Kahunui Times - St Cuthbert`s College



Kahunui Times - St Cuthbert`s College
Kahunui Times
Intake 1 2013
Gina Bliss Becca Melissa
Sarah Jenny W Erica
Tessa Amelia Pieter Molly
Aimee Jenny J Kelsey Liz
Devon Ruby Sonia
Cassandra Gyllian Natalia
Natalie Min-Yao
End of Intake 1 2013
Today I am going to talk about decision
making. And I must firstly, thank you
parents for choosing to send your daughter
to SCC by doing this you have also given
her the opportunity to be at Kahunui and
have the chance to be independent of you
and learn to make her own decisions. I
wonder how many of you would have
voluntarily sent your daughter to Kahunui. I
imagine there have been times earlier and
over the past month when you wish you
had not and especially when you look in
her bedroom and she is not there and you
miss her beautiful smile every morning.
At Kahunui the staff work as coaches
and facilitators nurturing, caring and
encouraging students to make their own
decision. Some choose to grab every
chance and opportunity and I think at 14
that is the right thing to do, as John
Goddard described himself in a story I
shared with the girls, at 14 you are an
unformed human with potential like
everyone else.’ Marua in another story we
shared made the decision to never
complain even when things were really
tough for her, many girls have resonated
with her story and her words have
encouraged them to follow her lead.
The programme at Kahunui is varied
for deliberate reasons. We are a school
that provides the opportunity for social
growth through outdoor experiences and
an alternative academic programme. We
deliberately make decisions to take our
students out of their comfort zone to put
them into situations that challenge their
thinking and view on life. We provide
opportunity for the girls to experience
success, failure, an array of emotional
responses like gratitude, homesickness,
frustration, empathy, to name a few. With
these varied experiences the girls
constantly have the opportunity to make
decisions: like chose which level in survival
whether to open the pack and get warmer
clothes or tough it out: to help others with
the household chores or sit and watch it
being done: to be asked or volunteer help:
to include others and extend the hand of
friendship or stick with their tight group of
friends: buy into sustainability and turn off
lights, grow a garden, use chilly bins to
transport the shopping, look at water and
forests as essential commodities to be
preserved, identify issues and action
solutions: take calculated risks that
challenge the body and mind.
There is so much choice in our lives
today and often I feel this is more difficult
when decisions have to be made. We have
this picture on the wall in every house. We
do not say anything about it until the girls
ask ‘why is this here?’ A parrot, on a girl’s
shoulder, why? To talk to and ask the hard
questions before making a decision, is this
right? What might be the outcome? Would
my mum, dad, grandma someone I respect
what would they think? What would they
After reading the girls’ reflections of
their time at Kahunui over the past 28 days
presentations I can say that they now see
life from a different perspective, the forest
is green but different shades are noticed;
they are able to make decisions in the
outdoors with calculated risks; they are
thinking about inclusion, acceptance of
conversations; they have developed a
positive caring relationship with nature.
Choosing to live in the moment, see
the cup half full and make responsible
decisions is now your challenge as you
leave Kahunui today.
Christine Furminger
Director - Kahunui
Minyao’s time at Kahunui
Eight girls of intake 1 2013 made up
Parents and Friends house. Everyone was
really different and I think that is what
made our house special. The biggest
activity that we did together was House
Tramp. This really tested us but everyone
worked together and we had heaps of fun
getting to know each other. Many other
activities were done in house groups
including the Kahunui challenge, Games
night, music night and Master chef. These
all required loads of teamwork which we
have acquired through living together and
spending time so much time with each
other. Even though we have probably had
more ups and downs than any other
house, we have learned to overcome
obstacles and we have become closer over
the last 4 weeks. At the end of Kahunui, we
really feel like family. Of course P&F house
could not have come so far without the
help of Mr Reddish and Miss Samuels.
The issue that I identified was
that we had to be 25% food
sustainable by 2015. My goals
were to preserve surplus fruit
and vegetables and plant a
variety. I found different ways
of preserving and planting. I
achieved my goals by planting
carrots, parsnips and
preserving fruit.
The Earth is clean and green
New Zealand is 100% pure
But people are living here
So it is filled with litter and
Our environment looks after
so we should look after it too
It will be here much longer
than us
We only leave a footprint
My 28 days
My time at Kahunui has been pretty good. I have learned a lot while living with my house and
doing things without the help of my parents. Even though our house had differences, we all
became really close and it gave me an idea of what it would be like to live in a flat. It was great to
have the experience to try so many different things and be able to share it with my friends. I
think that the hardest thing for me was house tramp because it was the first tramp, but it was a
chance to get to know everyone in my house.
During the first week we also had Survival night where we had to spend the night in the bush
under a bivvy with limited gear. At first it sounded pretty easy but during the night, it definitely
proved a challenge. I had no idea of the time and kept waking up because it was so cold. What
made it harder was that my pack was right next to me with all my clothes and sleeping bag, even
though I decided not to use them. It felt good to complete a challenge I set for myself and
everyone was relieved when it was finally morning.
A highlight of Kahunui was the outdoor weekends. First we went sea kayaking where we
kayaked to a beach and stayed for two nights. The next week we went on Valley Tramp. Over
these two trips I have learned about the environment and how important it is to look after it. I
also learned life skills such as setting up a tent, building a bivvy and cooking with trangias,
which I am sure will all be useful in the future.
Kahunui has taught me heaps. In week 3 I started my footprint project where I learned new
skills and values. I finished my project with a better understanding of our environment. I have
learned to be more independent while being away from my family and living with others.
Kahunui has also provided me with opportunities that I may never have again. I have met new
people who I have had so much fun with everyday. I am leaving with all the memories and new
friends I have made and I am proud to be a part of intake 1 2013.
Minyao Chen
Erica's Kahunui Experience
The issue I identified was the dust hazard
from the road.
I also wanted to contribute to the 25% food
goal by planting fruit trees. I researched
about suitable
trees and planted three feijoa trees to
reduce the dust
hazard and also weeded a hedge. I found
out what
variety of trees can grow well in drought and
They say
They say don't
They say don't judge
They say don't judge a
They say don't judge a book
They say don't judge a book by
They say don't judge a book by it's
They say don't judge a book by it's cover,
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's only
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's only if
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's only if you
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's only if you plan
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's only if you plan on
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's only if you plan on reading
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's only if you plan on reading the
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's only if you plan on reading the book
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's only if you plan on reading the
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's only if you plan on reading
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's only if you plan on
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's only if you plan
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's only if you
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's only if
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's only
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think that's
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I think
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but
They say don't judge a book by it's cover,
They say don't judge a book by it's
Report Comment
They say don't judge a book by
It has been 28 days since I have arrived in Kahunui and
They say don't judge a book
in those 28 days I learned about real life things like
They say don't judge a
housework and living in a house with other people.
They say don't judge
They say don't
They say
Activity Report
In Old Girls, we have Bliss, Sarah, Jenny,
Rebecca, Melissa, Gina and Erica. The 7 of us
have been through quite a bit together here at
Kahunui, such as House Tramp, the K
Challenge, and High Tea. Every one of these
events have brought us closer each time
because we have done our best to make the
most of every challenge. We all work really
hard to keep our house clean and organised
and we all do our best to look out for each
other so that we can be the best group we can
be. We rarely have fights, and the fights that
we do have are small disagreements over who
is cleaning and who is drying the dishes. We all
got along really well on House Tramp and
managed to bring hardly any food scraps
home. We have all managed to stay relatively
calm in difficult and scary situations, and we all
do our best to do our chores in the morning.
Old Girls is definitely the best house we can
28 Days
In my 28 days here at Kahunui I have learned
valuable skills such as housework and working
well with other people. I liked getting letters from
my friends and High Tea the most because it was
strange to wear a dress after 25 days of wearing
track pants and fleeces. Jumping off the wharf was
fun too though I got a mouthful of water the first
time because it was something I had never done
My house was Old Girls and we had no big fights
unlike the other houses, our only disagreements
were over who would do the washing and drying. I
have had a very interesting time living with the
other girls and it was nice to get to know people I
would not normally talk to.
Throughout my twentyeight days of Kahunui,
I have experienced
both highs and lows
being a member of a
big family. I have
learned to appreciate
the excitement and
fun along with the
difficulties and
conflicts of true
teamwork. Stepping
away from life as I
know it, and venturing
into the outdoors, I
have gained,
knowledge, pride, and
self belief.
Made in New Zealand
Picture perfect image
Smothered in filth
Suffocated in plastic
Trashed, unpure
Picture perfect image
Hidden from the rest
of the world
Hidden from us
Picking up the pieces
Shattered by reality
Made in New
My issue is that the reflection
steps are in disrepair and are
needed to protect the
biodiversity. I aimed to
rebuild the steps. I explored
the rise over run method
and considered how to
level, measure, and fill the
steps to prevent injury. I
chose Macrocarpa timber
for the rise of the steps
because of its sustainable
qualities. I completed five
During the last two weeks of Kahunui we
were given 25 hours to identify an issue
relevant to the sustainability of Kahunui,
create and finish a project that will enhance
Our projects were to be encompassed by
one of the Kahunui goals that work to make
Kahunui more sustainable. There were many
projects, ranging from making a healthy
cookbook, to planting a dust hedge, to
tracking pests.
We presented our projects to the rest of the
intake and a tough panel of judges. All of the
projects were a success and we are all very
proud of what we have done.
My 28 days
Thinking back on my time at Kahunui I will never ever have
any regrets. It is one of the greatest experiences I have
ever had and I am so grateful of having the chance to do it.
I have learned how to be independent, manage a household,
work better in teams and I have learned how to tramp, cook on
trangia’s. I have accomplished my goals and faced my fears,
for example jumping off Ohope wharf into the ‘scary’ sea was
one of my goals. I am happy to have accomplished my goal of
getting to know everyone in my intake better as I knew it was
an important thing.
I have woken up at 6:30 nearly every morning with a big smile
on my face knowing I am going have a new adventure, learn new
things and create new memories. It is weird looking back and
seeing me on that bus, not knowing anything about what I was
driving too, all I knew was that I was going to a camp for a
month. But now looking at me I have all this new knowledge
and I cannot wait to use it in everyday life when I am back
in Auckland.
Kahunui gave me memories I will never forget, I am sad that I
cannot have them all in photos. I have made friendships with
people here that I never thought I would of if I had not
come. I am going to miss waking up every morning and being
surrounded by the little community we have here at Kahunui. I
have got to know everyone here so much better and I feel we
have all become a family.
By Bliss
My Journey
Footprint Photo
In a nutshell
The main issue was to be 25% food sustainable by
2012. My goal was to learn techniques for
gardening and improve each house garden so they
could be more useful for future intakes. We
weeded each garden then fertilized the soil and
planted 14 various lettuces and parsley in each
garden. I have happily achieved my goal.
Environmental Art
She stands in between two paths,
One is popular one is less traveled by,
The path less traveled by has more obstacles,
The path most travelled by is facile,
She ventures the path less travelled by,
She is independent she is individual,
She is adventurous she is brave
She knows the path less travelled by will be more
Activity Photo
Activity Report
Mini solos are great peaceful times where we
get one hour to catch up on anything or just
have alone time. We get time to think about
our experience and reflect on all we have
achieved or done.
Ruby’s Radical Kahu Time
Life is a path that we are all travelling
Sometimes there will be bumps in the road
We can try to avoid those bumps,
We can go around them
Or sometimes it pays off to just go through them,
Accept the challenges they bring
And rejoice in the knowledge they bring us
If we travel far enough
And look hard enough we can chance upon
The little things that bring us joy and
The big things that can change our lives forever
Activity photo
The issue identified was to
become 25% food
sustainable by 2015. My
goal was to create a chicken
coop that is sustainable and
provides eggs. This will
contribute to the goal of
becoming 25% food
sustainable. I dug holes,
erected posts and attached
the wire. I achieved the
construction of the run and
other girls will need to build
the chicken house.
The last 28 days at Kahunui have been happy, sad, interesting,
strange, unexpected, hilarious and most importantly life changing.
On the bus to Kahunui I had no idea what to expect. It was
something that I had never had any experience with but I was
excited to find out what it would be like. I saw the expanse of the
grounds and found myself wondering how I would ever find my
way around this place. We partook in a welcoming ceremony and
were then introduced to the instructors. We were placed in our
houses, I was put in PnF, the house I would spend the next month
House tramp was our first outdoor experience and it definitely
brought me a lot closer to my house and let me see them being
themselves in a place they were not used to. I really got to know the
characteristics of the people in my house during this time.
K challenge was another experience that brought my house and I
closer. We really got to play out each others strengths and I found
that some people were patient, some were encouraging and some
were physically able. I found that I lead the activity by encouraging,
including everyone and making sure they felt valued.
I felt that I grew as a person during sea kayak. At one point I really
stepped up and lead the whole pack up of camp, that made me feel
accomplished and happy with myself. I felt that I became so much
closer with the group I was with and came to really appreciate all
their quirks and things that made them who they are.
Environmental art was a massive eye-opener for me. I started off
my art without much of a meaning but as soon as I saw the finished
product I realised exactly what it meant. When I looked at it I saw a
path, along the path there were a few bumps and difficulties but
every once in a while there would be something beautiful and
Whilst lying under the stars with people who I have become so
close to over the past month I thought about how far I have come
and how much I have to be thankful for.
Jenny Jiang’s
The issue identified was the need
to protect the biodiversity. My
goals were to add shelter in the
pond, find the quality and life in
the pond and research about NZ
native fish. I completed my goals
and found that the water is very
clean, found the best fish to put in
the pond (more fish should be
added) and what was actually in
the pond.
The Journey
The birds chirp
When the wind passes by
The trees come to life
Blowing and swinging
Reaching for the sky.
The sand starts to fly
When the wind passes by
The water awakes
Rising and rising high.
When the sun falls,
The birds return to nest
The water goes to sleep
The trees stop and rest
The sand lies on the beach
Waiting to fly again
But the wind still passes by
Silently through the night.
Continuing its journey
It looks forward but not back
Thinking to itself, what is next?
Activity Report:
During our time at Kahunui, Mrs Reid Mr
and Mrs Parkinson visited us. Mrs Reid
came to see us on the 25th of February to
see how we were going. We sat in a circle
and we talked about our time at Kahunui
so far. We baked cakes a day before and
we bought all our cakes to the dining table
so we can have afternoon tea with Mrs
On the 4th of March, we invited Mr
Parkinson and Mrs Parkinson to join us for
high tea. We talked about our footprint
projects and what we have done so far
during our time at Kahunui.
It was nice to talk to Mrs Reid, Mr
Parkinson and Mrs Parkinson about what
we have done so far and about our
amazing Kahunui experience.
My 28 Days
I have mostly enjoyed my time at Kahunui. I think that I have learned a lot at Kahunui
and the experiences that I have had was very worthwhile. Arriving at Kahunui was very
exciting for me but I also felt uncertain and nervous about who will be in my house,
what everything will be like and what the houses are like. When we arrived and started
to settle in, I realized that Kahunui was going to be a very fun time and the people in my
house are all very nice.
House tramp was the first and longest tramp that I have been on before I went to
Kahunui. It was a time that I have learned a lot about living in the outdoors and I have
also learned a lot about the people in my house. The experience was fun but sometimes
very tiring because of the heavy packs.
Survival night was a time where I learned about how to survive in the outdoors and
building a bivvy. It was also a time where I got to meet new people in the intake and
learn about them.
The Kiwi girl program was one of the highlights for me at my time at Kahunui. It was
really fun going on the motorboat and fishing in the harbor even though we didn’t catch
any fish. Cooking was also really fun because now I have learned heaps of easy, quick
and yummy meals to cook when I go home.
Sea Kayaking was an interesting experience for me. On the first day we were all very
tired because we kayaked all day and I really wanted to go home. The second day was
better because we did not have all our heavy stuff in the kayaks and we got to jump off
the wharf. Our group also kayaked quite close to each other this time and overall
everything went smoother than the first day. On the last day of kayaking there was a bit
of chaos in tidying everything up, and also getting the kayaks to the sea because there
was a long way between the campsite and the sea. When we started heading home on
our kayaks everything went well and there were no hassles. It was also really pretty to
kayak on the water in the morning because the land was reflected on the water and the
water was calm.
The Footprint project was also a highlight for me. My project was to work on the
Reflection Pond. It was both tiring and fun at the same time. I felt proud after I finished
my project and it was also a time of learning for me.
I have learned a lot during my time at Kahunui including social skills, outdoor skills,
cooking skills and more. I think without Kahunui, I wouldn’t have improved and learned
these skills, I now can apply these skills to my everyday life.
Jenny Jiang.
My 28 days at Kahunui
The day I arrived at Kahunui was so exciting but so nerve-wracking I didn’t
know what to expect. I didn’t know what kind of environment I would be
living in for the next month and I had no idea about anything that was
coming up, or what we would be doing. As soon as I got off the bus the
picture I had in my mind for so long was finally getting filled in with reality.
Everything was so different to what I had imagined it, was so nice and
welcoming, so friendly and such a positive environment that said hello!
Everyone felt so connected to the land as if they treated it like a person,
they made sure it was clean and healthy looking.
I think a big thing I have gained here is valuing life more and being more
appreciative about life and what there is to offer. Being in a house with 6
other people was challenging at first but then became a really fun activity
as I got to meet and learn so much about 6 people I barely new. I now
think of them as my family and I am actually dreading being away from
them. I am going to miss seeing all their smiling happy faces while I eat
breakfast and the midnight chats I have with them. Communicating and
problem solving with them about how we could do things better was such
an accomplishment.
I have learned so many outdoor skills that I am going to value so much for
when I am older. I had no Idea about how much preparation you really
do need before going tramping and I never would have thought you
needed certain clothes to do different activities. Now I know all about
rotten cotton and checking your gear before you leave to go tramping. I
know not to leave food scraps out because then we will not have stoats
and possums that will interfere during the night. Most importantly I know to
only leave behind your footprints in the outdoors.
One of my favorite activities was being in the outdoors and tramping with
big packs on and crossing rivers and swimming in waterholes with friends, it
was such a new type of environment for me. I had never known the New
Zealand bush had so much to offer. I now know 12 New Zealand native
trees off by heart and I know so much about how to survive if I was ever in
a survival situation and what I must do to keep myself alive. I know how to
correctly cross a river as it is actually so much more dangerous then what I
thought it would be, especially if the weather is not on your side. There is so
much information that I now know to take into consideration when I do
outdoor activities. It has impacted on me hugely and I have enjoyed
going tramping so much. I am so thankful for the girls who have done this
before me, as they made sure I could have the same experience as they
did by keeping it clean. That is why when I left my campsite I made sure I
only left my footprints behind.
Sarah’s special Journey
The Issue identified was 25%
food sustainable by 2015.
My goal was to have the
future students live a
healthier lifestyle by using
the gardens. I made a
healthy eating cookbook
that revolves around each
intake for certain foods that
use the gardens. I found out
what foods grow in certain
seasons and what foods we
have growing in the
All the bees live in trees
All the birds speak words
All the leaves fall off trees
All the trees feel free
All the branches dance
All the weeds need a good feed
All the rain feels no pain
All the fun is in the sun
Games night was one of the highlights of my Kahunui experiences as each and
every house all got dressed up in there house colours my house was blue so we
were all wearing blue costumes and putting blue face paint on. The actual
event of games night was held in the dinning hall and there were three tables
Old Girls table was at the back Wairaka in the middle and P&F at the front.
Our first games challenge was Pictionary one girl from every house had to run
up and get given a name of an object and then had to try and draw it without
writing the name of it or speaking the answer and the first group to win would
be awarded three points. I would say that was the best game because it was
so exciting running up being given your name and attempt to draw it. The
other games we played were who could have the longest mandarin peel my
mandarin peel and Gyllins were the closest, I only came 2nd by 1cm, which was
The issue that I identified
was that we had to
protect the biodiversity.
The water in the reflection
pond was too warm for
the fish. My goals were to
reduce the water
temperature by providing
shade around the pond. I
planted native plants
around the pond and put
in rocks to provide shelter.
I achieved my goal by
cooling the water.
Environmental Poem:
The wind in the trees
Blowing the leaves
As the trampers walk by
Twigs crunching below
The ocean waves
Fish swimming freely
Kayakers in the water
Paddling fiercely
With birds singing a song
All different tunes
The sun shining brightly
Lighting the world
Activity Report- Sunrise:
Once every week, we have fitness at 6.30am. Mr Fawkner
and Mr Reddish run fitness. Most of the time we use our
fitness booklets, which are in our houses. We do fitness
from our booklets for about half an hour and then
sometimes we run up the hill or we do an aerobics class
with Mr. Reddish. Once we even had a kickboxing class with
Mr. Evans.
Our sunrise is at 6.30am everyday. If we do not have fitness
sometimes we have classes with Miss Morast or Mrs or Mr
Furminger. These classes include learning about the Duke of
Edinburgh programme or learning how to build a bivvy.
Elizabeth Kim
My 28 Days:
My 28 Days at Kahunui have been mostly good. I have learnt a lot here
especially having to do things by myself without my parents. It was fun
living with your friends and getting to know the people that lived with
you. I think it was a good experience and it was actually fun cooking
and washing the dishes with your housemates. The tramps were the
hardest thing for me as I’m not very athletic or the fittest person you
would meet. It was a bit uncomfortable living in a tent for two nights
and having to sleep with someone you don’t really know. It was also a
challenge to deal with the peoples’ habits and to deal with their
homesickness. My time at Kahunui was quite difficult in the beginning.
It did get better as I got along with my housemates. There was so much
that happened and the time went so quickly, but I think it was a good
opportunity to bond with others even when you’re forced to. We did
and learnt so much stuff here from learning to use a washing machine
to shooting from a rifle. Kahunui was lots of fun and it was 28 days to
act like an adult. Our footprint projects were like a problem in the
future that we would have to solve. It was a practice task for when we
are older. The problem that I identified was that the water temperature
in the reflection pond was too warm for the fish living in it. We decided
to plant native trees around the pond, which would eventually grow and
provide shelter around the pond. We also put rocks into little clusters
in the pond so that the fish and the eels could hide under them. Survival
night was one of the biggest challenges for me at Kahunui. Being
without a sleeping bag and no food for a night seemed quite easy when
I thought about it, obviously it wasn’t. I usually don’t wake up during
the night but on survival night it was so cold I woke up 5-6 times. It
was in the first week and I thought I was going to actually die. But it
felt quite good to accomplish a challenge that I could have chosen not
to do. My favorite tramp was the Valley Tramp and it was loads of fun
especially because we could go swimming heaps and when we were not
swimming we were picking blackberries from the blackberry bushes!
The berries are really delicious. On the first day of Valley Tamp it was
hot and I didn’t like it. There was no shade and it was right out in the
sun and it was boiling. I knew that I would have a horrible valley tramp
if the tramp would carry on like that. But thankfully it did not and we
were in the shade. We met a few angry bulls and cows and we also saw
a deer and a couple of wild horses.
I liked most of the activities at Kahunui. It was a chance to grow up and
be a bit independent. It was a good experience.
Elizabeth Kim
Cassandra Laird’s Kahunui experience
Environmental art poem
Full of opportunity
Fascinating, enticing
A sense of adventure
Endless possibilities
Waiting for you
To seize the opportunity
And take the risk
That is the beauty
Of a blank canvas
The issue I have identified is
to be 25% food sustainable by
2015. My goals were to work
well in a team and to prevent
wastage of fruit and
vegetables. I made apple pies,
tomato sauce and planted
carrots and parsnips. I have
successfully completed my
project by producing seven
jars of tomato sauce and
Shopping was a real thrill for the girls in
intake one. After being in the isolation of
Kahunui for week one, the supermarket
suddenly seemed like an overloaded truck full
of people. Going shopping was an interesting
experience for the girls. Of course, even
though we have all gone shopping before, this
time round, it is different. Everyone is much
more serious, and they are all focused on
getting the job done.
It was much more complicated than when
you go shopping with you parents. We had a
set budget that we had to stick to, so we had
to focus on getting all the cheapest brands of
food, and calculating how much everything
costed as went along. Shopping was a
wonderful experience for the girls, and
everybody learnt that it is actually quite a big
job to do, not just picking anything you fancy
off the shelf.
My time at Kahunui has been amazing. I have learnt so many life
lessons that I will remember throughout my whole life. My first week
at Kahunui was really just about getting used to my house, the people
in my house and how things worked. It was a bit strange getting used
to meal times, because I usually have dinner as soon as I get home
from school, which is quite early. I also had to adjust to the time we go
to bed, because I usually sleep much later than we do here. One of my
favorite times at Kahunui is when I am with my house group and we
are just relaxing and having fun together. I am very glad that I have
gotten to know all my house members. Before Kahunui I knew
everyone but it was only skin deep. Now, at Kahunui, I feel like
everyone are totally different people altogether. I have enjoyed
“flatting” with the people in my house. I had to get used to the fact that
my house actually belongs to me, and that I was responsible for
everything that goes on inside it. Living in my house with my house
members was one of the greatest learning experiences that I could
ever get out of Kahunui.
One of my favorite parts of my time spent here was when we went sea
kayaking. I really enjoyed sea kayaking because I was challenged
about the right amount, it was very relaxing, and the view was
beautiful. When I got back to Kahunui, I immediately wanted to go
back. Another event I enjoyed at Kahunui was when we went on house
tramp. House tramp was the very first tramp we did, and you do it in
your house groups. I had never really been tramping before, and I was
a bit worried about it, but after I did it I realised that I shouldn’t have
worried at all.
But my most favourite part of being at Kahunui was when we had
communal dinners. Communal dinners are when the whole intake has
dinner together in the big dining room. I absolutely love communal
dinners because it is a time when everyone mixes together and
becomes friends, the food is so good, and most of all, we don’t have to
do dishes!
I have loved being at Kahunui, and the best thing that I learnt is that it
pays to take every opportunity that you get, because if you don’t you
will always look back and regret not doing it.
By Cassandra
We aim to be 25% food sustainable
by 2015. My goals were to work
with different people and
contribute service. I helped build
the chicken coop, put up the wire
and drilled holes. I achieved my
goals by getting to know how
people work and learning the skills
required to achieve the
construction of the chicken run.
The earth is a home is many
birds, trees, animals, insects
sometimes you won’t realise
many people don’t
but the earth is our big home
we’ve simply moved onto it
built houses and lived in our
If we just take a walk in the forest
appreciating the beauty of
mother nature
Maybe we’d realise
Snipers lined up
behind the front line
Wickedly glinting
in the sunlight
Awaiting for the command
to fire
As sharp as a knife
crisp, clean, faster
than you can see
As they line up,
a sinister stillness settles
Focused, concentrating
In a heartbeat,
there comes a bang.
Coming to Kahunui was an apprehensive and
nervous journey for me. However, during my 28
days, I have learned to open up and include more
people. Learning new skills, making more friends
and making new values are just part of what I
have gained along the journey. Kahunui has made
me take time to reflect about myself, others and
value opportunity.
By Sonia
My 28 days
During my 28 days of Kahunui, I have learned many new and
interesting things. Learning more values, getting to know more
people and being more independent than I have been back at
home. In addition to what I have learned, Kahunui has provided
me with an unlimited amount of opportunities and activities.
At first, I was nervous coming here and apprehensive of what they
had planned for us. However, after a week at Kahunui, I had
finally relaxed and got to know the people in my house. As a team,
we worked together well, were fair towards each other and in the
process, had fun too. Sure, there were some challenging times
such as solving a problem or general problems in our house.
Going through the ups and downs with other people in my house
and Intake 1 has made a big connection between us.
The outdoor activities I went on were just another opportunity to
explore, to have fun and get to know more people. Not to mention
how to cook and set up tents. Building the chicken coop was my
footprint project and it was so much fun because it provided me
with the opportunity to learn about how to use everyday things
such as drills and hammers. I was put into a group of people I do
not usually work with but by co-operating and being open, we
soon were laughing and focusing on getting the job done.
In the end, I think i did well because I was well focused and
determined to get the job done. By being physically and mentally
challenged at Kahunui, I have set goals to become a better and
more reflective person.
By Sonia
Devon’s Kahunui Adventure
The main issue I identified was protecting the
bio-diversity. My goal was to sustainably repair
the boardwalks, which were a safety hazard
because of the uneven terrain. I decided to build
steps, as they would do the least damage to the
roots. I achieved my goal by making steps that
would last well and are safer for future intakes.
Activity Report
As part of Kiwi Girl Programme, we all got the
chance to go motor boating. We were the first
intake ever to go which was really exciting. We
had a mixture of girls that had experience driving
and some girls that had never set foot in a boat
before. We drove out to Motuotu Island where we
had afternoon tea then some girls went fishing
while Gina, Tessa and I went for a swim.
Environmental Poem
Sometimes in life we have decisions to
And different paths to take,
Sometimes there’s an easy way out,
Or another way about,
Sometimes we need to take the hard way,
And try as hard as we may,
Because everything mends,
And it will be worth it in the end.
My 28 Days
My 28 days at Kahunui have been an experience of a lifetime and I am so thankful
that I have been given this opportunity. It has been such a great adventure from
which I have gained so many close friends that I am sure I will have for life. It has
been challenging at times but we have learned to overcome this together which has
brought us closer.
When we first arrived at Kahunui it was so overwhelming and the reality of being
here had not really set in. It was so surreal, we had been looking forward to this
moment for so long and suddenly we were here.
Being in a new house with girls I hardly knew was one of my favourite parts of
Kahunui. Looking back now, it is amazing to see how far we have come, both as
individuals and as a team. An aspect of Kahunui I have really enjoyed is the
independence we have been given in our houses. From this we have learned about
time management, responsibility, teamwork and initiative.
It is hard to pin point one highlight, in one short month I have been on House Tramp,
Valley Tramp and Sea Kayak, taken part in Kahunui Challenge, spent a night in the
bush on Survival, completed my Footprint Project, baked High Tea, received letters,
slept under the stars and so much more.
Since being at Kahunui I have gained so many new skills and knowledge about the
outdoors. Throughout House Tramp and Valley Tramp we learned how to read maps
correctly, interpret contour lines and read bearings, we found out about
stratification of the forest, rocks and native trees. These are skills that I will be able
to take into the future.
Survival was probably one of the biggest challenges but one of the moments I am
most proud of. My goal at the beginning of Kahunui was to give everything a go
because I knew that if I did not that I would regret it later so I pushed myself to do
Level One. There were moments where I woke up in the middle of the night freezing
and thought about giving in, but looking back, I am so glad that I did not because
waking up the next morning was one of the best feelings I have ever experienced.
From being here at Kahunui, I have learned so many valuable life lessons and created
memories that I will cherish forever. It has been an amazing journey that I will never
forget. As we are nearing the end of Kahunui, I am realising how much I will miss it
and all the girls here. This month I have taken every opportunity I have been given
and have been pushed outside my comfort zone but I am happy to be leaving
Kahunui with no regrets. Kahunui has been a full on month full of laughter and
memories, I am so grateful for the chance we have been given and I am so proud to
be a part of Intake One 2013.
By Devon Lowyim
Amelia's Amazing Adventure!
Environmental Art
The issue I identified was 25%
food sustainable by 2015. My
goal was to educate the
students on healthy eating. I
made a healthy cookbook, using
recipes involving foods from the
garden. Each recipe is
separated into intakes
depending on what foods are in
season. I achieved my goal and
put books into each house.
Environmental Art Poem
The environment is an open road to the world of unknown,
The sea is an empty bowl of hidden secrets,
Full of wonderful wonders,
The sun shines and heats up the warm inviting sea,
Puffy clouds like candy floss float in the sky,
The joyful fish jump around cheerfully,
The clean and green seaweed sways as the current flows,
The crystal clear water glitters as the sun dances on the surface.
Suddenly a large shadow forms in the distance,
Ripples are created and small waves drift,
The shadow is now an object,
It stops abruptly.
Dark black liquid oozes out of the big object floating,
Polluting the water it sits there smirking,
Ignoring it's destruction,
The water slowly changes to a dark gloomy shade,
Grey murky clouds shape in the sky,
The bright sunshine covered with dim colourless clouds,
The fishes gradually float to the surface,
The happiness is drained out of them,
They are as still as statues.
The object starts to move and more waves are created,
It maneuvers backwards and disappears
into the empty distance,
Leaving behind the dirty and murky creations it has made.
Survival night
It was a cold and frosty night and with limited gear we were all
freezing! Although, no matter how cold we were we still managed to
enjoy ourselves and have a bunch of fun. Building a bivi was a
breeze as we had already learned how to build one on house
tramp. I found survival night a struggle but I still had a lot of fun.
When we woke up we were given hot raro from the tutors and it was
the highlight of the day, as it warmed up our hands and fingers. I
really enjoyed survival night and I would consider it a moment I was
proud of.
My 28 Days
The day I arrived at Kahunui I did not know what to expect. I had all sorts of emotions about my
next month to come. It was exciting but also nerve-wrecking when we walked off the bus and took
our first step onto Kahunui grounds. It was different than I had expected, in my eyes all I saw was
an unfamiliar place crowed with people I did not know but I was eager to connect with.
As time slowly ticked on we formed a group on a grassy area, we each had a small rock at our feet
symbolising our experience that we were going to encounter. As we stood there in complete
silence the wind blowing through my hair and the deafening drumming beats of my heart pounding
like a hammer to a nail one of the instructors started to speak. They began reading out names, 8 of
them then a short pause. They were reading out the house lists. First they read out P&F house my
heart was still thumping I started to twiddle my thumbs as my anxiety started to build. When I finally
heard my name, my anxiety was knocked down. I was placed in Wairaka house. As soon as they
finished reading out all of the houses we all went to our house and met in the dining room. We
were introduced to our house tutors and were shown our rooms for the first 2 weeks.
Today is my 25th day at Kahunui, I only have three more days left until I may never come back here
again. I have had the most amazing time here and I love it so much I do not want to leave. I have
learned so many life skills and have had my talents tested, my abilities challenged and my limits
pushed. I have enjoyed my time here so much including memories full of fun, laughter and
Our house has formed together and we have created a family. We treat each other with respect
and trust each other. I have made new friends and have experienced something I will never forget.
My experience here will stay with me forever and follow me through tough times and challenges. I
hope that one day my daughter will enjoy the time I spent here as much as I did. It has been a big
learning experience and I think I will grow from my time spent here. Before I came to Kahunui I felt
like I was looking for something and as my time grew from being here I have finally found what I
was looking for, myself.
By Amelia Marshall
Life Poem
Life has a beginning
A tall Totora tree
Would have only been born from a seed
An old wise owl
Would have only been born from an egg
A fluttering butterfly
Would have only been hatched from a cocoon
A beach filled with sand
Would have only been a few jagged rocks
Life has an ending
The Totora tree will one day be dead
The old wise owl will not be able to go on
A fluttering butterfly will eventually stop
The sand will be washed away
But an ending does not mean to cease
An ending simply means that new beginnings can be created
Cooking and Catering
There is so much to learn in the kitchen, you would
be surprised. Cooking is during Kiwi Girl, when the
other people go and do outdoor activities and guess
what? You are stuck in the kitchen. But that is a
very good thing, for someone who loves food as
much as I do; I think it is vital to know how to make
what you eat. There are many, many chopping
techniques which are very much helpful in the
future. Hopefully you will still remember those
techniques when you are old and making dinner for
your children. Be sure to remember to wear a hat,
tie your hair up, wear shoes and an apron when you
are cooking because it would be very terrible if
someone ate your food and got food poisoning. That
is something you would not like to have. Cooking in
the kitchen is very interesting as you learn simple
life lessons such as precisely following steps and
keeping clean. Hopefully everyone else enjoyed
cooking as much as I did.
The issue that I identified was that I
wanted to preserve the biodiversity. My
goals were to help make a healthy pond
and to learn more about nature. I planted
flax along the edge to protect the pond from
dust, put rocks in the pond for fish to hide
and planted trees along the edge for
shade. I found out which types of native
plants are suitable.
My 28 Days (Or rather 25 from when I wrote this)
Twenty-five Days ago (because it is only day 25 today) I was stepping out of a
bus with twenty-two other girls from St. Cuthbert’s. I did not really know
what to expect, maybe a bit of outdoors, cooking but I was really quite
unsure of what was ahead of me. I remember feeling the sadness of leaving
home, but the excitement of going somewhere new.
Eighteen Days ago, on the second Sunday at Kahunui, I began to
understand the majority of people in my household. I had also experienced
my first tramp; house tramp. This gave me the opportunity to get closer to
people that I do not usually talk too. I learned about trees, nature and being
in the bush in general. After house tramp, we had K challenge where we
were challenged in diverse ways. I worked hard in a team, persisted when I
had struggles and encouraged myself physically. In the same week, I had
survival, where I tested myself by not having food or warmth during a cold
Eleven days ago, after the second week of being at Kahunui it made me
realize other ways and perspectives of looking at things. I found out how
important family and friends were and I missed people back at home. In this
week, we had our second outdoor weekend which for me was sea kayaking. I
learned an important lesson that with failure, you learn. I also had my
interview with my house tutor which was really good because it gave me time
to talk about my reflections and how I feel about Kahunui.
Four days ago, the end of the third week, I have had more experiences in
different things. I had done cooking that taught me many techniques in the
kitchen. Making many dishes of food and preparing for eight people was fun
and I enjoyed that. I had footprint where I did physical work such as shifting
heavy stones and gardening. I learned that sometimes it is quicker when you
do things by yourself and you do not always need to have someone with you.
In our third outdoor weekend, valley tramp taught me about nature and it
made me realize that all trees are special and we should really respect our
This week had been a concluding week for me. The experiences at Kahunui
are something I will never forget. Lying under the stars is when I reflected on
my time here. Kahunui is a really great experience and I hope that whoever
comes to Kahunui will enjoy their time as much as I did.
I call it a journey
We were trying to achieve the goal of being 25% food sustainable by 2015
and protecting the biodiversity. My goals were to plant a dust hedge,
install irrigation and weeding. My actions were planting feijoa trees,
installing irrigation, weeding and moving two plants. In the end I found
planting three feijoa trees could stop dust from blowing in.
Environmental art poem
The flowers are a solid RED
The evening sun is brilliant ORANGE
The sun is shiny
The water is a glittering BLUE
The trees are a colourful GREEN
The fish are a glowing INDIGO
The birds are a vibrant VIOLET
A RAINBOW includes all of these
The Kahunui Challenge
We got all dressed up in our house colours. Red for
Parents and Friends, blue for Old girls and green for
Wairaka. We had to make up chants and shout them out.
Puzzles were the next thing on the list; everyone got
series of laminated paper with puzzling questions on
them. There was a Sudoku, and some word puzzles.
Running with four people on a wooden pole was intense,
you all had to keep up with each other. We had to cross
the river quite a few times. So the people that had to go
through the river with the wooden pole got absolutely
soaking. Overall everyone had heaps of fun and
everyone worked so well together, even though there
was only one winner I think everyone won in their own
Natalia Pearson
My 28 days
Sitting on the bus waiting to travel hours to Kahunui, a camp that I was going to stay at for one month, seeing my parents getting
smaller and smaller in the distance made me feel lonely, just for a little while, until I looked beside me and saw my friend. Then I knew
that I was not alone. The bus drive was enjoyable, I could sit and talk to my friends but I could tell that everyone was very nervous.
We finally arrived at Kahunui; it looked way different than what I expected it would be. I had only seen a few pictures of it though so I
guess I did not know what it really looked like. I got to meet all the staff that I was going to get to know in the next four weeks. I found
the beginning quite strange, how they had little meetings before everyone did anything, I guess I wasn’t used to it. Finding about my
house was nerve racking; I was worried about who was going to be in my house. Everyone was as nervous and as worried as I was.
Names were called out, we all got numbers, lines were formed, and tutors were introduced. I was put in the red house called Parents
and Friends. I then looked around my new house and began to unpack. We had been allocated rooms and beds. Making my bed, taking
everything out of my bags and into cubbyholes. My goal was to try to stay clean and tidy throughout my whole time at Kahunui. I was
about to spend my whole time at Kahunui with people that I hardly knew, I was thought about what these people would be like to live
with and work with.
The first week was all about learning about the environment and learning how things worked. Everyone did exercises and games to be
able to get to know one another. I really like the people in my intake, they were funny, nice, kind and I was looking forward to finding
more about them.
House tramp was getting near so we had to pack, I started to get used to everyone in my house so I could have a really good
conversation with everyone and tell them about myself. We got showed how to pack efficiently. Sleeping bag and sleeping mat at the
bottom inside the pack liner so they wouldn’t get wet if it rained or if we fell in the water. Warm clothes like polypro’s, beany, socks
and other stuff. Then we got some gear like raincoats, overpants, gaters that go over our tramping shoes and walking poles. The next
day I started off on my house tramp, walking for what felt like ages because my packs was so so heavy, I wasn’t use to the weight so it
was quite difficult. I walked into the bush and came to the riverside. What a good place to stop, everyone agreed, so that’s where the
first stop was. Unpacking the tents and putting them up was a challenge because most of us had no idea what we were doing. All of us
finished then unpacked my stuff then started to make dinner. Oh that was yummy.
The next day we all set off again to another spot, we all did various things on the way like building a bivouac, bivi for short. After that I
walk quite along way to the next destination. Climbing up a hill was hard with my heavy pack on but I managed to get there. We set up
camp faster then the first time because we had had some practice the first time. Everyone did an exercise about what qualities we
were looking for in our house. Cooking dinner again on trangia because there was a fire ban. Dinner again was yummy so that was
good. Sleep time was good after a big day of walking and doing activities.
The next day was the day that we were going to walk back to Kahunui. I packed up and set off down the hill, it was quite dangerous,
trying not to slip and have the fast but damaging way down to Kahunui. Down the hill, back to my house and I started to unpack our
We had communal dinner and that was really nice my house had to cook it but I was really tired so I had a sleep while the rest of my
house made dinner for the whole intake. Yummy. It was good to catch up with my friends and to talk to them about their experiences
at house tramp. They said that they had quite a lot of fun and they told me about what they did.
The next few days were about learning more things about the environment and other classes like languages, environment stuff and
some more things as well.
Week two was basically the same but we did the Kiwi Girl Program. There was cooking and the other half of the intake did ‘rowing’ but
that was actually motor boating. But that was fun anyway. I did some more classes and I also did shopping for the next outdoor
weekend. There was either sea kayaking or valley tramp. I was going to do valley tramp first so I had to pack basically the same thing as
house tramp.
Heading off to valley tramp was excited; I was looking forward to see what it was going to be like. It was going to be a very long walk
and everyone had a goal to have more then ten swims in the whole entire valley tramp experience. We all had another goal to learn
about ten native trees and to show initiative. The first walk was a long way and we all had a couple of swims on the way to our lunch
stop. My lunch got all squished. Yuck. I got to our first campsite and set up flies and got all sorted for dinner, then had the yummiest
Tim Tam slams. Yummy. Bed time I had an all right sleep because I was sleeping on a tree root. The next day we were going to walk
downs the gorge. It was fine but it was really slippery on the rocks in the river when we were crossing the river and I did that heaps of
times. We had heaps of swims that day; the water was very cold though so I didn’t have as many swims as others did. I went back to
camp after a long day of walking. Dinner was good and my sleep was good but it took me a while to get to sleep. Walking home today
was a very long walk, we had some more swims and the walk seemed to go on for ages. My friends and I collected heaps of
blackberries on the trip.
In the next days I had started my footprint project. I had decided to do a dust hedge with my friend. We did a series of things like plan
what trees we were going to plant, how many trees and where. We got three feijoa trees and planted them in-between Wairaka and
the director’s house. We installed the irrigation for it and then the next day we work on our presentation. But we still had not finished
the physical labor, so we had to do some weeding. We had finished that so then we did our hard copy for Mr. F and our presentation. A
few days after that we had to present our work to everyone in the round room. I think our presentation went well, and I really enjoyed
hearing about what other had done.
Week four went well we had High Tea and that was really good we had to make all the food and we did that by having a master chef
competition. I came third some I was pretty please with all my houses hard work and it all paid off, the food was great and the
atmosphere was good as well. We had loads of sandwiches and loads of sweet things as well.
My Pathway
In a Nutshell
The main issue is to be 25% food sustainable by 2015.
My personal goal was to improve and update the
house vegetable gardens. I weeded and trimmed back
all of the unneeded plants, then planted various
lettuces, rocket and herbs in each of the gardens. I feel
I have successfully completed my goal, I am very proud
of what I have achieved.
Sea Kayaking
Sea Kayaking was personally the highlight of my Kahunui experience. It was
a time of laughter, fun and learning. Although there were challenges along
the way, persevering through those and continuing on our journey as a team
was one of the most rewarding things during my time at Kahunui.
We did a huge variety of things on sea kayaking, and it will be as good as
you choose to make it, the opportunities are always offered and only you will
choose how much fun you decide to have!
Our Journey
A spiral of sand, all leading to the
same place
On the same journey
Just like us,
Going through the highs and lows,
The shells all lined up together,
Look as one
Act as one
Just like us
But when separated
Are individuals,
With their own perks and faults,
Just like us
My 28 Days
My 28 days here at Kahunui has been a huge experience, and one that I will never forget. From
Day 1 it has been a full on time, filled with laughter, challenges and new beginnings.
Finally arriving at the Kahunui grounds put so much of my mind at ease. The constant thought
of, “what will it be like?” was suddenly wiped from my brain and all I could think about was
what was right in front of me. With so much to take in and so many foreign things surrounding
me, it was very overwhelming but despite this the excitement was still as high as ever.
Being put into a new house with new people was one of my favourite parts of the whole
experience. Looking back on how far we have come as a team and as individuals is mind
blowing and really shows how much we have all learned. Spending my nights lying in bed,
talking to my new friends that I have grown so close to over the last month, is something I will
truly miss.
Our first outdoor adventure together, was house tramp. It was an extremely new thing to most
of us, and being in the same position as each other is something that I think really drew us
closer. How to put a pack on, setting up tents and how to cook on a trangia are all things I had
absolutely no clue about before I came to Kahunui, and now it all feels normal to me.
Valley Tramp was also a big learning experience. With so many laughs and stories shared, I
really grew closer with my group. That particular tramp was a great time for me to branch out
of my comfort zone and get stuck in, and I definitely feel I did that. I did not let a chance go by,
I took the learning on offer and I contributed to the team achieving a high standard. The warm
feeling I got while sitting in a huge circle together, sharing riddles and drinking hot chocolate
is one of the best feelings I have had here at Kahunui.
Some of the main highlights for me would be the independence we were given to look after the
house, especially the cooking. Although all of the cleaning could feel like a bit of a burden and
could become quite stressful at times, I now realize how much I learned from those experiences
like time management, initiative, responsibility and the importance of everyone pulling their
weight. The cooking was always so much fun! Being able to plan our own menus, and doing
our supermarket shopping made me really appreciate all of the effort that goes into a delicious
The Sea Kayaking weekend made Kahunui for me. The pure joy of all working together, and
completing a difficult challenge we all set, was something I had never experienced before. The
encouragement, determination and friendships that were made are all the contributors to
what made it so special and a memory that I will hold on to forever.
Kahunui for me, has been a time of realization. A time where I discovered who I am and where
I am going. I have made new friends, and learned skills that I will carry with me throughout
my whole life. There have been ups and downs, and it has not always easy but reflecting on
what I have achieved and how far I have come, makes me so grateful to have had this
opportunity, and so proud to be the person that I am today.
By Rebecca Duignan
My 28 days
From the start to end it has been a rollercoaster. It has had its ups and
downs but in the end it is all a part of the Kahunui experience. From the
second I got on the bus I did not know what I was getting myself into. All
the skills I have learnt here are going to be with me for the rest of my
life. The friendships, the memories, the time here will never be forgotten.
It has been a memorable experience and I am lucky to have had the
opportunity to come and explore and experience the other side of life that
I really never knew existed. Learning and creating the skills that I have
gained has been a highlight of my time here. It has also taught me I have
to appreciate the environment more.
Another one of my highlights was house tramp, it really helped me to get to
know the girls in my house better and learning more about them was
interesting. In survival I got to know the girls in my group better, which
was good because I only knew the girls in my house well. The Kahunui
challenge was also lots of fun and I learnt people strengths and weakness.
It also taught me about encouragement and that everyone needs support.
In the first week it was just about getting to know everyone better and
creating new friendships. Then in the second week I had Valley Tramp and
that was more about getting to know the girls in our group not just our
house but our outdoor group! I really liked how we did it with different
girls and so I got to know them better!
Week two and three were more about making stronger relationships with
others! During Valley Tramp and the kiwi girl program I just started to
gain knowledge about other people and more about their personality. I
enjoyed week two and three especially because I learnt a lot not just about
others but also about the environment and it made me look at the
environment differently. Getting to know different trees and the layers of
the forest was something I was really fascinated about because I never
thought I would ever be able to walk in the bush and go “look that is a
Rimu tree”.
High tea this week showed me we have all changed from the start, as a team,
as a house and as individuals we have all grown. The experiences I have had
will never be forgotten but cherished. As we are near the end of our time I
have realized the value of Kahunui and I appreciate every little bit of it.
As the experience on its own it is an adventure that will never be
Kelsey Snelgar
Experience of a lifetime
The main issue I identified was
being 25% food sustainable by
2015. My goal was to make a
natural fertilizer that will help
with the gardens, be
environmentally friendly, be easy
to make and apply. I used
comfrey. I gathered comfrey, put
it in a barrel of rainwater left
it to soak for two weeks. I
achieved my goal and set it up
for future intakes.
It’s a Rollercoaster ride
Ups and downs
We grow and learn
Connections become stronger
Working as a team
Friendships start
Memories we wont forget
Night chats
Trusting in each other
Always there when you need them
One big family
Lying on the green patched
A Velvet blanket is covering
the sky
Little twinkles of light
You can hear something
singing, talking
Little buzzing noises
The river running
Trickling downstream
Trees swaying in the wind
A cool breeze wisps by
Shivers sent up your spine
So Peaceful
Just sit and watch
Once in a Lifetime
The issue identified was to increase
biodiversity and to be 95% pest free by 2025. I
aimed to learn about all pests at Kahunui and
methods of monitoring these and birds. I took
five-minute bird counts and implemented
tracking tunnels to understand pest effects on
native bird life and researched these birds and
pest prints for the tunnels.
The Adventure
Shells rest separate on a sandy beach,
Girls on a bus sit close in proximity, yet distant in
A branch is a bridge to new beginnings,
As individuals we are on our own journey
Or the defeat of a challenge
Having our own highs and lows
A stem supports a leaf
We stand up for each other, going day by day as a
Fallen leaves are what once were fresh.
A new skill means something else left behind.
Petals lie side by side on a blooming flower,
Day 28, we have a unique connection together.
Flowers need others in order to spread
One bond between 23, though always open for more to
A circle is a never-ending link
Friendships made to remember forever.
By Gina
My 28 days
My time spent here at Kahunui has truly been an experience of a lifetime. I think that
being here has gifted me with a whole range of new skills, memories, experiences,
and friends. My intake and I have become a tight ‘family’ after our time here and I
look forward to having that bond for the rest of my school years.
My favourite parts of Kahunui were during the outdoor times when we were put out
of our comfort zone and had the opportunity to develop our skills and learn new ones.
The three day sea kayaking trip was a huge highlight because of the way our group
got along, all as great friends, and how we were challenging ourselves at all times and
had the option to take our learning and adventure to the next level.
Generally, living on the Kahunui campus for a whole month has been a huge
experience for me. A friendly face is found anywhere and the ease and function of the
area makes Kahunui a really special experience, which I know I will not have the
chance to ever do again. My bond with my Old Girls house members would probably
be the most important at Kahunui, I live with them, I cook with them, I dorm with
them and so much more. They are the people I can trust and rely on to help me
through tough times, and they are the ones who I share the strongest memories of
bonding, laughing and connecting with.
Undertaking our footprint projects has also been an amazing learning adventure for
me. Not only have I developed a real understanding of sustainability, but also my
appreciation for the environment has increased a great deal. I focused on increasing
the biodiversity of Kahunui, particularly that of native bird species. I have really
enjoyed being given the chance to explore an area in which I am interested and loved
sharing all my new knowledge with the intake as well as learning theirs.
In a way, every day has challenged me while at Kahunui. My skills have been tested
to the limit, but I think this is what makes it so exciting, and what keeps me motivated
to get up at 6.30am every morning! In one month I have been on two three-day
tramps, river tubing, swimming and jumping, regular fitness mornings, outdoor
briefings, survival, and the upcoming solo, as well as many more activities and
classes which have all contributed to making my personal Kahunui time amazing.
The prospect of being away from home on a great adventure for a month seemed
almost unreal at first, but as I am nearing the end of my 28 days, I value my family
and friends so much more while here.
It is hard to pinpoint the best parts of Kahunui, because everything has honestly been
so much fun, and I will remember my time here forever. I am so happy to have had
the chance to come to Kahunui and be apart of intake 1 2013.
Gyllians adventure at kahunui
The main issue is to protect the
biodiversity. My goal was to
learn, build and complete the
boardwalks, which were
incomplete and a safety hazard.
Instead of a boardwalk I built
steps and instead of wood for
the bottom I used rocks so we
did not have to cut the roots off
the trees. I achieved my goal by
completing the steps.
The main issue is to protect the
biodiversity. My goal was to learn, build
and complete the boardwalks, which
were incomplete and a safety hazard.
Instead of a boardwalk I built steps and
instead of wood for the bottom I used
rocks so we did not have to cut the roots
off the trees. I achieved my goal by
completing the steps.
Environmental Art
Activity Report
Mail is something all girls love. When they receive them they let out a scream
of excitement. Every girl after they receive their letters, reads them and
immediately they get out their writing equipment to start their replies.
Receiving letters from yours parents is probably the best, just knowing people
are thinking and missing you can make a depressed girl into the happiest girl
in the world.
My 28 Days
My 28 days at kahunui have been stunning. Kahunui is an adventure I would
never had thought I would experience and also one I might not be able to
have again.
Being put into a house chosen randomly with strangers and knowing
nothing about them made me become very scared. I stood there with a
rock that symbolized our arrival by my feet with the wind in my hair.
When they started saying the names for the houses I started playing
with my hair and twiddling with my thumbs I was in the first house they
called out which was P&F (parents & friends) I was the last person in
that house called out and my number was 8. None of my friends were in
my house, I started feeling numb and scared for what was coming for me
in the future, in this house we were all from different groups and all
different personalities.
Now it is my 25th day at kahunui and I have been through so much, I have had
many downs but so many more ups. What Mrs. Furminger says about the
rollercoaster ride is all true, it is really nice to know that the whole time you
had new amazing friends helping you along the rollercoaster and you did the
same back. I have learned how to cook in the bush with a trangia, how to
pack for tramping properly and many things about the environment.
On the first week I really just wanted to go home but now I do not want to
leave my bed. I love this place and everyone here, now even at six in the
morning I am glad I wake up in paradise with amazing people.
Nothing is still
You are not still
The universe is not still
Time is not still
People wish to pause those precious
But then people wish wishes were
People tell us to be still for a second
But that’s impossible
People say things are impossible
But some prove them wrong
So I challenge you to be still
But it’s impossible
Activity Photo
Kahunui has been an incredible journey, which I am very thankful for. I have thoroughly
enjoyed my time here, learning so much, having fun and getting to know new people. I will
cherish these 28 days forever, as I have learned so many valuable life lessons, made new
friends and gained lots of memories.
When I walked into the welcoming ceremony with the other girls around me it felt surreal. I
did not know what to expect, being away from my family for a month; however, the time
seems to have gone by quickly. The staff seemed so kind and genuine, willing to help us with
We soon got settled in to the normal routine and in no time became an inclusive family with
passion and enthusiasm. Everyone was open, honest, friendly, caring and willing to help
each other. We favoured the moments we were together and had some down time so we
could just slow down, reflect on everything and prepare for our busy schedule.
My highlights of the Kahunui adventure were Valley Tramp, Sea Kayaking, Tubing, Survival
Night, High Tea, the shopping trip, receiving letters and of course my Footprint Project.
I had never been for an overnight tramp before Kahunui, so House and Valley Tramp were
really exciting. Although the packs were heavy and walking did get tiring, I looked beyond
that and realized how nice it was to be in the bush, surrounded by native birds and trees,
getting that alone time to think. I challenged myself and took risks. Sleeping in a bivvy was
not exactly my idea of fun, and to top it off on sea kayaking, sleeping under the stars was
even better. Looking at the vast sky lit up, hearing birds and insects, and then waking up
early to watch the sunrise was just unbelievable.
Throughout the outdoor weekends I have learned new skills like how to read a map
correctly, interpreting contour lines and using a compass, I learned the stratification of the
forest and many native trees, we also studied Godwits and their journey across the sea.
One of my proudest moments was probably Survival Night. I chose challenge 1, the most
difficult with limited resources. At night it was freezing! I was so desperate for warmth and
really wanted to get my sleeping bag, however, I persevered through the night and did not
give in.
Overall, I have loved my month away! Whether it be the outdoor weekends, to making
brownies in the house, everything was worth while and significant. I have put in my all, have
no regrets and in every respect enjoyed the opportunity.
I think connection,
I think strength,
What is a connection?
What is strength?
Connection is a link,
A relationship
A connection has strength
Strength is an attribute,
A highlight
Strength has a connection.
Representing the two,
I think rings,
I think circles,
Both have strength,
Both have connection.
Natural Resources,
Pine Cones, Leaves, Branches
All have a link,
All have a relationship,
All have an attribute,
All have a highlight,
The main issue I identified was becoming 25% food
sustainable by 2015. My goal was to create a
sustainable chicken coop. I dug holes for posts,
concreted them in, attached chicken wire fencing and
finally secured a door with a lock. I achieved my goal
by successfully making a chicken run and a future
project is to build the coop.
On Day 24 we had an exciting
afternoon. It was titled
Masterchef. We got a box of
ingredients delivered to us
and we had 3 hours to create
a variety of dishes suitable
for a high tea. We would be
appearance, taste, variety,
and technique.
After the 3 hours we walked
into the dining room all
dressed up, to see our
beautifully presented foods,
precisely set tables and a
magical room.
We greeted our guests Mr
and Mrs Parkinson, and then
began eating away. The food
tasted amazing, so petit and
carefully crafted, also very
Towards the end the judges
tallied up the scores to reveal
Wairaka House the Winners!
We got presented with a
giant spoon, had a photo
taken then went back to our
Molly Walters
Melissa’s Journey
Environmental Art Photo
My goal is to preserve Kahunui’s
biodiversity. I focused on the damage insect
repellents do to plants. I created my own
repellent and I tested and researched on
aerosol and spray repellents. I found that
hydrocarbon in aerosol repellents is harmful
to plants as it stops photosynthesis from
occurring, while spray insect repellents do
little/no harm.
Arriving at Kahunui
Excited chatter
ripples through the bus bay.
Tears are shed
between parents and children.
A final wave
and the bus leaves…
Arriving at Kahunui
nervous talking.
New place.
New people.
New experience.
New family.
Standing in a circle
crossing fingers
to be put into a house
with good friends.
Split into house groups
hardly knowing the other girls.
Enduring through hard times
together as a house.
Knowing all the girls
inside and out.
Melissa Wang
Scenery at Sea Kayaking
The red streaked sky
hangs above us all.
The ocean is lit up
by the bright golden sun.
As eight yellow kayaks
paddle their way home.
The wind blows gently
lending a hand.
Far away on the hills
is a camp set up by humans.
The birds chirp happily
welcoming them home.
The beauty of nature
is a fascinating thing.
Activity Photo
My 28 Days
Nearly four weeks have passed since I arrived at Kahunui. At first, I was very nervous and scared as
Kahunui was a new place, with new faces and new rules. During the past 28 days many experiences
and challenges have come my way but I have learnt to overcome/undergo it. Living in houses has
taught me a range of things, from relating to others to cooking and cleaning. Living in the bush and out
at sea has taught me vital survival skills.
It all started 28 days ago at the St Cuthbert’s College bus bay in Epsom, Auckland. Excited chatter
rippled through the bus bay at St Cuthbert’s College. It was the first Sunday morning of February and
the Year 10 girls of Intake 1 were getting ready to depart for a five-hour journey to Kahunui. As each
girl boarded the bus and waved a final goodbye to their parents, the beginning of a 28 day camp
begun. The bus trip was like any other bus trip, however everyone was nervous. For most of them, it
was going to be the longest time they have been away from their parents.
After five long hours, the girls finally arrived at Kahunui. It was all very different and all very new; new
faces, new rules and new families. The 24 girls were split randomly into three houses: Old Girls, P&F
and Wairaka. Amongst the eight girls assigned to Old Girls house, I was one of them. When the seven
of us arrived at the house (one of the girls had not arrived yet as she was sick), we were all scared but
keen to make new friends.
28 days later, the eight of us have become very close friends. We have gone through many tough times
together. Such as House Tramp, Kahunui Challenge and Master Chef. All of us have been through many
ups and downs and we have all gotten through it. I think Kahunui is a great experience. When I get
back to Auckland I will help out more at home, as I know how hard it is to do so many dishes and other
The highlight of the 28 days here is the Sea Kayaking outdoor trip. I loved the views and I really liked
working with my kayak partner. I learnt a lot about her past and about her personality. The outdoor
trips have taught me a lot of skills. Such as map reading, setting up a tent, using a trangia and capsizing
a boat.
The most challenging activity was Survival night. We were assigned into groups of three. The three of
us built a bivouac and together, we stayed a night in it. During the night, the temperature dropped. It
was really cold but I knew that I could not give up. Even though our sleeping bags were just a few steps
away from us. We were determined that we would not use it. When the next morning finally came by,
we were all so relieved but proud of ourselves.
Kahunui is one of the best experiences I have ever had. I will never forget my ‘family’ at Kahunui and all
the days and nights that we went through together.
Pieter’s Kahunui Journey
Footprint Photo:
Nut Shell:
My issue identified was to
contribute to 25% food sustainable
by 2015. I aimed to build a
sustainable chicken coop. I
researched why we needed a
chicken coop and helped construct
it. We dug holes, put posts in,
concreted them in, put up the wire,
secured the door with a lock on. We
have achieved our goal by building a
well constructed, run area.
Environment Poem
Environmental Art Photo:
Fitness started at 6:30 in the morning once every week and
went for an hour. We had to get up and drag ourselves out
into the freezing cold, but we were only cold for a minute.
After that minute we were either doing squats, sit ups, wall
sits, burpees, planking, push ups or running around all the
houses for an half hour warm up. Then it was either straight
to the hill or straight to the round room for aerobics. The
thing that got to us was not our legs hurting but our lungs.
The steep, towering hill made us gasp for air as we tried to
beat our first time or we would be doing it all again. But at the
end you felt really good and felt like it was all worth it. Yes it
was hard when we did it but afterwards we felt awake and
ready for the day. For our last fitness lesson we did aerobics
for a treat and could not stop laughing. It was both fitness and
fun. Fitness may not be so fun when we were doing it but
afterwards we felt so ready and energetic for the rest of the
day. Fitness was worth it.
The environment is not
What about the sweet sound
What people think it is,
birds chirping within the trees,
It is precious,
river as it flows towards the sea
It is delicate,
Looking for a way out,
And it will not last forever.
The sun as it sets behind the
Mountain horizon,
Do you really want the
Orange, pink, gold
Future generations
To not see the different
Or the trees as they
Shades of green
Swish in the wind,
In the rain forest,
beating their wings
The soft warm sand that
summer day,
Sinks between your toes
as they
The crystal clear sea as
Crumble beneath your feet,
It reflects the sun,
Orange, brown, gold
Blue, yellow, gold
Gold is expensive,
Gold is pure,
There is nothing quite
Like gold,
So what if I told you
There is gold in the
Then would you be interested.
My 28 days at Kahunui – Pieter Wilkinson
My 28 days at Kahunui did have downs like leaving our family and friends but were overflowing
with ups. I see Kahunui differently as I did when I first arrived here, as if they were completely
different places. The way I saw Kahunui when I arrived was a new place that I had to live for a
month without my family and I did not know how I would cope but now Kahunui is like a family to
me. When I look at Kahunui now memories flow through me of the time I had here with my new
friends. I know it sounds cheesy but my time at Kahunui has truely been an experience of a
There were so many activities and fun things to do that you do not have enough time to get upset
about leaving your family and friends. You are too busy tramping in the outdoors, knowing every
tree you pass, sea kayaking in the harbor and trying to capsize your kayak, cooking in the kitchen,
being the new master chef, you are rowing and exploring new islands, swimming in the river,
jumping off the wharf, tramping in the valley and making memories that you will cherish for the
rest of your life.
My house is like a part time family. I have developed such a special connection with my
housemates that I ended up knowing everything about them even though I had never met them
before I arrived. By the end of the first week I knew my housemates so well it was as if we had
been long lost friends. After the first week I got to know the rest of my intake really well and did
not care who I ended up in a group with because I knew everyone so well. We have so many laughs
together and I learned so many new things about other people.
The Kiwi Girl Programe was great fun. The intake was split into two and one day half of the intake
went on a little adventure like motor boating and floating down the river on tubes and the other
half cooked lots of yummy treats. Then it swapped the next day. High tea and the Kahunui
challenge was a highlight. We got to show off all our skills for cooking and baking at high tea and
used our team work skills to cooperate in the Kahunui challenge.
Living in houses is just like flatting with my friends. We had to pay for water, electricity, food and
get a budget. Having a budget is so much fun. We worked out how much money we had left over
after taking away the water and electricity bill.
With the food, we tried so many new and yummy things. We developed great cooking skills and
now get more and more freedom with cooking like choosing most of our meals. We became so
great at cooking that at the end of Kahunui I would not be surprised if we were showing off our
master chef skills to our family when we get home and be giving them some tips.
I could not say what would be my favourite moment at Kahunui because there are too many.
Kahunui is a very special place that makes me realise how lucky and grateful I am of what I have. I
have changed in so many ways like being more grateful, cautious of the environment and have
developed a daring taste for adventure. I have been challenged and jumped at, as many
opportunities as possible. Kahunui is a once in a lifetime opportunity so I grabbed it and make the
most of it. I did not let any opportunity slip away. The worst thing we could have done was miss
out and watch everyone else have fun. I was not afraid to fail. I Took chances, learned from my
mistakes and never gave up.
Tubing down the Kahunui river was an activity that
intake 1 did as a part of the Kiwi Girl Programme. One
afternoon we all got geared up with our inner tubes
and life jackets and started heading toward the
Kahunui stream. Our first stop was a swimming hole
just a bit upstream. We made a train in the water by
lining up in our tubes and holding onto each other’s
legs. We paddled with our hands and moved
downstream. By the swimming hole was a tree that
had fallen across the river, we each climbed onto the
tree and jumped into the river. It was an exhilarating
feeling. The coldness of the water shocks you and
when you rise up to meet the air again you feel so
refreshed. Jumping off the tree was definitely a
highlight. We then continued tubing down the river, it
was so much fun! At one point the water was too
shallow and our bottoms were sliding across the algae
covered rocks. Tubing in the Kahunui stream was
something that will be remembered.
The issue I identified was that Kahunui has to be
25% food sustainable by 2015. My goal was to
build a suitable chicken coop able to hold freerange chickens for future intakes. In a group we
found an ideal area for the coop to be made in,
we ended up creating a 14.1m by 12.2m chicken
coop that encloses the right environmental
resources needed.
Bumpy ride starts
Salty spray hurts
Rocking back, forth
Perspiration trickles down
Slow burning muscles
Wind rushes to greet
Paddle slows down
Rhythm descends
Calm ride begins
Salty breeze soothes
Lukewarm water
Sea reflections ripple
Water grows shallow
Kayak wobbles
Stumbling out
Mud seeps through
Yellow glides on sand
Back on Land
It has been 28 days since I arrived in the driveway entrance of Kahunui.
During those 28 days I have had new experiences and new learning,
making Kahunui very educational to me. I have learnt a range of
essential everyday skills that I will need, including cooking skills, social
skills and outdoor living skills. With these new skills I will now be able
to go home and apply them to my everyday life.
Living with 7 people I have never really met properly was a good
chance to get a taste of how flatting would be. I found that having
good communication and co-operation was the key to having a
running household. Our house had a lot of fun being together,
midnight talks and dining table conversations are memories that I will
always hold.
Cooking our own meals and budgeting for our own food was
something that I found exciting. With the easy-to-follow recipes,
cooking was a breeze. Our cooking was always healthy, yet still
delicious. Lasagna, apricot chilly chicken and Asian fried rice were
some of the dishes we cooked, we hardly ever had leftovers. I am
looking forward to going home with a few more recipes up my sleeve.
Another aspect of Kahunui I will always treasure are the outdoor
activities we have done. Tramping was a totally new experience for
me, pitching tents, cooking on a trangia and swimming in rivers were
just some of the activities we did. One of the other outdoor activities
we did was sea kayaking. Having very little experience previously with
kayaking, it was nice to try something different. My favorite moment
kayaking would have to be when we were paddling around mini
islands on the second day. The view there was breathtaking.
Overall, Kahunui has been one of the best experiences of my life. Even
though I had some struggles and a few experiences of homesickness, I
know that it has made me a stronger person and I am grateful for it.
Kahunui has taught me so much and I have been able to form some
life-long relationships with many girls. I am proud to have had the
Kahunui experience, it has motivated me and taught me to grab every
possible opportunity out there.
Tessa’s Tremendous Trip
Nut Shell
The issue identified was to increase
biodiversity and be 95% pest free by
2025. My goal was to learn about five
minute bird counts, native birds and to
understand the affects of pests on bird
life. I took five-minute bird counts and
placed tracking tunnels. I found
numerous bird species and pest
footprints in my tunnels.
Water recedes from the harbour to be
Lowering across the sky the sun vacates
The temperatures drops preparing for the night
My mind commences wandering
My eyes go about observing
My feet begin to pace
I notice shades and definition of individual flora
I notice the distinctiveness of them alone
I notice the shore blend into a panorama
I am a big picture broken down into pixels
I am a collection of different attributes and
I am a unique blend
Activity Report – Valley Tramp
We were the first group to head off on valley
tramp and we were all in a great mood. On the
first day we made our way to Totara camp
swimming along the way to cool off. The next
day was really exciting for both the staff and
us, we went on a day tramp up to the Forks
and then down a gorge no one had been in for
a year. It was absolutely stunning and we
stopped numerous times along the way to
swim. That evening was awesome, we all
spent ages pondering over the teachers’
riddles. On the final day of the tramp we
headed back to Kahunui, I think that our
group really put in the effort to have a great
time and we learned all about native trees and
each other along the way.
Tessa Wylie
My 28 Days
My experience at Kahunui has been life changing and I feel my strengths
while I have been here have really changed. I have learned both from my
experiences in the household and gained so much knowledge in the
outdoors. My intake has really bonded and we work well as teams and
have made a great family.
My favourite part of Kahunui was the outdoor weekends and especially
sea kayaking. Our group all got on really well and we decided to use the
opportunity to challenge ourselves and work well as a team. We went
somewhere no one had ever been before and encouraged each other to
paddle long distances over the three days enjoying ourselves and getting
on with the teachers. House tramp was also a really important thing for
me as it was the beginning of getting to know the people I would live
with for a month, and we really made the most of this. We are now such a
strong group that we have succeeded in Kahunui Challenge and High Tea
but also feel that our house runs in a great way.
Another highlight for me here has been working through my footprint
project, I learned all about native birds and pests and it gave me a wider
perspective of caring for our native forest and birds. Gina and I
discovered information and began a project that I think Kahunui will
definitely benefit from in the future as they aim to achieve their goals.
There was still heaps of enjoyment from just working on the Kahunui
property either in lessons or cooking or on the Kiwi Girl Programme.
Through doing this and mixing up into different teams I have had a great
time. Strong relationships have been made and the Kahunui experience
is extremely worthwhile to me. Through ups and downs all of the
laughing and learning really stands out.