The Paihia Waitangi Kindergarten is super stoked with its new Enviroschools Bronze status.
Kindergarten staff and students were presented with an outdoor Enviroschools sign and a framed certificate to acknowledge their success in the action-based programme, which encourages young people to design and lead local sustainability projects in their schools and neighbourhoods.
The certificate was presented by representatives from the Northland Regional Council, including community engagement manager Cathy Erstich, and Enviroschools regional co-ordinator Susan Karels at a gathering at the kindergarten to celebrate the achievement.
Head teacher Wil Zwanikken said the school has been incorporating sustainable practices within its programme for many years.
"It's wonderful to have this publicly recognised," she said.
"However, the Enviroschools journey is not just about sustainable practices. It is also about empowering our tamariki and acknowledging and respecting Maori perspectives and the diversity of peoples and cultures."
The Enviroschools kaupapa is about creating a healthy, peaceful, sustainable world through people teaching and learning together.
The kindergarten would like to thank all kindergarten whānau who have been part of the journey over the years, as well as those who came along to share the occasion.
The kindergarten is already working towards a silver acknowledgement as they continue to embrace sustainable practices and whakawhanaungatanga (making connections) in their programme.
Talented young musicians from Kawakawa to Kaitaia will converge at the Turner Centre on September 20 to battle it out in this year's Battle of the Bands.
Thirteen young bands from the region will be performing at the event, which follows the Be Free annual Talent Quest, from 7pm to 9.30pm.
The Be Free Charitable Trust event has become a tradition of showcasing and encouraging young homegrown talent.
"We've had an incredible response to the competition this year and are excited to be welcoming bands from Kawakawa all the way up to Kaitaia," said Be Free chairwoman Claire Gordon.
"The response was so great that we had to close entries with three weeks still to go."
Acts will face the scrutiny of a panel of six judges from the music industry looking for a tight performance, originality and engaging musical composition.
Bands may play for up to eight minutes, and can choose to play originals, covers, or a mix of the two. The audience also gets the opportunity to pick a winner in the People's Choice awards.
Local funk-rock band Stranger Paradise, made up of youth who attend the Be Free Mentoring through Music sessions, are the support band of the night, playing during the judge's deliberation.
Last year's Battle of the Bands winners, Ventura, from Kerikeri, will be back to defend their title.
"We have some great bands, a wonderful stage, experienced judges and are looking forward to an awesome night," said Be Free secretary Jo Danilo.
"Come along, bring your friends, cast your vote and make some noise for these talented, young kids. Who knows, you could be watching world-famous musical stars of the future."
This year's winning band will receive a promotional package put together by local supporters, including a recording session at the Music Place, a professional video by Creative Cavalry, a pro photoshoot by Flash Gordon Photography, and airtime on More FM.
Runners-up stand to win cash prizes from LJ Hooker Kerikeri and vouchers from Whangarei Rock Shop.
Entrance to Battle of the Bands is just a koha donation for adults, with no charge for students and seniors.
For more information visit www.befreeplaymusic.wordpress.com or www.turnercentre.co.nz
Descendants of New Zealand's first resident ordained missionary, who served as the founding superintendent of the Kerikeri Mission, paid a visit to Kerikeri recently.
Two great, great, great-grandsons of Rev John Gare Butler - Tim Ritchie and Douglas Barton - reflected on their ancestor at a service held at St James Church in Kerikeri, a brief walk from Kemp House and the Stone Store, now cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.
The event was held to celebrate the bicentenary of the Butler family's arrival in New Zealand on August 12, 1819.
"It is very humbling to be here in this church which William Hall and John Gare Butler originally marked out on October 6, 1819," Ritchie said.
"Given the perils, they faced together in their calling to missionary work, both John Butler and his wife Hannah clearly had a cooperative and loving relationship totally interdependent on each other."
While in New Zealand, the Butlers had a significant impact on agriculture according to Ritchie.
Rev John Butler clearly identified the potential for agriculture and recorded the first use of the agricultural plough in New Zealand.
"Many Butler descendants have agriculture, horticulture and viticulture in their DNA, farming through much of New Zealand – particularly the Wairarapa and Canterbury," said Ritchie.
"We can be very thankful of that pioneering Butler agricultural/horticultural gene."
Rev Butler – who had worked as an accountant for a shipping company in London before coming to New Zealand – fell out with missionary chief Rev Samuel Marsden after he expressed concern to Marsden about financial issues relating to the mission. He was dismissed shortly after.
New Zealand had not seen the last of Rev Butler, however. The Butlers returned to New Zealand in 1840 with Rev Butler engaged by the New Zealand Company as a "native guardian and interpreter".
Community action group Our Kerikeri is excited to announce its first community-led initiative - a subsidised screening of the award-winning movie 2040.
The inspiring movie paints a compelling story about community-led change which aligns directly with the goals set by the Kerikeri community.
Structured as a visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter, director Damon Gameau embarks on a journey to explore what the year 2040 would look like if we embraced more sustainable living solutions today. He focuses on practical, easy tasks that individuals, families and communities can do right now to create a better future.
The film will be screened at Cathay Cinemas on September 25 from 5.30pm to 7pm.
Tickets cost $12 or $20 for a family pass.
Village Arts Gallery in Kohukohu is hosting a significant exhibition - First Encounters: expect the unexpected - where the contributing artists reflect on the many firsts of early New Zealand.
The exhibition is inspired by Tuia Encounters 250, the Government event focusing on Cook's voyage in 1769 marking 250 years since the first onshore meeting between Māori and Europeans.
A gallery spokesperson said artists have looked beyond that specific event "and given us their personal responses to the diverse first encounters that form our history, in which Hokianga has a prominent place".
First Encounters opens on September 21 at 11am and runs until October 27.
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