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Young Reporters for the Environment Competition

New Zealand's upcoming reporters highlighted as winners announced for the Young Reporters for the Environment Competition

Keep New Zealand Beautiful (KNZB) are proud to announce the winners of the Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) - Litter Less 2018 competition.

In its 24th year, YRE is a youth-led environmental programme found in over 30 countries with more than 77,000 young reporters. The YRE Litter Less Campaign is sponsored internationally by Wrigley Company Foundation and encourages students to focus on environmental issues relating to litter. YRE gives young people the opportunity to be part of the solution by producing creative and engaging environmental journalism.

Victoria Hamilton, Corporate Affairs Manager for Mars New Zealand, said, “We are delighted to continue to support this initiative. As a global company Mars (incorporating Wrigley) has set firm targets to be sustainable in a generation. This includes a number of goals such as eliminating waste to landfill, reducing our carbon footprint and ensuring all our packaging is recyclable by 2025.”

The goal of the YRE Litter Less Programme is to reduce litter and affect long-term behaviour change among young people aged 11-18 years. It aims to empower young people to take a stand on environmental issues they feel strongly about and to give them a platform to articulate these issues through the media of writing, photography or video.

To enter, students were asked to investigate an issue relating to litter, research a solution and then report on it using film, photography or writing. They were then required to disseminate their piece via available channels. This could be via their school newsletter, in a class presentation or by contacting local media.

A record number of entries were received this year, with nearly 200 entries received nationwide. The NZ YRE Jury met at the Keep New Zealand Beautiful offices on Thursday 20th September to review the submissions and determine the winners.

Guest judge, journalist Melissa Davies, said “It was great to see so many entries from students who clearly have a genuine passion for investigating the issues that affect our environment here in New Zealand and more globally. As a journalist, I was especially heartened by the entries that saw students go out and question those that have a particular responsibility in keeping New Zealand beautiful.”

Winning entry in the 15-18 year old photography competition, "We are not the only ones" by Christine Yu of Avondale College

The full list of winners is available on the Keep New Zealand Beautiful website.

The NZ YRE Jury was composed of experts in the fields of journalism, photography and environmental Sustainable Development. The members are Melissa Davies, TV Journalist; Jacki Key, Environmental Photographer; Folko Boermans, Creative Director Media Studies at University of Auckland and Victoria Hamilton, Mars NZ.

The YRE National Winners will receive a place in the National YRE Winners Workshop which will be held at The University of Auckland in November. Previous winners have gone on to win fully funded scholarships from FEE to international conferences and symposiums, such as Joanna Tao's recent scholarship to the UN 9th University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Bangkok, Thailand. To read about this experience, click here.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful are now taking expressions of interest from schools who would like to find out more about taking part in the Young Reporters For The Environment, Litter Less Campaign in 2019. Entries open in Term 1, 2019 and close in Term 3, 2019.


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