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Waikato students make impact at National Forum

Presentations by three Waikato students were well received at the national youth environment forum held last week in Wellington.

Haley Mankelow, 17, of Taupo, Holly Dove, 15, of Waihi and Kent Michelson, 17, a St Paul’s Collegiate student from Ohinewai were chosen by Environment Waikato to attend the forum, established by Environment Minister Marian Hobbs in June to mark World Environment Day. The forum was open to young people between 15 and 18, with three representatives invited from each of the 16 regions in New Zealand.

Environment Waikato Schools Programme co-ordinator Dean King, who travelled to Wellington with the students, said the three presentations showed the young people’s talents and concerns. The Waikato students had chosen their own topics - Holly on waste and mining with a video, Kent on pest control and inland waters and Haley on Lake Taupo’s water quality.

At the forum the students heard presentations from experts for the first day, and then worked on waste and ocean policy issues, asking astute questions. Many were very keen to deal with genetic engineering and worked on this area themselves, he said.

The Ministry is keen to have regional forums where the young people’s own environmental ideas would be explored.

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