Hi, I’m Tania Wells and I’m a Partnership Ranger at the Department of Conservation. From my perspective, DOC provides assistance to students, schools and teachers to do great work in conservation. We have a lot of experts that we can tap into and use from our rangers to planners. Its about making those people available so that the students can find out what they know.
DOC got involved in the project because we think this is the way to go around the country. We wanted to test it out in Taupō and find out if teachers felt it was a good thing; we wanted to know if students bought into it as well. That’s the reason we started it up here. From what we’ve learnt, we’re able to take that all around the country and help start up similar programs in other places. Down in Dunedin, there’s a Kids Greening the Dunedin Town Belt. Who knows what it will look like in ten years?
What excites me most about Kids Greening is when I see students in the program start to become leaders - when they use their initiative, their voice - and when they get excited about the projects, events and people that they meet through the program. Like with Jack, when he met the Prime Minister, it just made my day. With Ani, it was when she did the karanga for Sir Jerry Mateparae. Then to see that she put her hand up with YELF to do the same thing over again was really heartwarming for me because her journey started here. It’s about all the experiences we can offer.