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ECOED’s Pan Pac Kiwi Creche Blessed with New Shelter

ECOED’s Pan Pac Kiwi Creche Blessed with New Shelter

A large crowd gathered to celebrate the official blessing of the new shelter and canoe shed at ECOED’s Pan Pac Kiwi Crèche. The event was held at Lake Opouahi Scenic Reserve near Tutira, north of Napier on Saturday 8 December.

Matiu Eru of Maungaharuru Tangitu carried out the blessing, followed by an explanation of the entry carving by master carver Bevan Taylor who undertook the work.

The Environment, Conservation and Outdoor Education Trust (ECOED) led the project with funding from Endeavour Community Foundation for the building, and funding from Pub Charity and the Department of Conservation for the carvings.

Around 100 invited guests, school children, locals and supporters celebrated the blessing and official opening of the new building, which oversees the lake.

“We are extremely grateful to our funders and sponsors for their support,” said ECOED Chair and Trustee Matthew Lawson, “without which assets like this could never be established.”

The construction was assisted by the Vocational Class from Hastings Boys’ High School earning their community service badges through volunteered time and labour, with the guidance of leading ECOED contractor Pouri Rakete-Stones.

The new shelter includes secure canoe storage at the rear of the building, used by school groups taking part in outdoor and environmental programmes on the lake.

“Lakeside storage means simpler logisitics for getting the canoes to the lake with a lesser risk of spreading hydrilla,” said Mr Lawson.

ECOED has been a long time supporter of outdoor and environmental education, more recently creating the Wilderness Education Base (WEB) on land adjacent to the Pan Pac Kiwi Crèche. The WEB was developed to provide a low cost outdoor and environmental education base for schools to deliver authentic outdoor experiences. The facilities are deliberately basic with three distinct camping areas including a large open shelter with removable sides, sinks, benches, storage for gear, toilets, running water and tent sites for up to 30 students.

To date more than 2600 students from Taradale Intermediate, William Colenso College, Hastings Boys’ High and Kereru Schools have stayed at the WEB. Programmes incorporate the many natural features of the area which support caving, rock traverse, gorging, canoeing, orienteering, bush walks, kiwi health checks, and all involve an environmental component.

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