Progress in the Bay of Plenty

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Field Officer Amanda Besley reports:

A retirement environment
Summerset Group, Katikati College’s TfS sponsor, recently celebrated the completion of its 2000th unit nationwide and the College planting day conveniently coincided with achievement of this notable milestone at the waterfront village Summerset by the Sea in Katikati.

Students from Year 7 and 8 Pourua class, Peter Besley’s Environmental Studies award-winning Envirochallenge group, plus senior environmental committee members began the ambitious revegetation project on the reserve in front of the village complex. To mark the occasion Julian Cook, Summerset Chief Executive, joined the students for the planting which was spread over two days.

Joining in – Julian Cook works with the students
Committed students surround a trailer load – the first of many

A new school
Taura Natural Ingredients is now sponsoring two Tauranga schools, Tauranga Girls College and Mount Maunganui College. The Mount Maunganui horticulture teacher, John Devery, leapt at the opportunity to become a TfS school.  Very soon after receiving a second-hand, completely dismantled PGU, he had it up and running; and within weeks had organised classes of students to prick out seedlings, and was ready for more.

To celebrate the new partnership there was a presentation and introduction to the senior school assembly.  Then everyone gathered in the horticulture area beside the PGU for a powhiri and blessing of the project. Peter Tinholt, Taura General Manager, performed the ribbon-cutting, before joining John in planting a commemorative pohutakawa in the school’s native garden.

Peter Tinholt, right, and John Devery plant the pohutakawa
The PGU is officially opened

3000 plants into K Valley

Collectively a number of local schools added another 3000 plants to this major on-going project which is Australasia’s largest wetland project, managed by Tauranga City Council and the Rotary Centennial Trust.

Students of Tauranga Girls College ready for action in K Valley
Peter Tinholt of Taura talks to the students


The Envirogroup at Tauranga Girls, with teacher Roberta Gover, joined Taura’s Peter Tinholt at nearby Kopurererua Valley to plant flax, cabbage trees, kowhai, coprosma, titoki, and other natives. Peter spoke of the intrinsic value of native plantings but also the contribution to carbon offsetting of his company’s travel requirements.

Teacher Roberta Gover with a totara that escaped previous plantings
Park Ranger Craig Fea speaking to a group

Bellevue School, Gate Pa and Bethlehem College also teamed up to plant at the valley where they were joined by Tauranga Rotary, sponsors of Gate Pa, and Te Papa Rotary, sponsors of Bethlehem College.

A young student recovers used pots
A wetlands area with keen planters

Hosting the day was Park Ranger Craig Fea who pointed out that the last 3000 native plants to go in K Valley were all from TfS schools. He noted return of wildlife to the area and thanked the students for their efforts in helping their local environment and for their contribution to the community.  The planters were assisted by Full Circle Aboriculture who had prepared the site with pre-drilled holes and transported the loads of plants.

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