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Tail continues the tale of school’s maunga connection

Flagstaff Team

A whale of a tail… Back row – Ben (far left) and Gary Potter from Harcourts, and (from left) Evie Oxley, Gus Myhre, Annika Borter, Osian Thomas, Felix Sinclair, all 10, and principal Beverley Booth. Front row: Danielle Moloney, 10, Mila Henderson, 11, Silvi Coxhead, 10, and Ruby Little-Codling, 10.

The story of Devonport Primary School is being carried to Takapuna on a pepi (mini) whale tail.

Eighty large tails, decorated by Auckland artists, have been on display around the city since late January, raising awareness of the health of the Hauraki Gulf.

Smaller tails have been decorated by schools, including Devonport Primary, thanks to the donation of a tail by father-and-son Harcourts real estate team Gary and Ben Potter. Ben attended the school as a child.

The tail continues the theme of the school’s new mural, which shows Devonport Primary’s connection to Takarunga maunga and the land. It includes native flora and fauna and a group

of children joining hands around the tail. Year-six students did most of the work, and decided to model it on the mural. “It reflects lots of things about our school,” Principal Beverley Booth said. “That whole idea that in school one of our values is respect, and then as part of that, we see ourselves as kaitiaki (guardians) of the environment.”

The kids said painting the pohutukawa on the rear side of the tail was the trickiest part. “I never realised how hard it was to paint 3D,” 10-year-old Silvi Coxhead said.

The tail will be on display outside Harcourts Takapuna until 18 April, when the tails are returned to the schools that decorated them.

The large tails will be auctioned to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund.

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