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Kiwi gets a Rose

A Ruatoria maara kai (gardening) student has been honoured with the EIT Rose Society Award.

EIT Tairawhiti student Kiwi Chambers, who is studying maara kai at the Ruatoria campus, is described by tutors as an “ace” student who gives “more than 100 percent”.

Presented annually to a top horticulture student from the Hawke's Bay, Tairawhiti or Ruatoria campuses, the award has tough criteria.

These include an A-grade average, 90 percent attendance, consistency, enthusiasm, integrity, leadership, being an asset in the classroom, and a contributor to class interaction.

The award was given to EIT by Hawke's Bay Rose Society when it dissolved in 2017.

The successful student receives the annual interest on the investment of $200, along with the mana that goes with the award.

Kiwi, who signed up for the course last year, is humble about winning the award but has plenty to say about the course.

Now 29 years old, she moved home to Ruatoria in 2017 to look after her dad who was unwell and last year decided to do the Maara Kai course.”

“I didn't know how to garden but now I know so much,” she said.

“We have learned everything — from planting by the moon to the medicinal properties of certain plants.

“It has been so cool and I have thoroughly enjoyed doing it.

“Plants I used to think were weeds, I have found out how to use them.”

Tutors Robin Thomson and Lisa Beach were integral in her success, she said.

“They are walking encyclopaedias. I really recommend the course.”

The Maara Kai course has become so popular on the Ruatoria campus that many students have progressed to the hemp-growing course the following semester.

GROWING HER KNOWLEDGE: EIT Rose Society Award winner Kiwi Chambers has 'thoroughly enjoyed' the Maara Kai (gardening) course at the Ruatoria campus. Picture supplied