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South Auckland event in line for top award

South Auckland event in line for top award

A free event that see’s kids across South Auckland gathering at the Auckland Botanic Gardens for four days to learn about the environment is a finalist in the Best Emerging Event section of this year’s New Zealand Association of Event Professionals Event Awards.

Eye on nature’ is a surprise finalist in this year’s awards, and is up against four big-name events including the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines, ENZED V8 Jet sprints @ ASB Park, Festival of Transitional Architecture and Wellington Jazz Festival.

Graeme Bakker, Manager of the Manukau Beautification Charitable Trust who run the event, says they are thrilled to make the finals.
“This type of event is the first of its kind in New Zealand, and it’s really captured the imagination of school children throughout South Auckland. We have waiting lists of schools wanting to take part every year.

“A huge amount of hard work and passion from the team - including hundreds of volunteers - goes into making the event such a success. It all pays off when we see the thrill children get from happily letting bees fly around them or watching their art creations walk down the runway at the Wearable Arts Fashion Show, but getting nominated for this award is just the icing on the cake,” he said.

Eye on nature sees 1,500 South Auckland school kids bussed into the gardens free of charge over three days to engage in a series of interactive educational activities. On the fourth and final day of the event – Saturday – the children’s families, friends and local communities return to take part in fun games and competitions that culminate in a Wearable Arts Finals taking place after dusk.

2014, the second year of the event, saw attendance of more than 8,000 take part throughout Saturday, which was more than double the amount of the first year.
To get Eye on Nature off the ground, the Manukau Beautification Charitable Trust brought together 24 environmental organisations as partners and six of Auckland Council’s Southern Locals Boards and the Auckland Botanic Gardens as sponsors.

“The real winners here are the kids,” says Bakker. “That’s what all of this is for, and if Eye on Nature wins the award, they’ll be as delighted as us.”
The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Christ Church on August 6th.


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