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“Trash to Taonga” challenges young Kiwis

Auckland City Council

Media release

23 July 2008

“Trash to Taonga” challenges young Kiwis

A load of old rubbish, a love for the environment, and a little creative talent, is all young Kiwis need to take up Auckland Zoo’s Trash to Taonga challenge for Conservation Week (7 to 14 September).

From pre-schoolers to 18-year-olds, Trash to Taonga invites young people to clean up an area in their local neighbourhood and create an artwork, or taonga (treasure) that reflects New Zealand native fauna or flora with the rubbish collected.

Along with having their creations on display at the zoo during Conservation Week, the winners in each age category will win a personalised behind-the-scenes tour to meet some special zoo locals.

Auckland Zoo’s discovery and learning manager, Emma Bowyer-Warner, says the challenge is a great opportunity for kids to make a positive difference in their local communities, find out more about wildlife in their area, and have a great deal of fun creating a piece of art.

“Sadly, there’s a lot of trash out there in our waterways, beaches and green spaces, which, along with being unsightly, poses a serious risk to our wildlife. Plastic, which generally makes up about 60 per cent of rubbish, is the worst offender. Worldwide, an estimated 100,000 marine mammals and turtles die each year by either becoming entangled in, or by accidently eating, plastic. In New Zealand our fur seals, dolphins, penguins and seabirds are particularly vulnerable. We hope Trash to Taonga will raise awareness of what’s threatening our local wildlife and inspire the young people who participate to take action to help conserve their local living treasures,” says Ms Bowyer-Warner.

How to enter:

• entry forms can be downloaded from www.aucklandzoo.co.nz

• entries can be in any art form (ie sculpture, poster, collage, etc)

• a brief description of the artwork, where the rubbish was collected from, and the message the artist(s) wishes it to convey should be attached

• participants can enter as an individual or as a group (maximum six members)

• there are four categories : early childhood (0 to 4 years), 5 to 8 years, 9 to 13 years, and 14 to 18 years

• artworks must be of a size that they can be transported by personal vehicle to Auckland Zoo

• entries must be received by the zoo’s information centre by 5pm, Sunday, 31 August, 2008

• winners will be announced on Sunday, 7 September, the start of Conservation Week. (Prize excludes covering transport costs to Auckland Zoo to redeem behind-the-scenes experience)

• for further details visit www.aucklandzoo.co.nz


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