Onerahi becomes Green-Gold Enviroschool

25 Aug 2017

Onerahi School has become just the fifth school in Northland to achieve prestigious ‘Green-Gold’ status through the national Enviroschools programme; a school-wide approach to sustainability.

The last time a Northland school achieved the coveted Green-Gold status was in 2013, when both Bream Bay’s Ruakaka School and Kaitaia’s Oturu School received theirs.

Northland Regional Council Chairman Bill Shepherd and fellow councillor Paul Dimery officially presented the Green-Gold during a ceremony at the 550-pupil school in Whangarei Thursday, 24 August.

Chairman Shepherd says Green-Gold is a major achievement in Onerahi’s journey as an Enviroschool.

The regional council introduced the popular programme to Northland in 2004 and there are now more than 90 schools and kindergartens in the programme region-wide.

“Onerahi School is one of our Northland pioneers in the programme and has been with us from the start,” Chairman Shepherd says.

Councillor Dimery says Enviroschools’ recognition comes in three bands, from the most-often awarded Bronze, through to Silver and the rarest Green-Gold.

Both councillors say it is a great honour to be able to publicly celebrate and acknowledge the school’s success.

Susan Karels, the council’s Enviroschools Regional Co-ordinator, says among Onerahi School’s key strengths is its strong connection with its local community, including nearby Matakohe-Limestone Island.

“The school’s charter is developed around the environment and it has consistently looked for innovative and interesting ways to encourage environmental initiatives including beekeeping, developing an extensive native bush area and sound waste management.

Mrs Karels says while the new Green-Gold status belongs to the entire school community, principal Gerald Koberstein deserved special mention for the way he had consistently led the programme from the beginning.

More information on the Enviroschools programme in Northland is available from: www.nrc.govt.nz/enviroschools