Westlake Kaitiaki

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” These are the profound words of Robert Swan, who made the ambitious trek from the North pole to the South pole. These words are at the very heart of what Westlake Kaitiaki does; we take it upon ourselves to do whatever we can for our planet, however small it may be.

With the generous aid of the Auckland Council and the Whitebait Connection, we are delighted to see that informative signs designed by our very own Westlake students have been placed around Smith’s Bush.

Upon entry, it is nearly impossible not to be taken aback by the beauty and serenity of the reserve. As we walk along the boardwalk, gently brushing the leaves on either side and marvelling at the trills of various native birds, it is saddening for us when the startlingly neon colours of confectionary wrappers and a plethora of litter snatches our attention. Small actions such as littering are mistaken for being just that: minuscule and with little significance. Our signs aim to outline the resounding consequences that these actions truly have on our fragile ecosystem.

Too often the tranquil and gentle sounds of nature’s melodies remain unheard. We hope that the introduction of signage will implore those walking through the bush to listen to her song, to see her beauty and unite to protect her precious library of biodiverse life, one small action at a time.

We couldn’t have accomplished what we have in Westlake Kaitiaki without the help of Ms See and Ms Bhavasar, and of course, the leadership of Kenzie McKay. Together, we hope to continue encouraging others to participate in positive actions for the environment and continue the legacy of our former student Anja Philip.

As we tilt our heads up and gaze at the wisps of light peering through the tall canopies soaring above, their branches and leaves intertwined, we are reminded of how alone we can do so little, but together we can accomplish anything.

Written by Kaitiaki student