Naenae Primary School creates blooming education space for students

The Lower Hutt community was out in force on Saturday 21 June to help out with Naenae Primary School’s Treemendous School Makeover.

Students, teachers, members of Lower Hutt community, staff from Capital Mazda, Mazda New Zealand, and the Project Crimson team, including special guest ‘The Bugman’ Ruud Kleinpaste, transformed an unused area of Naenae Primary School’s field into an educational and interactive space for the students to explore.

The makeover included the construction of pathways connecting different areas of the school with their new outdoor classroom, complete with a covered stage. The native plants will attract birds and insects so the children can observe and learn about the natural environment. Lastly, a Samoan Fale was crafted which reflects the multi-cultural identity of the school.

The school is already paving the way to a sustainable future with worm farms, bee hives and a fruit orchard in place. It has received the Enviro Schools Green Gold award – the highest award a school can achieve.

“This makeover has provided a great exploratory area for the children and wider community to learn about and experience native flora and fauna. We are proud that our students understand the importance of caring for our environment from such a young age,” says Murray Bootten, Principal, Naenae Primary School.

“We had a great turn out and so much fantastic support from our local community including all those who kindly donated supplies and their valuable time to this project.”

Ruud Kleinpaste brought along his six-legged friends and showed them to the students educating them on all the bugs you can find in your back yard. Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace put on his gumboots and attended the event showing his support for the local community. 


"Everyone worked really hard to create this cultural and educational space”, says Ray Wallace, Mayor of Lower Hutt. “Naenae Primary School has already devoted a lot of time and resources to care for the local environment and it’s great to see the community getting involved in the Treemendous Makeover and helping them continue down a sustainable path.”

Andrew Clearwater, Chairman of the Mazda Foundation, says, “Mazda is proud to be part of Treemendous School Makeovers. This was one of our more ambitious makeovers that included building a Samoan Fale, no mean feat in a weekend!”


Naenae Primary School is the third school to receive a Treemendous School Makeover this year, after Cromwell Primary School in March and Wainui School in May. The last primary school to receive a Makeover in 2014 is Pegasus Bay School, Waikuku in September.