Tikipunga High School students will soon be able to find inner peace and tranquility thanks to a new garden.
Tariki Manawaiti, 16, came up with the idea of a relaxing Feng Shui garden after hearing the school was getting a new drinking water fountain.
He suggested to his whanau form teacher Andrea Cameron that the fountain should be put in a Feng Shui garden with a water feature and seats for relaxing.
Mrs Cameron ran with the idea knowing if a project is student-led the students will look after it.
She applied for funding from the Northland Regional Council’s environmental curriculum awards, which aim to foster excellence in environmental education.
The school was recently awarded $1690 for materials.
Tariki says the project will enhance Tikipunga High School’s environment by improving the aesthetics.
The garden will use Chinese symbolism and elements, such as rocks to symbolise mountains.
Tariki, who is Maori, says he has always liked Chinese gardens because of their beauty. He has also been interested in spirituality since his father passed away six years ago. “Feng Shui is about being close to harmony,” he says.
The Northland District Health Board’s nutrition fund gave a grant for the new fountain but the whole project will benefit the students’ health and wellbeing, Mrs Cameron says.
“The spirituality aspect is probably the least talked about and least resourced.
“Lots of students lack focus and self-belief.”
Tariki is planning to do the work together with other members of his life skills class and is hoping whanau and students from classes like carpentry will also get involved.
Tariki is a member of the school’s First 15, plays basketball, is a New Zealand representative in volleyball and is part of his school’s peer mediation, health teams, Oranga Tikipunga, Stage Challenge and Shakespeare groups.
The proect will be named The Watering Hole.