After a week of heavy rain and flooding, Friday saw Wairarapa skies glowing bright and cheerful in time to celebrate the end of the school year at Kuranui College’s Garden Summer Party.
The day featured a student market and a matinee of performances taken from the college’s end of term art project What Lies Beneath, which also included an exhibition of the students’ work.
“Today’s market is all about the students setting up their own businesses, designing a product then selling it. This has given them an opportunity to learn about business and enterprise,” explained Kuranui Head of Junior College, Vicki Wish.
“They’ve been working incredibly hard over the last three weeks and they had to pitch their business ideas at the Dragons Den, get it okayed and then they spent the last two and half weeks making their product. It’s been a lot of hard work and long hours for the students, but they’ve come up with some amazing ideas and quite a few of them have sold out already.”
Members of the public were invited to browse the wide range of stalls, selling products such as Christmas decorations using recycled materials, doggie treats, cookery books, tie-die clothing, hanging linen airers, hand-decorated lanterns and clocks – all made by the students.
One popular stall was the garden planters. Kuranui junior students Sam Goodman and Ballie Whyte made 15 planters of different sizes, by midday, the students were sold out and were taking new orders.
Whyte explained their strong sales pitch “Christmas is right around the corner and we’ve been telling people “this would be great for your missus” and then they’re like “I’ll call her and see what she thinks.” Then they end up buying them.”
Goodman said the biggest challenge was getting the sizing and the screws right. “We’ve been very lucky, PlaceMakers and ITM in Greytown hooked up us with multiple metres of wood and Mr Southey lent us his garage to build them in.”
Chris James, Manager of ITM Greytown, was impressed by the students. “We’ve had a few guys come into the shop and pitched a project that they are looking to do. We’ve tried to support it in the best way that we can, either though discounted product or producing some free product for them,” said James.
“They had to come in and explain what their concept was and what sort of materials they were looking for. Both myself and some of our staff helped them through some ideas and gave them suggestions on what they could use instead and from there they’ve picked up some of that stuff and built some pretty amazing things.
“I think one of the best things for me is seeing these young guys getting quite enthusiastic about something different and in quite an innovative way. It’s just great that the school has been able to do this for them – giving them a real sense of what it’s going to be like in the real world.”