Dargaville Intermediate becomes Green-Gold Enviroschool

8 May 2018

Dargaville Intermediate has just become the first Kaipara school – and only the sixth in Northland – to achieve prestigious ‘Green-Gold’ status through the national Enviroschools programme; a school-wide approach to sustainability.

The last Northland school to achieve the coveted Green-Gold status was Whangarei’s Onerahi School in August last year.

Penny Smart, the Northland Regional Council’s Kaipara constituency representative, officially presented the Green-Gold during a ceremony at the 170-pupil school in Dargaville Friday, 4 May 2018.

Councillor Smart says Green-Gold is a significant milestone in Dargaville Intermediate's journey as an Enviroschool.

Some attendees of presentation with Green-Gold status.Some of the more than 200 attendees with a sign celebrating Dargaville Intermediate's new Enviroschools Green-Gold status.

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.

Councillor Smart is both a former pupil and board chairperson of Dargaville Intermediate (an early member of Northland’s Enviroschools programme) and says it was a real privilege and pleasure to be part of the Green-Gold celebration.

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

More than 250 current and former students, staff and members of the public had attended the Green-Gold celebration and Cr Smart says the regional council greatly valued the work taken on by schools like Dargaville Intermediate.

“It’s only through communities working together that we will achieve environmental successes.”

She also acknowledged “all of the hard work and time that went into achieving Green-Gold by the school, its co-partner Enviroschools’ national body Toimata Foundation, and the region’s Enviroschools facilitators”.

Susan Karels, the council’s Enviroschools Regional Co-ordinator, says among the school’s key strengths are its strong school-wide emphasis on environmental sustainability, its impressive native plant nursery and student-led waste management/recycling system.

Mrs Karels says while the new Green-Gold status belongs to the entire school community, Principal Brendon Lucich, Deputy Principal Diane Papworth (Enviroschools lead teacher) and Dennis Hewetson (school caretaker) all deserved special mention for their expertise and efforts over many years.

To mark the occasion, attendees at the Green-Gold celebration all received a cupcake decorated as a riparian plant.

Mrs Karels says the themed cupcakes represented the tens of thousands of native plants the school had raised at its nursery over the years and planted alongside local waterways to help protect and enhance the Kaipara Harbour.

Meanwhile, she says more information on the wider Enviroschools programme in Northland is available from: www.nrc.govt.nz/enviroschools