Made entirely of upcycled plastic bottles and bamboo, Ratapiko School's bottle house is helping the environment and controlling pests.

Each pupil had a part in creating the bottle house.

The school has a roll of 25 students, which will increase to 30 by the end of the year.

Ratapiko School principal Lisa Hill says when she started as principal in 2016, there was a roll of nine.


Staff members of the Technology Services team from TSB New Plymouth visited the school last week, to help out with jobs around the school and look at the bottle house.

Banking and payments systems manager Neil Chapman says it was great to work with the kids and help to get things done.

They also helped out with other jobs around the school, including digging a 3m weed pit, helping with crops and digging out blackberry bushes.

The weed pit will bury and "cook" the weeds.

Lisa says she is grateful for the work done by the team.

"All jobs done today would've taken another 12 months to complete. We're thankful for the team who gave up their time and helped us."

Sahkyla Gilligan Graham (13) from the Kiwi Room (Year 7 and 8) says her class had the job of cutting the bottles and putting them on the bamboo sticks.

"It was really fun. We're doing out part to reduce plastic in the community."


Evelyn Amaru (12) says every pupil was involved.

"The junior classrooms had the jobs of cleaning the bottles to make sure there was no sugar residue that would attract flies."

The bottle house has taken a year to create.

"It took us almost a year to collect enough bottles for the project and a month to build the house," Lisa says.

The community donated 1000 1.5 litre bottles for the project.

"Most of the bottles were donated by Colonel Malone's Restaurant and Bar in Stratford so we are very thankful for them. We are also very thankful for the bamboo for the house was donated by the Marriner family and Georgie Pullins, the Kiwi Room teacher," Lisa says.

Ratapiko School is an Enviroschool, where there is an emphasis on sustainable living and pupils exploring the environment.

"We're teaching children sustainable practices and how to connect with the land," Lisa says.

"We have different vegetables such as potatoes and sweetcorn and we give each pupil a bag of the crops to take home. The crops are picked so families can take what they need," Lisa says.

Steve Bates from Upcycle Taranaki helped design and plan the bottle house.

"It's been a long journey. I love working with the children and it's good to see local businesses getting involved."