A group of young Hastings entrepreneurs who won a supreme national award for their innovative conservation product were yesterday congratulated by Mayor Lawrence Yule.
Kiwi Keepers, a trapping business started by Twyford School Year 8 students Helena Nash, Georgia Boyes, Georgia Wilde, Darnah Chenery, Renier Nel and Mackenzie Gibson, won the Supreme Award for the Young Enterprise Trust's National Primary Community Enterprise Competition.
Mr Yule paid a visit to the small country school to see the model that, after receiving nearly $7000 funding from Kids Restore New Zealand, is now being used by DoC to protect local kiwi.
CEO of the business, Mackenzie, 12, said the group made a new and improved trap model to protect kiwis at the Opouahi Kiwi Creche from the threat of stoats and ferrets.
She said the group added features to an existing model including tunnels, camouflage paint, a bait station, and a marker that showed when the trap had been activated..
"Then we gave all our ideas to Dana our designer and she came up with this," she said.
Co-CEO, Renier, 12, said it was "a once in a life time experience" to meet Mr Yule..
Twyford School Principal Ross McLeod said the group travelled to the award ceremony in Wellington earlier this month, where they spoke to a group of 200 people.
"It is a significant accomplishment," he said. "They spoke at the awards about their school and what their project was about."
The project was planned for the Environment, Conservation and Outdoor Education Trust and the team were supported by teacher Judy Mathews, Mr McLeod and ASB Hastings branch manager Carol Maunder.