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Photo by T C

Kiwi Forever

Russell O'Brien —

Every year Tauhara College awards two students with the opportunity to spend a week, all expenses paid, on the Kiwi Forever experience. This year's well-deserving recipients were Kensie Gard and Emma Billings.

The Kiwi Forever programme is designed to engage students with a hands-on experiential learning in conservation and Mātauranga Māori - a holistic world view of nature and people and place - based on the southern flanks of the Tongariro National Park. Over seven days, Kensie and Emma were immersed at the Ngati Rangi marae, which provides valuable time and space for knowledge sharing, student led discussions, and debates about real world issues.

They were involved in a variety of activities over the week, including exploring the iwi (Ngati Rangi) view of the environment, pest control work, plant monitoring, and working on the protection of both kiwi and whio. Kensie was even lucky enough to release a baby kiwi! Both Kensie and Emma found the week to be of immense value, as they learnt new skills and met so many other like-minded students from other Central North Island schools.