“We get wet feet and bitten by eels”. That’s what the Ngati Toa School students said when asked about their daily walk to school. For years, the local community has used the ‘quick way’ to access the school and neighbouring streets from Takapuwahia, which has involved leaping across the local stream, and navigating over a broken cable reel to avoid mud.
So their idea was born, “let’s build a bridge!”. Along with help from PCC experts, local residents and school community their now exists a very safe alternative: a strong wooden 6m bridge and even sturdy steps up the muddy path. The students did a great job of consulting with the community and were very appreciative and excited when the digger turned up to drive in the piles. The area is prone to flooding and therefore required expert advice from WRGC.
Their presentation to PCC told of their journey: meeting Darren who manages Mitre 10, Phil the engineer from PCC, Reina who represents Ngati Toa interests and Anna, the Deputy mayor. Students were quick to join the dots and have enjoyed celebrating and using their new access. It has now sparked several other community projects including the beautification of the walkway beside the school. As Phil from PCC says “ these kids are awesome to deal with…they now know how to get things done even though it may take a little longer”.