Community Barbecue Project

POST: 10 MARCH 2015

The students’ idea took them out into the community to investigate how the Porirua City Council provides and manages community BBQs. The community BBQs were found to be exactly what the students were after: strong, robust, vandal proof safe and free!

Community Barbecue Project 2

Students invited Deputy Mayor ‘Ana Coffey, who also a western ward councillor,  to explain the role of the council in the community and she reciprocated with an invitation to visit the Council Chambers. Soon community consultation was in full swing and local business, Pak n Save, provided spot prizes to entice survey returns. Support from locals was encouraging as offers flowed in to provide materials and skills to construct a BBQ.

However, there was a hiccup. When students investigated the cost of one of these super-duper BBQS, it was far beyond the fund raising efforts of the students. With this in mind, it was a unanimous vote – to cease the project and to pass on their learning to the next student council group.

Community Barbecue Project 3

So without a new BBQ, what did they learn? Dairne Kaimoana, Principal and coordinator of the student council sums it up:  “It’s all about the learning process – taking a project and walking through a plan. It sure builds resilience, when they don’t get what they ask for.”

Two student representatives were welcomed at the full Porirua City Council meeting in December to explain their findings. Although no one was able to gift the school a BBQ, councillors praised the students for discovering how to go about the democratic process of instigating change.

 As Student Council representative Jayden Evans-Patterson exclaimed, “We’ve learned heaps how councils work and that sometimes things are just too expensive, or too hard to build. But the community had a say so that’s good”

Community Barbeque Project

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