Sunday, June 23, 2024

Outward Bound is looking for land

The Outward Bound Trust of New Zealand is looking for land to open a second school for its outdoor education courses – a North Island site with access to wilderness and high ‘natural character’ within a three-hour drive of Auckland.

Outward Bound Acting Chief Executive Officer Simon Graney said in a media release the 60-year-old outdoor education school has narrowed its search to the Coromandel peninsula.

“The site needs to be accessible by car and within a three-hour drive of the hub of Auckland. Opening a second school is part of our commitment to making our courses as accessible to as many New Zealanders as possible,” said Graney.

He says the Outward Bound team has been scouring the motu for a parcel of land no less than three hectares, with easy walking access into extensive bush areas of the Coromandel ranges.  While access to sheltered seas would broaden the options for course activities, the organisation is keeping an open mind, and more critically, the site needs to be reasonably flat and protected from extreme weather events.

Search parameters

“Our utopia would be finding a site that offered direct bush and sea access, but realistically, we are also open to two nearby sites that may include, for example, a main base near the bush and then a satellite site with sea access.

“We have met with iwi groups, spoken to property agents and private land owners and looked at partnership options for properties. The process has helped define what we are looking for—we have narrowed our search to the western Coromandel peninsula. This area offers good access by road or sea to people who want an Outward Bound experience closer to home, whether they live in Auckland or the central and upper North Island.”

Graney says Outward Bound is very fortunate to have significant initial investment from our generous long term supporters Dick and Diana Hubbard Foundation, Andrew and Jenny Smith, Thanksgiving Trust, and other long-standing trust
benefactors.

“We are now inviting other New Zealanders who share Outward Bound’s vision to help more rangatahi connect with the natural environment and have the opportunity to learn more about themselves and the community around them, to join us to make our second school a reality.

“Their gift would be an investment in the growth and development of today’s rangatahi while building an enduring legacy for future generations.”

He says Outward Bound will incorporate sustainable design principles into the new site, and the curriculum will include elements of Education for Sustainability. “We’re committed to working closely with our new potential neighbours and the local community to contribute positively to future generations.

“Our second school will benefit the students who come through—and the local community. We’ll bring employment opportunities for locals, and the district will gain from the values-driven staff and families who come to deliver our programmes. We also aim to partner with local environmental organisations to create opportunities for our students to enhance the area through community service.”

Graney says the school hopes to ink an agreement on the new location this year. He says the Anakiwa school in the Marlborough Sound will remain the heart of Outward Bound and become the organisation’s centre of excellence.

The Outward Bound Trust invites agents and land owners with a potential site to contact Simon Graney on 021 992 942, or email sgraney@outwardbound.co.nz

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