Flaxmere College carvers are transforming trash into treasure.

Hastings Laminate and Stone found that it had offcuts of an acrylic material, used for counter tops, going to waste, so offered it to the technology department of a Hastings high school.

Teacher Matua Tangira said It turned out to be ideal for carving.

"The material is soft enough to be cut easily and shaped using files and sandpaper and polishes up brilliantly," he said.


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Students are using the product, which in different colours and shades, to create treasured gifts using toki, matau, niho and purerehua designs.

Alongside the carving, students have been learning about the customs and tikanga around making and gifting their first piece to someone else.

Mr Tangira said the company support was "fantastic".

"This is a wonderful example of business/school partnership and we look forward to the relationship going from strength to strength."

Hastings Laminate and Stone owner Mark Eyles and his wife Sheridan were invited in to view the carving room and meet some of the students using the product. They were gifted with two taonga - a takarangi and a toki - carved by the students to thank them for their support and donations.

"We are really happy to be able to help in assisting the college and the kids to explore their creativity and loved our visit to Flaxmere College's carving room," Mr Eyles said.

"We will treasure the taonga gifted to us and welcome the chance to have students come to our premises to learn more about the product and how they can further explore different uses for it. It's been great for our staff to see the other creative options this product offers."

Mrs Eyles said stone offcuts were offered to the school but it was literally a very hard product to work with.

"Normally our stone offcuts get crushed up to be used for roading. I would love for the college to have a go with it, but I think they are finding the stuff they're using is pretty good.

"It has worked out really well and it is good to see what the kids are up to."