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Throughout Manawatu-Wanganui, Enviroschools are busy creating a sustainable future for the region.

Traditional Māori ways of kumara planting shared at Sanson School

In November, Sanson School hosted a workshop showing local teachers how to take cuttings and plant kumara using traditional Māori methods. The workshop was held by Massey University Horticulture lecturer Dr Nick Roskruge, who said that many kuia and kaumātua knew the leaves of kumara were ok for eating, but many traditions had been lost.

About 30 people went the workshop to learn more about kumara, Māori potatoes (taewa), corn (kainga), New Zealand spinach (kokihi) and pumpkin (kamokamo). Dr Roskruge was also accompanied by new horticultural students from Italy, Fiji and Papua new Guinea.

Dr Roskruge said Māori used to keep the best kumara for guests and stored them for whanau use. Kumara missing skin was not stored and was eaten immediately. "Kumara was the main carbohydrate and all the kumara were graded so that people could work out which to keep, and what to use." He kept some of the best tubers from Manawatu kumara to grow cuttings, from which Sanson School will be able to use for pupils to plant.

Massey University Horticulture lecturer Dr Nick Roskruge talks with teachers from around the region about growing kumara (November, 2016)


Rangitikei schools go 'enviro-warrior'

Five Rangitikei schools have joined a growing number of Enviroschools around the country.
In July, Rangitikei District Council approved $5000 funding for district schools to join the programme, and it was taken up immediately.

Bulls, Pukeokahu and South Makirikiri schools, Nga Tawa and Marton Childcare have all started the transition to become Enviroschools.

"It is fantastic," Enviroschools regional coordinator Helen Thomas said. "These schools have been wanting to come on board for some while." Mrs Thomas pushed for council funding for a facilitator to work with the schools to put sustainability, community and the environment at the forefront of what they do. "It's more of a framework than a programme which comes in, teaches something, then goes away," she said. "A lot of what they do comes from student involvement and inquiry learning."

Bulls School principal Kim Gordon said Enviroschools would be written into the school's strategic plan, and projects would probably begin early next year.
Ideas included introducing solar panels and having new construction on the property meet sustainable standards.

"They filter down to smaller things like litter," she said.
Mrs Gordon said it was a massive undertaking but important for pupils. "It needs to be part of their everyday thinking because they are the future.
"Our children will be the vehicle for change in the future."

Next door, Bulls Kindergarten has been in the programme 18 months. Teacher Kelsi Mckay said it had brought in lunchtime recycling led by the children and had a "sharing cart" that stocked produce grown on site and secondhand clothing.

Done well, Enviroschools encompassed all school life, Mrs Thomas said. "We are looking to create future leaders and future enviro-warriors, if you want to put it that way."

There are 42 enviroschools throughout the region, including nine in the Wanganui District.


Article source: Wanganui Cronicle


Bulls Kindergarten Healthy Heart Award


Bulls Kindergarten is the first early childhood centre in the Manawatu-Wanganui region to reach the level of "flourishing healthy practices" and is the highest of the three levels in the Healthy Heart Award for the Early Childhood centre programme.

Read the full article here

Playcentre Journal Sustainability Issue

Rowena Bullen of Ohau Playcentre in the Central District Association contributed an article called 'Imagine!' to the Playcentre Journal (Issue 139, Spring 2010).

Rowena attended an Enviroschools Facilitator training in 2010 and is looking towards getting every playcentre in her association involved in the Enviroschools programme. To read her article and the additional feature on sustainability in the Playcentre sector click here