Kāpiti College is currently the only secondary enviroschool in the Te Upoko o Te Ika a Māui/ Wellington Region. Recently they hosted students from Kuranui College in Greytown, Wairarapa, who are interested in becoming an enviroschool.
Kuranui students, teacher and principal were welcomed with a pōwhiri onto the college marae by Kia Aio te Noho whānau. After morning tea there was mihimihi - introductions - in the wharenui, followed by presentations by each of the college groups, sharing examples of each college’s sustainability projects.
The two groups walked together to the beach for a shared lunch before partaking in a beach clean up. At the end, students expressed a desire to maintain communication and exchange between the two groups, possibly through skyping and sharing blogs, and maybe a return visit.
Apart from the common interest in sustainability issues, other commonalities were identified; the two colleges both refer to themselves as KC for short and in their school chants, and are located either side of the Tararua mountain range.
“I enjoyed hearing about what they do over there and how they are approaching EfS. It would be great to continue the relationship- we have so much in common and we hold the same values ”-Kāpiti college student Aleisha Taramai.
Kuranui students commented on enjoying the beach, the marae and the hospitality. They have been inspired to put more information about environmental education on their website, and to get more people in their community involved.
“Both the staff and students who visited Kāpiti College recently learned a great deal about what it means to be an enviroschool. We were very impressed with the range and number of projects that the students have been involved with over recent years. We also thoroughly enjoyed the pōwhiri in your wonderful wharenui complex. We are looking to develop something similar at Kuranui College. The Kuranui students were inspired by the passion shown by the Kāpiti students and they are keen to begin to develop a similar programme here...these students have come from primary schools in the Wairarapa with a strong enviroschools programme and an enthusiasm for environmental actions ” -Geoffrey Shepherd, Kuranui College Principal.
“I really enjoyed meeting new people who share the same passion as me about the environment. Both Eco Action groups have similar visions yet work on different projects. When you look at the big picture, it's amazing how much the two small groups have accomplished together! It is encouraging to see what both Eco Action groups have done to help our shared environment of New Zealand, and I'm excited to see what more we will go on to do in the future. It would be awesome for our Kāpiti Eco Action group to take a trip to Kuranui college and see what good work they are doing first hand” -Teacher coordinator of Eco Action Group Kāpiti College, Nicola Easthope.