Te reo cards win boys spot in national finals

Strong hand . . . Otago Boys' High School pupils (from left) Reuben Wairau, Thomas Grant, Nick Washington, Alex Grant, Tim Dippie, Taiaroa Flavell and Jordan Hand, who will represent Otago in the Young Enterprise Scheme 2018 national finals next month with their product, Kuranga Cards – educational playing cards in te reo Maori. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

Ka pai, boys! Eight Dunedin pupils are set to represent Otago in the Young Enterprise Scheme programme.

Otago Boys’ High School pupils Tim Dippie (17), Taiaroa Flavell (18), Alex Grant (17), Thomas Grant (18), Jordan Hand (17), Tom Howie (18), Reuben Wairau (17) and Nick Washington (18) have been named regional winners and will attend the national finals in Wellington on December 6.

To compete in the nationwide programme, high school pupils must set up and run a business.

The Otago Boys’ team has designed a deck of educational playing cards – Kuranga Cards – featuring te reo Maori.

The standard 52-card deck includes the usual four tiaki (jacks) and four kuini (queens) and a kiri hangareka (joker).

The numbered cards, tahi to tekau (one to 10), all feature an English translation of a Maori word, such as waiata (song), kaumatua (a Maori elder), aroha (love and compassion) and hangareka ana (what a crack-up).

Tim, who is Kuranga Cards chief executive, said the team had sold nearly 500 packs.

At the regional final at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery on October 17, six teams pitched their products to a panel of five judges.

Three of the teams were from Otago Boys’ High School.

The pitch for Kuranga Cards included the educational benefits of the “simple product” and its potential to be marketed to tourists visiting New Zealand.

Educational facilities had been a target market.

Schools in Dunedin, Christchurch and Auckland had bought the cards and the University of Otago bought 100 decks to give as gifts for Maori Language Week.

Otago Boys’ High team Youth Assist won the social enterprise award; Columba College team Savvy Seven won the best sales performance award; and Queen’s High team Tidal won the best marketing award.

Otago Boys’ economics and business studies teacher Gwyn Pratley won the Sir James Fletcher Award for most inspiring teacher and will be presented with the award in Wellington.

The Otago Boys’ teams nominated Mr Pratley for the award.

“He’s loud, funny and captivating. He keeps the class interested,” Tim said.