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Prizewinning poet wins big barbecue banquet for school

It was truly fish for all at Mangawhai Beach School last week with a seafood BBQ lunch won by pupil Emma McCardle in the first Fish4all Seaweek Poetry Competition. Mangawhai Beach School teacher Rebecca Low says the Fish4all Seaweek Poetry Competition, open to all primary and intermediate schools in New Zealand, provided the school with a fun and engaging learning opportunity. “This competition gave the students an authentic purpose to practise their writing and the Fish4All app, which encourages sustainable fishing through collecting data; it tied in perfectly with our celebration of Seaweek." Fish4all is a free New Zealand fishing app, not only a fun and easy-to-use virtual catch log and way to take and share pictures while at sea, but a sustainable fishing tool. It collates anonymous catch data, which the Fish4All Charitable Trust manages to enhance and better manage recreational fisheries. The Fish4all Seaweek Poetry Competition was judged by prize-winning published poet Ria Masae, winner of the 2015 New Voices: Emerging Poets Competition, as well as the 2016 Cooney Insurance Short Story Competition. She says while all entries were delightful, Emma's stood out as the winner with her use of alliteration to produce a coherent and delightful poem. “Not only did she skilfully execute complete lines in this style of poetry, but also divided a line into more than one set of alliterations, ‘Gary the Gurnard greedily grunts after gobbling up Kyle the Kawhai in Makatu and he is now heading for Mangawhai’. “Her wonderful characterisation of the sea life such as, Might Mike the Marlin and AJ the American Eel, reads like something out of a story book.” Emma McCardle says: “I feel really surprised and proud about winning the competition. I chose to write an alliteration poem because I wanted to do something different. “And, I think the Fish4all fishing app is really cool because you can record your catch and share it with other people.” The Fish4all team is coming all the way from Wellington to help dish up the prize BBQ with all the seafood provided by their sponsors, Sealord New Zealand and Moana New Zealand. Pupils will also learn how to cook fish in different ways from local chef Mike Hynes and his partner Vanessa, owner/operators of local food company Vintage Distribution. Fish4all’s Tony Craig says being involved with Seaweek is a great way to spread the word about Fish4all and to engage with a generation where IT is part of everyday life. “We hope to see this competition grow each year and see more and more classes across New Zealand having the chance to win such a fun prize. We have been blown away by their quick uptake and the brilliant level of wider community support we have received.” Seaweek national co-ordinator Dr Mels Barton says involvement in this year's national Seaweek poetry competition has been impressive. “We’re delighted at the level of school involvement, and a standard of entries so high it was a tough decision for the judges. Congratulations to Emma and her classmates at Mangawhai Beach School and thanks to Fish4all for hosting such an inspiring competition for our future generations of marine kaitiaki to enter.”

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