During lockdown, Ōrewa College student Maria Walker-Kinnell entered the Fair Go Consumer Heroes competition and was one of four winners.
The 13-year-old argued for the need for more recycling bins. The Fair Go team described her on-camera energy as “fantastic”.
She spent a day filming with Fair Go and featured in the programme that aired on December 6.
She won a prize pack including $1000 and $2200 worth of camera equipment from Canon for her school.
Maria says she entered the competition because she hopes to become a politician and figured this would be a great place to start.
“I could also see there was a clear inequality regarding the distribution of public recycling bins in Auckland,” she says
Maria is from Silverdale andsays the lack of public recycling bin locations locally has affected her plenty of times.
“I rarely go into the central city, but on the few occasions when I have been, I have noticed there are plenty of recycling bins, but none in my home area. This has been a problem for me several times when my family and I have been in public and there have been no bins to put recyclables in.”
She enjoyed filming with Fair Go.
“It was great having an important task to do over the lockdown and I was very pleased that I would appear on television. We filmed everything in central Auckland, finishing in Aotea Square where I interviewed Cathy Ma, from Auckland Council. My favourite experiences of the day would be interviewing both the public and the council, as well as pretending to “hunt” for bins.
Maria is also a member of her school’s environment group.