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New story book for children on weeds launched

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Conservation

26 October 2006 Media Statement

New story book for children on weeds launched


Conservation Minister Chris Carter today joined students at Wellington’s Otari Primary School to officially launch a new storybook for children about New Zealand's weed problem.

‘When the Jones kids came to town: A Weedbusters adventure” has been released by Weedbusters. It is part of efforts to raise awareness of invasive environmental weeds, a problem estimated to cost New Zealand $100 million dollars a year.

“This is the first New Zealand book about weed issues for the five to ten age group,” Mre Carter said.

“I highly recommend it as a very enjoyable and uniquely New Zealand children's book. It is also an innovative way to help maintain our world famous pristine natural environment through good weeds education."

The book centers on a fictional family - the Jones kids - who find themselves moved to the city and drawn to a gully over-run by weeds behind their school.

They call on NZ’s Weedbusters mascot, Woody Weed, whanau and friends to help them get rid of the invaders and return the gully to full environmental health.

The new book features exquisite artwork by Ngaruawahia artist Janet Hodgetts, who joined the Minister for the launch.

“Janet has created some wonderful illustrations that must be among the best artwork produced for a NZ children’s storybook,” Mr Carter said.

The National Coordinator of Weedbusters Carolyn Lewis worked on the storyline with Dr Ian Popay from the Department of Conservation in Hamilton, and Wendy Mead from Environment Waikato.

Ms Lewis said Weedbusters in the Waikato came up with the idea of the storybook to promote the message about clearing environmental weeds, and to explain what New Zealand’s children could do themselves to assist.

“We are already enjoying excellent support for the book’s release from the Department of Conservation, regional and city councils, and Enviroschools. Weedbusters hopes to be able to place the book in every school library throughout New Zealand,” she said.

“Three thousand books have been included in the first run, with more than two thousand of them already pre-sold before publishing.”

Ms Lewis said plans were already underway to produce a second book in the “Weedbuster adventure” series.


ENDS

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