Waste Art Competition & Exhibition – A Celebration of Creativity and the Environment

Waste Art Competition & Exhibition

Art the Challenges the Way We Look at Waste

The exhibition, held at Te Ara Ātea, showcased all entries to the 2023 Selwyn High Schools’ Waste Art Competition. The exhibits were on display over a weekend in August 2023. Our thanks go to the staff of Te Ara Atea for their excellent hosting.

This exciting and enjoyable competition, first launched in 2021, is open to all rangatahi from year 7 to 13, not just those attending high school. The event runs biennially, so keep an eye out for the competition in 2025. The 2021 competition’s overall winner was titled “From Bags to Riches” – a dress crafted from repurposed feed bags and bailing twine. Other notable works included an R2D2 sculpture constructed from a used gas cylinder and various pieces incorporating materials destined for landfills. All entries exhibited remarkable creativity and were deservedly recognised with prizes.

The 2023 exhibition maintained the high standard set by its predecessor, presenting the judges with the challenging task of determining category and overall winners, as well as merit award recipients.

Whakamihi to all the artists for their mahi and originality.

2023 Winners:

Overall Winner: Grace Anongngos and Ingrid Aquino for their entry “The Forest Station.”

High School Winner: Kathryn McKenzie’s entry “Wastey the Hedgehog.”

Intermediate Winner: Lachie Smolenski with “Reined In.”

Merit Award Recipients:

  • Susanna Tully – “Salvage Style Dress”
  • Eleanor Jack and Brooke Wendelken – “Blue Sky Stays Bright”
  • Bharya Malhotka – “Sword Of Sapphires”
  • Eileen Liu – “Eco Friendly Headwear”

A Few Photos from the Exhibition

Candy Wrapper Catwalk

Silvia Hector

Wastey the Hedgehog

Kathryn McKenzie

Recycled Paper Playing Cards

Josh Aubrey

Sword Of Sapphires

Bharya Malhotka

Salvage Style Dress

Susanna Tully

Coconut Shell Plant Pots

Sanura Lokuliyanage

KidsFest Craft & Science Event

Annual KidsFest

Craft & Science Event


Friends in the Forest, July 2023

We would like to thank those rangatahi from Lincoln High School who gave up holiday time to organise and assist with our annual craft and science day for children and families. Sixteen students made themselves available on two days. Some had also helped in the planning of various crafts and science demonstrations, all with the theme of looking at our “Friends in the Forest”.

One of the days was spent building and decorating the “traditional” tunnel which this year took children through a “forest”; we would like to thank Harvey Norman for the empty Fridge Boxes which make this possible each year.

The second day was devoted to the event itself with the High School helping and mentoring the tamariki in crafting such things as bird feeders, window decorations, masks and leaf art. Dioramas are always a favourite and some wonderful forest scenes were created in the many shoe boxes kindly supplied by Merrell, Merchant, and Platypus shoes.

All the tamariki enjoyed making their own tracking tunnels, identifying birds and plants, and searching leaf litter with a microscope.

We would also like to thank The Summit Road Society and Forest and Bird for bringing their activities and displays which very much enhanced the learning and enjoyment of the 130 children and their families who attended.

This event was funded by the Creative Communities Scheme.

KidsFest is an annual event, taking place during the winter school holidays. Look out for this years event Waves meet Wonders – Our Beautiful Coastline.

Plastic – How Do We Live With It?

Kim Hill Hot Topic 2024

If you missed this year’s Kim Hill Hot Topic: “PLASTIC – How Do We Live With It” you can now watch it on YouTube. Thanks to Lincoln High School for filming the event where Kim Hill leads a panel of experts to delve into the issues surrounding plastic usage. Once the panel deliberated their views, the audience was invited to question panel members. The panellists discuss all issues relating to how essential plastic might be, our ability to reduce consumption, and our means of recycling the plastic we use.

Click to find out more about this years panellists.

YouTube player

One Hundred Items Brought to Repair Café

One Hundred Items Brought to Repair Cafe!

Fantastic Celebration of World Repair Day 2022

The people of Selwyn brought no fewer than 100 household items to be repaired at the Repair Café held at Te Ara Atea on Saturday 15th October 2022. Nearly all of these were restored to their former usefulness free of charge; where this could not be done advice was offered on the necessary course of action.

We are indebted to the volunteer repairers who gave up this weekend day. Six people repairing electrical appliances, two people and their machines sewing, one person offering general repairs to anything, one repairing jewellery and one bicycle repairer were kept busy throughout the event, and many ended up doing overtime. Very grateful thanks to our repairers for their mahi.

The number of people who offered their thanks and requested more of such events, along with those who asked to be on the repairing teams in future were testimony to the day’s success and hopefully to a growing awareness that simply throwing household items away is to our environment’s detriment.

Electrical Appliances always require a lot of work partly because they are some of the main items brought in, but also because most of them require lengthy repair time. One old sewing machine was being worked on for the best part of the day. We had six people working on these and it was a continuous operation. So, thanks to Alan and Ben from Ecotech Services, Rudy from Molten Media Trust, and volunteers Lindsay, Mike, and Jack who worked tirelessly on these.

General Repairs – we are always lucky to have Lee taking care of these and ensuring that such things as umbrellas, toys, and a few electrical items were restored to their former glory.

Bicycles again Esteban from Fix Ur Ride was on hand with his trailer repairing bikes and offering tuition to the younger owners on how to do some of their own repairs.

Clothing. There is always a steady stream of people needing items of clothing repaired so Heather and Cheryn and their machines were kept steadily busy throughout the event.

Jewellery – last year several people requested that we add this, and we were lucky enough to have Sally from Warrens Agencies on hand to help a good number retain their precious items. We will certainly retain this feature in the future.

With large numbers of people and items for repair flooding into the room, we relied on great work from our volunteers for making sure repairs were registered, items ticketed, and directed to the correct station. 

Clothes Swap

This popular event takes place every year in November at the Lincoln Event Centre.  Last year it was hugely successful with the biggest display of clothes, shoes and accessories to date. There is no payment for entry or clothes.

The event provides a chance to enjoy changing one’s wardrobe, as well as keeping resources circulating. Some derive great benefit in being able to provide some additional family clothes.

Textiles are a major contributing element to landfill and the longer that we are able to keep them in circulation the better. It is a means of helping reduce the negative impacts of the fashion industry on our environment.

How it works. People are encouraged to bring their clothing items (those that we all have, unused in our cupboards) and drop them off at designated drop-off points in Selwyn. Those who do these early drop-offs are given an “Early Bird” ticket which entitles them and one other, to early entry on the evening.

This is probably the event that absorbs more volunteer time than any other. The process is akin to getting in stock, and then setting up a huge clothing store for only a few hours and then disbanding it. The amount of superb volunteer help that is received for many weeks before and then on the evening has maintained this as one of our best and biggest happenings.  Our very grateful thanks go to everyone involved for their efficiency and hard work.

Liffey Springs Water Testing and Clean Up

During Keep New Zealand Beautiful Clean Up Week in September we headed along to the Liffey River for a variety of activities.

We joined the many groups and organisations around New Zealand who during this one week in September hold events to remind us that New Zealand must be kept beautiful by us all.

The event, as usual, was organised with three school levels (Pre-school, Primary School, and High School) and each group had its own set of activities all aimed at maintaining an awareness of keeping our environment as pristine as possible.

The pre-school set about picking up as much rubbish as could be found. Gloves and bags were provided by the Keep New Zealand Beautiful organisers and the rubbish collected was carefully sorted. Many items were in fact recyclable or able to be upcycled and did not have to add to any landfill.

A small group from the primary school were shown by Waterwatch how to collect water from the stream and look for tiny creatures that live in the water and how they can be an indicator of water quality. The High School arrived later and did more elaborate testing on the river water finding, as is too usual these days, a high level of nitrates. Click to see the full results.

Whilst all the activities were pursued with enthusiasm and interest, it is fair to say that the most interest and enthusiasm were reserved for the sausages that Lincoln New World traditionally provide and cook for us. These were very much enjoyed after everyone had endeavoured, in their own small way, to keep a part of New Zealand beautiful.

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Peak Meat

A Game Changer for Food Production, The Environment & Health

At the conclusion of the discussion, guests were given the opportunity to ask questions to the panellists and this is the part of the evening that you can listen to here.

This is an issue of worldwide importance. Intensive production of meat and milk is a major source of greenhouse gases, water pollution and soil degradation. Many people are turning to a vegetarian or vegan diet. However, food production is vital to New Zealand’s economy and to ensuring the world has enough to eat.

The discussion covered the following topics:

  • How will changes in demand, modern technology and an awareness of ethical, environmental and health issues affect our agricultural production? What are the impacts of meat and milk production?
  • People are eating less meat and dairy – why and what are the consequences on our environment, health, farmers, animal welfare and economy?
  • Is artificial meat going to take off?
  • Should we be planning for this?


Nick Pyke | Director | AgInnovate

Ronan Phelan | Vegan and Environmentalist

Jocelyn Eason | Food Innovation | Plant and Food Research

Kevin Marshall | Chairman | Riddet Institute

Lincoln Envirotown Sponsors

A big thank you to our wonderful sponsors! We extend our sincere appreciation to all our sponsors, Rata Foundation, Selwyn District Council, COGS, Lottery Community and Lincoln University.

Record Entry into Selwyn Environmental Film Competition

Record Entry into Selwyn Environmental Film Competition

Nineteen films were submitted for this year’s Environmental Film Competition run by Lincoln Envirotown Trust. This marked a substantial increase over previous years and it is to be hoped that it is indicative of people’s concerns about our environment, a willingness to articulate these, and to suggest actions.

A particularly pleasing feature of entries this year was that there were no less than 5 independent entries by adult producers alongside the assorted school age group and individual entries. As the Acting Mayor of Selwyn Councillor John Morten pointed out at the Awards Evening, the number of varied entries greatly enhanced the contest but left the judges with a very difficult task indeed.

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