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Students have environment on their minds

Students have environment on their minds

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Amy Blair, Natasha Wilson and Luka de Jong outside Parliament during the Sir Peter Blake Youth Environment Forum.


Students have environment on their minds

For immediate release: Thursday 4 May 2006

The recent school holidays weren’t about sleeping in and relaxing for three Bay of Plenty high school students – instead, they had the environment on their minds.

The students, Natasha Wilson from Whakatane High School, Luka de Jong from Rotorua Girls High School and Amy Blair from Katikati College, travelled to Wellington to attend the 2006 Sir Peter Blake Youth Environment Forum.

Environment Bay of Plenty selected the students to attend the forum, which was hosted by the Ministry for the Environment in partnership with the Sir Peter Blake Trust.

While there the students had the opportunity to mix with other environmentally minded students, listen to presentations from different groups and organisations and do some project work, says Jillian Houghton, Environment Bay of Plenty’s community engagement coordinator.

Miss Houghton travelled to Wellington with the students and said the main focus of the forum was a group project.

“The students chose one of three topics, and after site visits and some project work, made a presentation at Parliament about their issue and possible solutions to it,” she said. The topics were computer and cellphone waste, the quality and supply of water, and issues associated with urban design.

She says the forum aims to introduce the students to the different aspects involved in environmental management, and hopefully get them involved in local action in the Bay of Plenty.

“For us as a regional council it’s what happens from here. We need to make sure there’s some ongoing environmental benefit from the event. A lot of that is up to the student themselves, but we will provide support and guidance for them to do it.”

Other Bay of Plenty students also spent the holidays increasing their environmental knowledge. This included students from high schools who had entered the recent Envirochallenge events, which were run by Envirostate and supported by Environment Bay of Plenty, Rotorua District Council, Tauranga City Council and the Energy Trust. Each school had a representative travel to Wellington where they gave presentations to different groups and organisations, including the Sir Peter Blake Youth Environment Forum. Two students from Tauranga Girls College also attended the Youth Enviro School (YES) at Lincoln during the first week of the school holidays.


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