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Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Otepoti year 11 pupil Maia Rakete-Gray, Waitaki Girls’ High School year 13 pupil Tilly King and Southland Girls’ High School year 13 pupil Ashleigh Putt-Fallows are in the Waikato region, where they are working with 35 other like-minded year 11-13 pupils from around the country, who care about New Zealand’s critical environmental issues.
The environmental leadership programme is run in partnership with the Ministry for the Environment.
Blake chief executive officer James Gibson said Blake Inspire helped to unlock the participants’ potential and kick-start their journey to tackle environmental issues and help create a more sustainable future.
"Environmental issues are a priority for our rangatahi.
"They’re very aware that their future will be negatively impacted if people don’t start responding to challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and the decline of our marine health, now.
"Whatever their culture, school or background, Blake Inspire brings together these young, like-minded leaders to create new connections and find answers to pressing environmental challenges."
Throughout the week, the pupils would interact with scientists, conservation experts and New Zealand business leaders who are leading the way with sustainability initiatives, he said.
"So they can ask all the questions they like and soak up every opportunity presented to them."
They would also be exposed to career paths in their field of interest and would be shown real-world applications of subjects they learn in the classroom.
Ultimately, the programme aimed to help pupils develop their own action plans to implement within their schools and communities on their return and to encourage environmental action, conservation and sustainability.