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Young Conservationist Celebration at Te Papa

Release 29 October 2003

Young Conservationist Celebration at Te Papa
Award Presentation and Opening of Wheke Display in NatureSpace

Wellington, October 2003 – Young Conservationists from around New Zealand will be honoured at Te Papa, the national museum, in Wellington on November 5.

The YHA Young Conservationist Individual Award winners, representing intermediate and secondary categories, will be recognised at a special presentation in NatureSpace, one of four Discovery Centres at Te Papa. It coincides with the opening of a NatureSpace display showcasing the work of 11 primary school conservationist groups, from Auckland to Waitati.

“We thank Te Papa for this opportunity to share such outstanding work in conservation with the wider community,” says YHA New Zealand Chairman Janice Fredric. “It’s a thrill for the students whose work will be displayed, and also an appropriate place to recognise the individual students’ winning projects.”

Fredric will present the Individual Awards along with Department of Conservation (DOC) Director-General Hugh Logan.

Sixteen-year-old James Kirkland of Wellington will receive the Harakeke (Secondary Individual) Award for his contribution to the Wellesley College’s school sand dune regeneration project at Wellington’s Days Bay. The project encouraged community involvement, which James demonstrated by dedicating 50 hours of his own time to planting native trees in the area. In addition, he constructed bollards and steps from recycled railway sleepers, as well as a temporary windbreak.

In 2004, Kirkland will travel to Australia’s Grampians YHA Eco Hostel as part of his Young Conservationist Harakeke Prize.

Queen Charlotte College Year 8 student John Sunley will receive the Tui (Individual Primary/Intermediate) Award, for his project highlighting the risk of didemnum vexillum, commonly known as sea squirts, spreading in Marlborough’s Waikawa Bay Marina. He will enjoy a New Zealand conservation trip in 2004, sponsored by YHA and DOC, as part of his Tui Prize.

The Te Papa NatureSpace display opening 5 November will feature the work of the 2004 YHA Young Conservationist Wheke (Group Primary/Intermediate) Award entries. The top honour in this category went to Auckland’s Verran Primary School for their work toward a zero-waste policy. Students were interested in reducing the waste that goes to landfills, particularly in the form of plastic shopping bags.

The Wheke display will continue through the 1 February 2004.

The YHA Young Conservationist Awards presentation at Te Papa begins at 11 a.m., Wednesday, 5 November. For further information please contact:

About YHA

As a not-for-profit organisation, YHA New Zealand focuses on a commitment to education through travel, and environmental conservation.

Its mission is to provide overseas and New Zealand members, a wide range of experiences through hostels, travel and activities, in order to enable them to increase their awareness of the world and its people, and contribute to their educational development.

YHA was founded in New Zealand in 1932, developing over seven decades into a unique network of 64 hostels nationwide with around 26,000 New Zealand members. YHA has been built by the efforts of volunteers who raised funds, personally constructed and managed many of the facilities. In 2002/03 the network recorded 600,000 guest overnights, around 87 percent from international travellers.

YHA New Zealand is a full member of the International Youth Hostels Federation, which is represented by the Hostelling International brand. Comprising over 4,500 hostels in 60 countries, this international focus allows members to enjoy the benefits and culture of a truly global network, whether travelling locally or overseas.

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