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North Shore City Council recognises eco-efforts


North Shore City Council recognises eco-efforts

Local people who have worked tirelessly to help improve the city ' s environment, have been recognised for their contributions at North Shore City Council ' s inaugural community environmental awards ceremony held recently at Wakatere Boating Club in Devonport.

Maureen Robertson, a teacher at Verran Primary School in Birkenhead, received the Envirowaste award for her outstanding achievements in waste minimisation. Ms Robertson ' s drive and enthusiasm sees all the students involved in finding solutions to help the school achieve zero waste. These include collecting food waste, using worm bins, composting, holding " no glad wrap " days, and growing organic produce in the school gardens.

The Petals & Pots award for outstanding achievement in native revegetation and restoration went to the Shepherds Park Management Committee, which for years, has taken a leading role in educating the community and involving them in the local environment. The Beach Haven-based committee recently completed a walkway accessible to people with disabilities and erected interpretation panels, which has significantly enhanced this beautiful natural area.

Vauxhall and Bayswater Primary Schools were the joint winners of the EECA outstanding achievement in energy efficiency or transport alternatives award. Both schools are undertaking Travelwise programmes, which involve developing alternative transport methods to reduce congestion and create a safer and cleaner environment. Since the programme began there has been a significant increase in cycling and walking to school.

The Soil & Health Association of NZ outstanding achievement in water quality improvement or conservation award went to the Kaipatiki Ecological Restoration Project (KERP). For five years, KERP has worked to restore riparian vegetation along the Kaipatiki stream in Birkdale to improve stream water quality and streamside habitat. It motivates and organises a strong volunteer network and runs an education centre for school groups and residents to learn about water quality.

Dee Pigneguy of Glenfield, received the Futonz supreme award for living sustainably in North Shore City. Ms Pigneguy was nominated for her commitment to minimising waste, native revegetation, implementing energy efficiency initiatives in her home and her overall approach to low impact living. The supreme award also recognised her willingness to promote and educate others about environmentally-friendly ways to live.

The winners received prizes donated by the award sponsors to thank them for their contribution to the environment for the benefit of the community at large.

North Shore City mayor, George Wood, presented the awards on March 7with a number of people in each category also highly commended for their efforts.

" I was impressed with the genuine enthusiasm of every person nominated and their drive and willingness to really make a difference to our city ' s environment, " says Mr Wood.

The award presentation was followed by an entertaining debate between councillors Joel Cayford, Dianne Hale and Andrew Williams, and a debating team from Takapuna Grammar School (Kate Eaglen, Campbell McIlroy and David Tong). The students were declared the winners by the audience having contended that composting toilets do have a place in urban North Shore City.

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