While children around the region are taking a few weeks off from creating their little friends, a number of local groups and organisations are taking the opportunity to get on board with Buddy Day.
Ngāti Rangi Pou Ārahi Andy Gowland-Douglas said she was delighted by the support the wider community has already shown ahead of the 13 November event.
“Around New Zealand thousands of life-size cardboard blank ‘buddies’ are heading into the community as a way of sending a visual challenge - it’s up to all of us to improve the lives of our tamariki,” she said.
“Buddy Day is about everyone doing something to help improve the life and prospects of our children.
“It’s proven to be a powerful vehicle to help challenge existing attitudes and behaviours towards the way we value our kids.
“We believe it has the power to shift us all towards a society that prioritises the wellbeing of children in everything we do.”
Over the last month ‘carers’ around the Ruapehu have been breathing life into their blank core flute cutouts by decorating them, dressing them, giving them a name and filling out a diary of their daily activities.
Photo: Department of Conservation Tongariro senior ranger biodiversity Alison Beath takes their new “Buddy” Whetu (or
Grant) on his first venture into the bush during last Friday’s kiwi release at Rotokura. Ngāti Rangi still have a small number of blank cutouts needing a life ahead of Buddy Day celebrations being held in Ohākune on 13 November.
On Buddy Day ‘carers’ can adopt these buddies at a special breakfast event in Ohākune and take them around as they go about their day as a way of helping to start the conversation.
“Ngāti Rangi are excited to be able to host an event which we hope will benefit every child in the region in some way, not just on the 13th, but right throughout the year.
“In the Ruapehu there are going to be over one hundred buddies available for adoption and we still have a very small number of blank cutouts in need of decorating.
“If local groups, organisations or businesses would like to get involved ahead of November feel free to give us a call and we will drop off them off a blank Buddie.”
To find out more about Buddy Day give the Ngāti Rangi office a call on 0800 NRANGI or 06 385 9500 or head on online to: buddyday.org.nz to register to be a creator or carer.