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Thursday November 23, 2017

New World jumps on board eco-conscious bag-wagon By Jamie Adams

A community-driven initiative to get shoppers ditching plastic bags in favour of reusable cloth ones has spread to New World Miramar. Miramar residents Melanie Haycock and Stephanie Kuttner launched a Boomerang Bags stall at the supermarket on Saturday. The stall was built by Wibke Kreft, another Miramar local. Boomerang Bags is a project founded by two Australian women that involves volunteers recycling materials to create sacks that can be used to replace the plastic bags provided at checkouts. Volunteers have already made and distributed Boomerang Bags to shops and centres in Newtown, Island Bay and Mt Victoria within Wellington, but Miramar is only the third New World in the city to adopt the initiative. “It had been around for about six months when we started,” Melanie says. “The idea is people can take a bag and if

At New World Miramar’s new Boomerang Bags stall are store manager Milan Vegar and stall designer Wibke Kreft, flanked by volunteers Stephanie Kuttner, left, and Melanie Haycock. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

they’re not using them anymore they can give them back to the supermarket. Bags have been donated by the Salvation Army which, along

with Shop 89 and the Curtain Bank, have also provided fabric to create them. Even Weta Workshop has donated material they discarded after the filming

of Mortal Engines. “We have been running sewing bees at the community centre. We managed to sew 600 bags,” Melanie says. “Not only is it a

way for us to reduce plastic bag use but all of the fabric would have gone to landfill otherwise.” “It would not be possible without volunteers,” Stephanie says. “Predominantly mums have made them and we have also had support of Miramar Community Centre, free of charge.” New World Miramar store manager Milan Vegar says it is a “fantastic idea” as the supermarket chain was already environmentally conscious. “There’s a charge to be introduced for using plastic bags and the long-term plan is to pull them out completely,” he says. “We are also the biggest collector of soft plastic bags for recycling,” Milan adds, with the supermarket offering a bin at the entrance for that sole purpose. A 5c rebate is offered for each reusable bag a customer uses at the checkout – up to 50c per visit. “It’s well worth putting it into other supermarkets. We are keen to spread the word,” Milan says.

Safety makeover has students swinging back for challenges By Jamie Adams

Evans Bay Intermediate School students will be able to challenge themselves physically with less fear of injury thanks to a playground makeover. The school’s “Interchallenge Playscape” was officially reopened on Monday with a new synthetic mat laid underneath its various swings and bridges. Deput y pr i ncipa l Wi k us Swanepoel says prior to its makeover the playground had a floor of “weeds, bark and dirt” which would have made the consequence of a child falling messy as well as possibly painful. A total of $80,000 was raised for the project, which Wikus says will benefit the wider community. As well as the school’s 440

children, the playground here is used extensively on the weekend by younger children, visiting netballers and other local families. Wikus says it took two years to raise the necessary funds, with the bulk of it achieved in the second year. “We created a Friends of EBIS group who helped with the fundraising projects we did, including a fun run, sausage sizzles and car washes.” The mat was necessary to comply with health and safety requirements which the school always takes seriously, he says. As for the apparatus offered in the playground, Wikus promises that the Interchallenge lives up to its name. “Different levels from beginners to really advanced.”

Evans Bay Intermediate students (from left) Jack-Su Harris, Molly Player, Ruby Douglas and Kianu Fiamatai enjoy returning to the swing bridges of the school’s renovated Interchallenge Playscape. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

Council te reo policy to honour late cultural advisor Wellington City Council’s proposed Te Reo Maori policy will honour Billie Tait-Jones, the organisation’s cultural advisor, who died earlier this month. “The proposed policy, Te Tauihu – Te Kaupapa Here Reo Maori o te Kaunihera o Poneke, is the first step in the council’s aspiration to ensure that te reo is more visible in the everyday lives of Wellingtonians,” says deputy mayor Jill Day, who has

been leading the development of the policy. “In many ways, she exemplified the spirit of this proposed policy: positivity, inclusiveness and the desire to make te reo a very visible part of our everyday lives.” The proposed policy honours a commitment made by Mayor Justin Lester during Maori Language Week earlier this year, and is accompanied by an action plan that takes into account not only

the way the council approaches signage, but also other public forms of communication, such as street art, murals, performing arts and much more. Jill says the council wants to demonstrate that te reo is an integral part of New Zealand and Wellington. “We want to lead the way in making this part of the cultural fabric of our city.” Jill says the policy has been

developed in recognition that Te Reo Maori is an official language of New Zealand. “Te Tauihu supports the principles set out in Te Ture mo Te Reo Maori 2016 - the Maori Language Act 2016 - and also recognises the partnership principle of Te Tiriti. “As the capital city we are showing leadership in recognising the proper status of Te Reo Maori by incorporating it into in our everyday life.”

Acting council chief executive Kane Patena says councillors voted unanimously at a City Strategy Committee meeting to endorse the proposal, which will be subject to public consultation early next year. “The vote was a fitting tribute to Billie Tait-Jones and her unstinting work to incorporate Te Reo Maori and tikanga Maori into the lives of the people of Te Whanganui-a-Tara.”

Cook Strait News 23-11-17  

Cook Strait News 23-11-17

Cook Strait News 23-11-17  

Cook Strait News 23-11-17