down, Whananaki School was really an easy answer for us."

To combat the issues in Whananaki, their local school ran a couple of environmental focused projects to educate their students for better outcomes.

Tipanea says, “I always believe authentic learning makes you want to learn so getting out there in our backyard getting involved, getting our community involved and making it real for the students. And that will help them learn and become passionate about Whananaki.”

Information collected by the pupils is being loaded to a website administered by the NZ Marine Studies Centre at the University of Otago as part of its Marine Metre Squared project.