Topic: Environment

10-year-old aims to make his school rubbish-free

By Taroi Black
  • Auckland

A 10-year-old boy from Newton Central School has been nominated for an award at the Community Zero Waste - Hui and Awards.  He pushed the Auckland Council to fund their Māori Department resources, required to clean their new facility as part of a zero waste campaign.

Cash Callagher, who’s up for the nominations, says, “The reason why I care, well it’s looking after Papatuanuku.”

Because of Cash, his school then decided to focus on zero waste. He wrote a letter to the Auckland Council for a Waste Minimisation grant.

“My goal was essentially making our school waste-free and to set an example for other schools.”

The council responded with $1,500 worth of funding to better resource his school.

Today, at the Community Zero Waste Hui, a waste minimisation programme called Para Kore, designed to support marae to reduce waste, also supported Cash in his pursuit with local government.

Richelle Kahui McConnell from the Para Kore ki Tāmaki branch says, “One of the interesting things about Cash was the youth of his age but also the directness that he had.  He had the nous to actually independently come to us.”

His application was due to the amount of waste generated during pohiri and other major school events. 

“I loved that he had a specific outcome that he had in mind.  He did some planning around it and he saw a wider vision.”

Tonight he's in the running’s to win an award at the national Community Zero Waste Hui.

“I think it's awesome because I was able to contribute to something so significant”, Cash says.