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Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Julianna Awhina Maihi Roberts and I was born and raised in South Auckland Manurewa. I have lived here all my life. I have seven children and married to Namulauulu Keremete Papalii. I work as a teacher aide at a primary school here in Manurewa and have done for about five years. My family and I attend the Salvation Army Church in Manukau where my husband plays in the church band.

Which composting methods do you use?

My children and I are doing the hot compost with the browns and greens. It’s so easy to manage and the children helped out as well. My husband worked many years ago at the wholesale tree company so he too was giving me advice. Not sure if I was supposed to but I threw in some worms from a friend.

When did you start composting?

I started composting earlier this year as I became very interested in it. I did a course in Māngere at the community gardens and remembered walking away from there with so much excitement and knowledge I couldn’t wait to start my own.

Why do you do it?

It’s so easy to compost, just a matter of taking the food waste to the compost bin. It’s a no-brainer. Composting is the healthy way to grow vegetables and knowing what has gone into our vegetables and that there is no chemicals in them is a bonus for us.

What do you love about it?

I’m so glad I have started composting, its fun and good for our health and the planet as well.

How do you think we can encourage more Aucklanders to compost?

I would encourage others to compost by introducing free courses held at the schools during school time or even night classes for parents of children. It should be NZQA accredited as well – the Government should fund the course because it’s a way of keeping our people healthy and New Zealand green, as well as a way of growing food for our families tax-free and at no cost.

People need to know what they throw away is useful and can be used again. Flyers, radio & television advertisements with tips on how to compost. You could hold compost competitions for the new people who have just started composting. There are so many ways of encouragement.

The Compost Collective runs free composting workshops all across Auckland. Participants get a $40 discount voucher to use on a compost system that suits them.


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