Youth have voice in Rotorua lakes strategy
Monday, 14 November 2011 2:00 p.m.
Our lakes are important - that's the clear message Rotorua youth sent through entries in an art and short story competition about the Rotorua lakes.
Please scroll down to download a high resolution photograph to accompany the story...
Bay of Plenty Regional Council ran the competition recently to get younger people's views on the lakes as part of community engagement over a revised strategy for the Rotorua lakes.
Sustainable Development Manager Kataraina Maki said today's youth are the future guardians of Rotorua lakes so it's important to get and consider their views and opinions.
"The judges were amazed by the large number and high calibre entries," Ms Maki said. "Although their job was to pick winners they recognised the contribution of each entry."
More than 130 entries were received from pre-schoolers through to senior secondary school students. Winners were presented with certificates and vouchers at a prize-giving on Thursday (10 November) afternoon.
"The entries provided interesting and unique insights into what our younger people think about our lakes," Ms Maki said.
Short stories and explanations to the art work touched on the importance of the lakes to Rotorua city and the region for their environmental and historical contributions.
Katie-Jayne Boardman said, in her winning entry for the writing 13-18 years old section "the lakes make a significant contribution to the overall environmental quality of our region, and a great source of enjoyment for both tourists and locals alike".
"They hold the Roto of our pepeha" said Michael Trott, in his entry for the drawing competition for 5-12 years.
"It was great to see so many take part and congratulations to them all - particularly our winners." Ms Maki said.
The winning entries were from:
|Drawing (under 5 years)||Morgan MacCormick|
|Drawing (5 - 12 years)||
Kayla Sargison and Quinn McCarthy (highly commended)
|Drawing (13 - 18 years)||Faye Fisher|
|Writing (5 - 12 years)||
Gisele Howard (highly commended)
|Writing (13 - 18 years)||Katie-Jane Boardman|
|Writing (Te Reo)||Miharo Wilson|
|Best school effort||Ngongotaha School|
All entries are on display at the Rotorua District Library until Friday (18 November).
The competition was the first part of community consultation to develop an updated approach to managing the Rotorua lakes, through the Strategy for the Lakes of the Rotorua District. The Strategy is a joint document by the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group, consisting of Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Rotorua District Council and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
Ms Maki said the insights provided by youth would be used to help develop the strategy - an overarching policy document that provides a vision for the future of the lakes, with some practical steps to achieve that vision. It covers issues and goals about protection, use, enjoyment and management of Rotorua's lakes.
A public workshop will be held on Thursday 1 December in Rotorua. A series of speakers and workshop exercises will identify key values and themes, gather ideas about how to implement the vision and identify priority actions to consider in the next strategy.
For more information on development of the strategy, or to attend the public workshop please call 0800 884 880.
To download a high resolution version of the photograph, please click on the image below
Caption: Back row (left to right) - Faye Fisher, Katie-Jane Boardman; Middle row - Kayla Sartison, Miharo Wilson, Grace Kilkelly; Front row - Morgan MacCormick, Gisele Howard