Two handwritten letters and a petition signed by 109 Hurupaki School kids have made their way to the Whangārei District Council’s infrastructure committee agenda.
Hurupaki School pupils Cayl Bourke, 10, and Nathan Ujdur, 6, cannot ride their bikes to school or to their friends’ places because there is no footpath.
The kids decided to present a petition to the council requesting the construction of new footpaths in Pipiwai and Dip Rds.
In a letter to Whangārei District Mayor Sheryl Mai, Bourke wrote, “I’d like to ride my bike to school but there is no footpath and it is too dangerous and there are cars going 80 km per hour. Can you please contact the road workers so they can make a footpath on Pipiwai Road?”
Bourke went on to say that he could also ride to his friend’s place safely and other people could use it to exercise by walking or running.
“It would also save our parents having to drive us places and being late for work.”
Hurupaki School student Cayl Bourke writes to mayor Sheryl Mai. Photo / Supplied
Nathan Ujdur, 6, writes to Whangārei mayor Sheryl Mai. Photo / Supplied
Mayor Mai appreciated the effort and sent out a letter of response to the boys explaining what the steps and procedures were.
“It is always amazing to receive handwritten notes from the public and when it comes from the young kids, it is even more special.
“I told them the petition would be brought to the council, which is what has happened subsequently.”
The boys were thrilled by the mayor’s response and said they eagerly await the construction of a new footpath.
Class teacher Kelly-Anne Ujdur said the children came up with the idea of a petition on their own and worked hard to get the signatures.
“My son Nathan and his friend Cayl got talking one morning about the fact that they cannot ride their bikes to school. They discussed how they wish they could have a footpath around Pipiwai and Dips roads so they could go to their friends’ houses or just go for a ride on their bike.
“I asked them what could we do about it and they came up with the idea of writing letters to the Whangārei District Council.
“They are really passionate about the cause and would really love to have a footpath along there.
“One of Cayl’s best friends just lives down a road from them and they cannot even bike or walk to each other’s place because there is no footpath.”
Hurupaki School students sign the petition to construct a new footpath on Pipiwai and Dip Roads. Photo / Supplied
Hurupaki School principal Rob Posthumus said she was “delighted” when the boys asked if they could organise a petition.
“They felt very strongly about the safety of children and the fact that some parents had to transport children to and from school because there isn’t safe walking access.
“At Hurupaki School one of our goals is to empower and inspire children to see themselves as change agents. This is just the sort of social action that we like to see our children engaged in.”