Seven Freyberg High students want their new book Pio the Whio to be compulsory in the school curriculum.

The story book for tamariki was launched in Palmerston North by the students under their business moniker Thirteen7, and places them up against 30 schools in the region for this year's Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) awards.

The regional winner will then go through to the nationals in Wellington.

The book created in te reo Māori and English is a fully illustrated book that educates tamariki about the consequences that come with pollution of our environment.


Their message is fun but meaningful, and acting marketing director Tasha Picking says they are role models dedicated to caring for the environment who also understand the tamariki of today.

"As a group we decided that the primary focus of our business project will be educating children about the environment and we settled with the idea of writing a book."

They were also aware that there were few bilingual storybooks on the market for tamariki.
Initially Thirteen7 wrote an English-only version with thoughts to write a bilingual copy down the track.

"We wanted our story to reach Māori kids and so this second version came quickly."
The students said they're proud of their book and they think they have a good chance because their business model ticks the YES range of awards.

Minnika's grandmother Minnie O'Carroll, who lives in Waitara, translated the book, and Madelein Van Rensburg and Rafael Quinones who work for Weta illustrated the book.

Pio the Whio can be bought online: contact

YES is an experiential programme where students set up and run a real business, and each company brings their products or services to the market.