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Rutherford College environmental champions

Media Release

18 April, 2008

Rutherford College environmental champions

The air in the Waitakere City council chamber fizzed with energy on Thursday afternoon [17 April], when senior students from seven Waitakere high schools competed in a series of team environmental challenges.

The winning team from Rutherford College squeezed ahead of rivals St Dominic's College, Massey High School, Liston College, Kelston Boys High School, Kelston Girls' College and Waitakere College to take the Enviro-Challenge trophy.

The Waitakere City Council and Waitakere Youth Council sponsored event pitched high school teams against one another in five environmentally themed challenges to test environmental knowledge, powers of investigation, presentation skills and teamwork.

Waitakere City Council sustainability advisor Cathy Sheehan applauded the students and schools for participating in the Enviro-Challenge programme even though it wasn't an official part of the school curriculum.

The Enviro-Challenge programme provides practical tools and support for secondary students and schools to examine their use and treatment of energy, waste, water and transport.

It covers many aspects of education and skill development, exposing students to opportunities for careers in the emerging field of sustainability.

Councillor Linda Cooper presented the trophy to Rutherford College for achieving the most points, in a close finish.

The Rutherford College team showed strong teamwork and capability, with impassioned speakers making the case for the environment. They shared the results of their investigations honestly.

Second place-getters Massey High School provided innovative ways to manage water at their school, and carried out a scientific survey of transport to and from school.

Kelston Girls' achievements included running a food garden whose produce is given away to food banks and other community groups.

They had some smart ideas for getting more students walking and reducing vehicle congestion around the school.

All the schools noted their big environmental issues and recommended improvements on their own campuses with the potential to save money to be put to better use.

Councillor Cooper said she was pleased the forum topic on sustainable transport and travel plans was being discussed by the students, because the challenge of moving people safely and effectively while sustaining a healthy environment is a priority for the city.

One student from each participating Waitakere high school was chosen to participate in an environmental ambassador programme in Wellington, and to make a presentation on transportation and travel planning to Land Transport New Zealand.

Environmental ambassadors for 2008 are: Julian Kendall, Kelston Boys High School; Lavinia Pahulu, Kelston Girls' College; Emily Shine, Massey High School; Joshua Fielding, Liston College; Justin Baatjes, Waitakere College; Cresilda Cross, Rutherford College; and Charlotte Fleetwood-Smith, St Dominic's College.

The council plans to continue working with the schools to make the most of their potential for better management of energy, water, waste and transport.


© Scoop Media

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