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Entries have opened for Good Deeds

Category better-together

Waitiki Boys High School

Entries are now open for the Rabobank Good Deeds competition run in conjunction with The Country.

Tell us about your rural community-based project and your project could win a $5000 prize plus a day’s labour provided by Rabobank. Last year’s Good Deeds competition winner was Te Ranga School in Te Puke. Its competition entry highlighted the school’s bush classroom, a 2ha block of native forest on the nearby Marks Farm that is subject to a QEII covenant. The outdoor classroom is part of the bush corridor between Otane wainuku and Kaharoa forests, where there are major kiwi and kōkako projects. It is hoped the corridor will become a “highway” for the endangered birds to move between the two forests. At the time of the announcement of the win, Rabobank CEO Todd Charteris said the school’s bush classroom project stood out as the top entry for several reasons.

“The school is doing a great job of developing this natural resource while at the same time using it to teach their students about a whole range of topics,” he said. “We really liked that the kids have taken ownership of various mini projects within the tract, like the trapping.

We were also really impressed to hear the area is being used by the wider rural community, with a local catchment group recently hosting an event in the tract which focused on how to effectively trap and plant out bush areas.

“Finally, we felt the bush classroom project could be significantly advanced by the competition prizemoney and labour support.”


Watch below to see Rabobank’s Good Deeds crew in action at Te Ranga School in Te Puke:

A working bee to progress the bush classroom took place in April this year. The working bee was attended by 30 Rabobank staff and saw a track built around the area that includes a boardwalk and steps, as well as a viewing platform looking out towards Otanewainuku and the Waiare Stream.

Waitaki Boys’ High School follow-up

Back in 2020, Waitaki Boys’ High School in North Otago won the Rabobank Good Deeds competition. The school wanted help to restore a creek so water would run from the north end of the school property and flow all the way through the school as it did many years ago.

Rabobank was recently invited back to Waitaki Boys for the opening ceremony of the Te Maka Porori (Creek). Rabobank agribusiness manager, Tom Abernethy, and agribusiness analyst Leah Anderson, who were part of the working bee to restore the creek, were there to see how the creek was looking four years on. After a shared hangi for lunch, speeches from dignitaries and the school performing their school haka in gratitude, guests were shown the creek where water is now flowing for the first time in decades.

While at the school, Tom and Leah were also shown the new lambing shed the students proudly built themselves during school time thanks to a grant from the Rabobank Community Fund. The new shed sits on the school’s 10-hectare farm.

The Good Deeds competition has been running since 2017 and was set up by the bank as a way to identify and support worthy rural community projects across New Zealand.

Entries are available online at Good Deeds/Rabobank NZ and close October 20, 2023.