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Published: 2012-04-19 00:00:00

Waikato school students have just over a month to complete entries for Hamilton Halo’s first schools competition.

It’s open to the region’s primary and secondary school students, who are invited to enter an artwork, poem, story or essay relating to tui and bellbirds.

Entries must be received by Waikato Regional Council by Friday 1 June 2012 and could include actions that help encourage tui and bellbirds to visit gardens, a description of tui and/or bellbird characteristics, or a personal experience with either of the native birds. 

The three winning entries from primary and intermediate aged students will each receive a copy of ‘Sensational Survivors’ by Sandra Morris and $30 book voucher. A copy of New Zealand Forest Birds and their World by Geoff Moon and a $50 book voucher will go to each of the three winning secondary students.

All the schools with winning entries will receive a native sapling to plant in their grounds and a copy of ‘Carving the future’ on DVD.

The Hamilton Halo project aims to bring native birds, starting with tui and bellbirds, back into Hamilton city. The ‘halo’ is a 20km ring drawn around Hamilton, taking in key sites where tui and bellbirds breed and where pest control is undertaken.

“We’re expecting to increase young people’s enthusiasm and interest in native birds,” Waikato regional councillor Paula Southgate said. “Getting this next generation to care about our native species is important for their long term survival in the region.

“We hope this competition will also encourage schools to build biodiversity education into their classroom teachings. We already know that a child’s learnings will often extend to their home and community.”

More information about the schools competition, including entry details, is available online at:

Students looking for ideas and information about Hamilton Halo’s work will be able to visit its stand, shared with Project Echo, at the Waikato Show being held Claudelands Events Centre from Friday 27 April – Sunday 29 April.  

Project Echo information will also be on display to explain its work gathering information on native bat distribution through Hamilton city.

Waikato Regional Council leads the Hamilton Halo project. Landcare Research is a project partner and conducts and shares research related to the project. The project is supported by the Department of Conservation, Hamilton City Council, Weedbusters and Tui 2000, a Hamilton-based environmental group involved in the restoration of Maungakawa Scenic Reserve, a Hamilton Halo key site. Visit for more information or follow us on Facebook: