The Greendale/Tamatea Scout Group opened their community native garden Ki Uta, Ki Tai (from the land to the sea) in Anderson Park, Napier, on Sunday, November 21.
Mana Hazel, Ngāti Hineuru, performed a karakia, blessing the whenua and pou (sculpture) at the start of the event. This reflected the mahi that had gone into the site, building a strong foundation for the sculpture to sit on.
Sculptor Chris Bryant-Toi explained the sculpture represents youth in the centre of a flax with ties to Scouting through its purple stain and resemblance to the fleur-de-lis logo of Scouting Aotearoa. The tiles on the sculpture were pressed by the Keas, Cubs and Scouts from material collected from the bush, along our rivers and on the seashore.
Cub leaders Callum Fisher and Chris Comber commented that it was amazing to see the garden and sculpture come together after two years of planning, hard work and negotiating Covid interruptions.
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After the opening ceremony the Scout group held their annual awards ceremony where three of the senior Scouts, Isobella Comber, Emma Gross-Motu and Perry Gross-Motu, received the top award in the Scout section, the Chief Scout Award.
This award requires not only mastering a number of Scouting skills, but also performing community service and displaying leadership skills.
Also presented at the ceremony was the Scouts Aotearoa Best Practice Award for Community Engagement to Callum Fisher, for his leadership and hard work towards the community garden.
Congratulations were also given to one of the Cubs, Collinz Kennedy-Diack, who was one of 10 outstanding young New Zealanders who received a Fred Hollows Humanity Award for their outstanding efforts.