A kaupapa Māori zero waste initiative is helping to change a community's mindset about how they eliminate rubbish.
Students of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Whakarewa i Te Reo ki Tūwharetoa are implementing the zero waste teachings at this year's Tūwharetoa Festival in Taupō.
Organising rubbish and waste has turned into a labour of love for Te Kahu-o-te-rangi Ngawhika-Pihema Ritete.
“Our school has always been environmentally conscious of the environment and what we give back.”
Raewyn Rāmeka, who is a teacher at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Whakarewa i te reo o Tūwharetoa, is educating her students on the effects of waste.
“We have been concerned about the environment for a long time and then we heard about this initiative on zero waste.”
This year the school has taken up the challenge of taking care of the rubbish at this year's Tūwharetoa Festival.
Fellow student Te Ara Reo Rehua says, “I'm working by the bins so I've set some bins up. I don't want to see any rubbish on the ground if I do there's going to be a big problem.”
Rāmeka says, “There is a lot of work in organising, also changing people's mindset, a lot are really thinking about the environment but we still have a long way to go.”
Across Aotearoa, almost 300 marae, kura, kōhanga reo and community organisations are already working towards zero waste.
Now zero waste has come to the region of Ngāti Tūwharetoa.