On the 26th of this month (May 2019) ‘Rhythm and Pines’ will officially kick off a conservation project lead by young
people of the Hurunui.
The day is fast approaching where Hurunui youth will celebrate the official opening of a youth led restoration and
conservation site - which they say could be a central place for youth within the Hurunui.
‘Rhythm and Pines’, a music festival to be held at Balmoral Reserve Camp Ground, will feature live music, an outdoor movie, workshops, food trucks, speakers and a ‘bio blitz’. It will also showcase the
recently designated Youth Restoration Site, which is adjacent to the camp ground.
The ‘Youth Restoration Site’ is part of a wider conservation project made possible by Ministry of Youth Development
Funding that supports youth leadership, mentoring, volunteering and wellbeing. It is called the ‘Hurunui Youth Kaitiakitanga Project’ (Kaitiakitanga as in guardianship of the land and preservation) and is dedicated to youth interested in conservation
and environmental issues.
The site opposite the camp ground will provide a physical place to connect to our local environment and learn the skills
needed to protect it. Those involved with the project are practising kaitiakitanga of our local, natural environment. It
will deliver hands on conservation training, youth environmental networking and site visits to areas and projects of
interest within Canterbury.
This ‘Youth Restoration Site’ was assigned to the care of our young people by our Manager of Regulatory Services, Judith
Batchelor. “The youth will be undertaking restoration work within a three hectare block in Balmoral, part of ‘Morrisons
Road Stock Resting Reserve” she said. “We are supporting our young people in their aspirations and plans for this space,
which is council owned and currently vacant from use”.
The conservation work at the site will be youth led and supported by Hurunui Youth workers, Hurunui District Council,
local environmental education staff, the Department of Conservation, Environment Canterbury and local Iwi.
Marco Cataloni, Northern Zone Delivery Lead for Environment Canterbury said it’s exciting to see the youth of the
district on board with these types of projects. “We look forward to having more involvement with them through the
Kaitiakitanga project” he said. “I will be going to Rhythm and Pines on the day and it will be a great opportunity to
network with the youth.”
Any local young person is welcome to get involved and our youth are inviting any interested groups or individuals to
join in or show their support.
Luke Roberts, Year 13 student at Amuri Area School and a Hurunui youth councillor, said ‘Rhythm and Pines’ is about
having something everyone can come along to and experience the Youth Restoration Site for themselves. “With the music,
workshops and games, it will be showcasing the different ways we can use this space” he said.
“I think everyone just likes the idea of restoring it back to what it was… restoring the land with native plants”. “I
feel like I would use the space in the summer, to have a bunch of friends go down and be near the water. It’s a
beautiful place to hang out”
Tessa Allan, Year 13 student at Hurunui College and a Hurunui youth councillor, said the Youth Council held events to
get the perspective of what youth like about the Hurunui and what they want to change. “They told us youth really care
about our environment and want a local spot to connect with, protect and hang out at” she said.
“As youth we are taking responsibility for this space and looking after it. It is going to give us a space to show the
little changes we make can have a big impact” she said.
Zoe Watson, Year 13 student at Hurunui College and Environmental Leader of the Hurunui Youth Council, said The Hurunui
Youth Kaitiakitanga Project group “allows young people in the Hurunui to engage in environmental projects that are
sustainable and effective for the future – like the restoration site on the Hurunui River”.
“It also allows those young people to express their interest and passion for the environment in a practical way” she
The growing Rhythm and Pines line up/activity list:
• Chew Cards and Tunnel Pest tracking/identification
• Bird/Predator Walk: Recording bird species at a restoration site
• Hunt and identification of land invertebrates session
• Hunt and identification of river invertebrates session
• Biodiversity on Braided Rivers
• Nina Valley Restoration Project Talk
• Army Bush Skills – Shelter building and bush survival
• Troll Finger – and epic kiwi rock climbing film
• Live music
• Free BQQ
• Food trucks