Greymouth Rotary and Tai Poutini Polytechnic Media Release

3 September 2021

Student-built house to raise funds for Trees for Māwhera community project

Tai Poutini Polytechnic has once again teamed-up with Rotary to bring West Coast children closer to our environment through the “Trees for Māwhera” project.

This year, the Polytechnic Pre-Trade Carpentry students will build a three-bedroom house as part of their practical learning, which is to be auctioned at the end of the year. In partnership with Rotary, and with the support of local businesses who generously donate building materials and services, the proceeds of the auction will be donated to Greymouth Rotary for their chosen community project.

This year’s project has been confirmed as the Trees for Māwhera initiative – a collaboration with Rotary and Greymouth High School to plant more than 2000 native trees across the district.

The project is being driven by students of the high school’s new Conservation and Earthcare course, which provides hands-on learning current and future sustainability issues and biodiversity protection. The course also involves the West Coast Trades Academy and Papa Taiao Earthcare.

Funding will help students with the facilities and support needed to nurture more than 2000 native trees and plants from seedlings over the next two-to-three years. Through Trees for Māwhera, the students aim to gift one of these trees or plants to every student in the Grey District.

Chief Executive, Alex Cabrera, says working with Rotary to support the Trees for Māwhera project is a wonderful way to bring West Coast children closer to their environment and support lifelong learning about sustainability and biodiversity.

“Our carpentry programme is extremely fortunate to have the support of some wonderful local tradespeople and businesses each year. Their donations of material and services means we can make a strong contribution to local charities at the end of each year.

“We have a great partnership with Rotary and we’re excited about this year’s community project as it reaches into our local schools and will be of real benefit to the West Coast.”

Greymouth Rotary President Catherine Moffitt says supporting youth, education, conservation and the environment are key Rotary goals.

“Greymouth High School’s new Conservation and Earthcare course incorporates all those factors, making it an easy choice for our membership to support as the club’s major fundraising initiative for the 2021/2022 Rotary year. Together with the conservation course leader we developed “Trees for Māwhera” for which students will grow native trees and plants and gift one to every primary and secondary student in the Grey District.”

Trees for Māwhera background

The Trees for Māwhera Project seeks to gift a plant, of West Coast origin, to every primary and secondary student in the Grey District. This will be done through schools, with each student taking their tree for planting at home or other appropriate public locations. It’s aims include: creating a greener, healthier environment, increased biodiversity, regenerated landscape; meaningful learning for students across a wide range of abilities; Developing industry specific skills – conservation, horticulture etc.; and supporting young people to connect and contribute to their community.

Polytechnic Project House background

Every year, carpentry students build for relocation a three-bedroom house to gain real-world work experience. Once complete, locals can bid on the home at auction knowing the proceeds will be going to a good cause. Auction details and timings will be announced soon.

For more information contact:

Tai Poutini Polytechnic
Mequa Hourston, Leader - Engagement
DDI: 03 7699 405 | Mobile: 027 237 5844 | email:
mequah@tpp.ac.nz

Greymouth Rotary
President Catherine Moffitt 03 768 4183 or 021 108 6600