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Published: 2009-03-17 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has chosen the four high school students who will represent our region at this year’s Sir Peter Blake Youth Environment Forum in Wellington from April 19-23.

They are Asher Cook (Hamilton Boys High School), Hinemaia Mataira (Ngaruawahia High School), Jessica McLennan (Forest View High School) and Sean Johnson (St Paul’s Collegiate).

The annual forum brings about 50 students aged 15-18 together from around New Zealand to talk about environmental issues and create projects over four days of workshops.  They will also meet with government ministers, Sir Peter Blake Trust ambassadors and Ministry for the Environment staff. 

Environment Waikato’s schools programme coordinator Dean King said the council had decided to send four students instead of the usual three this year because the calibre of entrants was so high.  A total of 13 students from around the region applied to attend.

“The four we chose really stood out for their deep interest in environmental issues and their strong leadership potential,” Mr King said.

“It is great to note that both Asher and Sean were actively engaged in the Enviroschools programme at primary school and have maintained their interest in environmental issues.”

One of the students attending, Asher Cook, said he had been deeply interested in conservation and environmental issues from a young age and intended to work in the environmental science field.

“My attendance at the forum will further equip me to be an advocate for conservation, both amongst my fellow school students and the wider community.”

The forum, now in its sixth year, is hosted by the Ministry for the Environment and the Sir Peter Blake Trust.

The students’ travel, food, accommodation and attendance costs are covered by the ministry.