Students learn sustainability

From the left, Dargaville Intermediate students Haylee Mitchell and Ayla Steed, plant a young olive tree at Paparoa’s Chapel Olive Oil during the Kaipara leg of the 2017 Enviroschools Expos

The Northland wide Enviroschools Expo came to Kaipara for the first time recently and attracted some 40 local school students, 10 adults as well as Northland Regional Council staff and Kaipara-based councillor Penny Smart.

“Expos have been held yearly for about a decade and always provide exciting, hands-on learning experiences for participants,” said Penny.

This year’s theme centred on using the environment for economic gain in a sustainable manner. “This showcased potential job opportunities for the students and provided an exciting platform for participating Enviroschools schools, as they plan for the coming year...due to its success here in Kaipara, it will be on the agenda for next year,” said Penny.

Starting at the Matakohe War Memorial Hall, the year 5-10 students from Ruawai College, Ruawai Primary, Tinopai school, Maungaturoto primary and Dargaville Intermediate, visited four local employers who fitted the theme. They were Chapel Olive Oil, Organic Dairy Hub, Zephyr Oysters and free range chicken farmers Te Rata Family Farm.

“It was a really great day, the students were really engaged. They got some real hands on experience such as planting an olive tree, collecting eggs, feeding calves with flax and packaging oysters.

They also got some very sound business advice and asked well thought-out questions. The business owners were very generous and gave us all a take home sample of what they produced.”

For more information about the Enviroschools programme visit


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