Archway unveiled at Howick College

Buildability team members James Mason, Daniel Goldstore, Sarah Annette admire their handiwork. photo: Garry Brandon

A very special blessing took place at Howick College’s environmental fruit garden this week.

Howick College’s Buildability team unveiled the walk-through entrance they had built as part of the BTICO Buildability challenge.

The archway is beautifully decorated with intricate Maori wood carvings of the North and South Island and carefully crafted native New Zealand birds.

The team worked alongside local Iwi to ensure the carvings were accurately portrayed, says head teacher Willem du Toit.

“The Maori culture is prominent in our school community and it’s important to our students and teachers, so we wanted to create something which celebrated that,” he says.

“The students also wanted to build something that served as a reminder to protect our environment.”

Students, teachers and kaumatua gathered near the garden area to witness the unveiling.

Reverend Tapu Laulu was there to bless the entrance way and officially open the garden.

The project was made in collaboration with the schools environmental group who wanted features to enhance their fruit tree forest.

A bridge and a pergola with a swing were also built for the students to enjoy.

The team competed against 14 schools from across the country to build something that would add value to their school community.

This year the Challenge was redesigned to allow students to work on an approved project of their choice.

Throughout the Challenge, students had to consider how their project will make a difference to their community.

“Howick College have obviously given a lot of thought to how their skills could make a difference to their school, and they have worked hard to achieve a really professional result,” says BCITO Chief Executive Warwick Quinn.

The community rallied behind them and their series of garden features received the most votes in the People’s Choice Award.

The team will receive a $300 ‘Team Shout’ from their BCITO Skills Broker and a framed certificate.