One Hawke's Bay primary school has found an unusual subject for their school production - kauri dieback.

Kauri - The Giant of the Forest involved all 460 children at Flaxmere Primary School, across all year levels and focused on how to protect native Kauri from dieback disease.

School principal Robyn Isaacson said the production grew in scope until every student in the school worked on a facet of it for the final term of the year.

"There has really been a huge amount of learning – the kids are actually teaching the teachers about information they have found out," she said.


"To have every one of our students on stage performing, to be hearing the message and communicating the message has been amazing."

The musical was written by teacher Michael Sharp.

"I wanted to make it really relevant for kids and poignant and timeless," he said.

"It doesn't just comment on the issues relating to the kauri, it also comments on issues relating to climate change and sustainability, and the fact that we need to clean up our act with regard to plastic waste in the ocean and all that kind of stuff.

"Every classroom has taken ownership of learning of native birds, the New Zealand forest, what it means to be in a political protest – all that sort of social action stuff.

"The best thing is that the whole school has been in this massive enquiry."

While Hawke's Bay was out of the tree's natural range, Sharp said kauri dieback was everyone's concern.

"It's not just about where it is positioned. It is the fact that the kauri is our national treasure. It is native to us.


He hoped to tour a smaller version of the show to visit Tāne Mahuta in Northland.

"We have got the fire in the belly to get us a big bus and take maybe 30 or 40 kids on a roadshow through the North Island up to a Waipoua Forest.

"On the way we want to stop and we want to perform in primary schools and spread the word that we need to save our kauri."

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