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South Auckland Schools Triumph at Wearable Arts Competition

Papatoetoe South School, Pukekohe Christian School and Pukekohe High School have scored the top prizes at the Beautification Trust’s annual Eye on Nature Wearable Arts competition. Youngsters dazzled a sold-out audience at the Due Drop Events Centre on Thursday night with their stunning eco-friendly creations.


Students from primary, intermediate, and secondary schools across Auckland were challenged to design garments around the theme ‘Act Local – Growing with Te Taiao’, inspired by local conservation and ecosystem restoration.

In the Primary category, first place was awarded to The Green Team at Papatoetoe South School for their entry, “Pasifika Southside Princess.” Their creation impressed the judges with its reworked materials that evoked royalty and Pasifika. The headpiece, made from wool and feathers, was particularly noted for its regal quality and the overall courageous construction of the garment.

Amy-Lee Roux and Milan Oliver from Pukekohe Christian School took first place in the Intermediate category with their entry, “Terralangi.” Their design was praised for its functional weave with an avant-garde twist. The judges appreciated the use of natural pigments and the innovative combination of natural and man-made materials.

In the High School category, Raquel Sheldon from Pukekohe High School won first place for her entry, “Rebirth.” Raquel's garment was celebrated for its excellent use of both natural and non-traditional materials in advocating for climate action. The judges were particularly impressed by the inclusion of seeds to symbolize new life. This is Raquel's second year in a row winning first place, an amazing achievement that highlights her exceptional talent and dedication.

The Beautification Trust Pick award, chosen by staff and volunteers backstage, was awarded to Cerulean Wilson from Mauri Kura ki Taamaki for their entry, “Rohe Koreporepo (Sacred Wetlands)”. This prize recognizes a garment with an exceptional depth of learning around the theme and a strong commitment to sustainable action. Cerulean was awarded VIP tickets to Whitecliffe College’s Graduate Fashion Show.

Sterling Ruwhiu, Community Programmes Manager of the Beautification Trust, commented that this year's theme inspired particularly bold statements about the state of the environment. “In the face of increasing environmental challenges and with the rise of youth movements like School Strike 4 Climate, tamariki and rangatahi are making their voices heard,” she said. 


“Our community is particularly alarmed about policies like the Fast-track Approvals Bill, which threatens to bypass environmental safeguards in Aotearoa. This event gives young people a platform to use art to voice their concerns and hopes for the future of our country,” said Ruwhiu.


The prize pool this year was the largest ever offered, thanks to the generous support of local sponsors including Wiri Business Association, Business Manukau, Waka Pacific, Barfoot & Thompson Manurewa, EcoGas and Marshal Walia.


Primary winners:

  • 1st place, $1,000 prize: “Pasifika Southside Princess”, designed by The Green Team, modelled by Keila Bui from Papatoetoe South School

  • 2nd place, $500 prize: “Papatūānuku”, designed and modelled by Pebbles Murray from Papatoetoe South School

  • 3rd place, $250 prize: “Scholastic Book Club”, designed by Sienna Wang and Sophia Gu, modelled by Chloe Schicker from Karaka School

Intermediate winners:

  • 1st place, $1,000 prize: “Terralangi”, designed by Amy-Lee Roux and Milan Oliver, modelled by Milan Oliver from Pukekohe Christian School

  • 2nd place, $500 prize: “Hinemārūrū (Buttercup Child)”, designed and modelled by Scarlett Wilson from Mauri Kura ki Taamaki

  • 3rd place, $250 prize: “Taiao, Te Wahine Toa, Te Harakeke”, designed and modelled by Alexandra Stuart-Burton from Glenbrook School

Secondary winners:

  • 1st place, $1,000 prize: “Rebirth”, designed and modelled by Raquel Sheldon from Pukekohe High School

  • 2nd place, $500 prize: “Utopia Lost”, design by Alice Kuttner and Ellen Zhan, modelled by Alice Kuttner from Pukekohe Christian School

  • 3rd place, $250 prize: “Full Cycle”, designed by Arna Vincent and Olivia Gu, modelled by Olivia Gu from Howick College

Beautification Trust pick

Beautification Trust pick: “Rohe Koreporepo (Sacred Wetlands)”, designed and modelled by Cerulean Wilson from Mauri Kura ki Taamaki.

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