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Young locals inspire

Friday, 27 March 2015 4:23 p.m.

Young people from the western Bay of Plenty have taken up the Enspire challenge and created a set of videos that share their concerns and ideas for keeping local land, water and wildlife healthy.

The Enspire competition is a joint project by Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District and Bay of Plenty Regional Councils. Locals aged 12-24 years old were invited to create a short video presentation that inspires people to take better care of their natural environment.

Entries closed last week. The video entries can be viewed online at or at

Winning videos were to be announced and screened at the Tauranga Earth Hour community event tomorrow. That event has now been cancelled due to a poor weather forecast so alternative arrangements will be confirmed and advised next week.

Tauranga City Council Sustainability Advisor Michelle Elborn said the Enspire challenge brief was kept deliberately broad to encourage as much creativity as possible.

“The entries we’ve received cover a wide range of global and local topics but they all offer really practical advice from young people, for young people, about how they can build a brighter future,” she said.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Tauranga Harbour Programme Manager, Laverne Mortlock said the challenge took a fresh approach to finding out what’s important to the next generation of people who work, live and play in the Tauranga Harbour catchment and wider Western Bay.

“It’s been great to see young locals really investigating what the environmental issues and community concerns are for the sub-region. They’ve been able to share that widely with their friends and family on social media,” she said.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council Environment Development Officer Glenn Ayo was impressed with the enthusiasm and drive entrants showed for the environment through their videos.

“It was awesome to see young people tackle this project with such passion. I commend everyone for making the effort for our stunning environment – because at the end of the day, that’s what this challenge was about,” he said.

The winning video will earn its creator the opportunity to present at TEDx Tauranga 2015 in July, and receive training from the event’s speaking coaches. Prizes of $500, $300 and $200 Prezzy cards will also be awarded to the top three entrants.

In addition to the video presentation, entrants were also invited to submit a project proposal to turn an idea for environmental action, of their own choice, into reality. Project proposals are still being assessed and judges will be working with entrants to develop their ideas further in the coming weeks.