Opotiki and Dunedin students win Top Outdoor Spot competition

A photo of a sun-loving Labrador and a poetic description of Waiotahi Beach have won 'Best Photo' and 'Best Description' in the New Zealand Walking Access Commission's Top Outdoor Spot competition.

Run on the Commission's Both Sides of the Fence education website (www.bothsidesofthefence.org.nz), the competition attracted entries from 60 students across the country.

Emma Cunningham, 13, from St Hilda's Collegiate School in Dunedin won the “Best Photo” category for her shot of a happy Labrador running along the beach in Cannibal Bay, in the Catlins. “Best Description” was won by 11-year-old Opotiki Primary School student Danni Kurei, for her poetic description of Waiotahi Beach. The two talented students won Dash SL daypacks for themselves and $100 book vouchers for their schools.
New Zealand Walking Access Commission Chairman John Forbes said the Commission's Board was impressed with the number and quality of the entries.

“It's clear from the entries that a great number of New Zealand students and teachers are passionate about the outdoors. The creativity, flair and high level of skill shown by the students who have taken the time to send in photos and descriptions of their favourite outdoor places is testament to how important the outdoors is to the Kiwi way of life.”

The curriculum aligned Both Sides of the Fence website is designed to help teachers inform primary and intermediate school students about the value of access and responsible behaviour in the outdoors. Since its launch in late 2012, the site has been visited more than 2,800 times.

Both Sides of the Fence includes an 'Explore' section with engaging animated videos covering topics including unformed legal roads, dogs in rural environments, biosecurity risks, fires, and important cultural considerations when accessing Māori land. Other resources on the site include an 'eBook' that introduces children to the New Zealand Outdoor Access Code, an 'In My Region' image gallery where students can upload their favourite outdoor places, and a 'Teachers' Space' with lesson plans for teachers.

The Top Outdoor Spot competition is now over, but teachers and students are encouraged to keep filling the 'In My Region' gallery with photos and descriptions of the favourite outdoor spots in their schools' regions.


For more information, please contact:

James Heffield
04 815 8513 or 027 703 5296