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Seaweek Poetry Winners- Junior

Over 150 poems were entered in the Canterbury/ Waitaha Seaweek 2023 Poetry Competition and many more were written over the weeks leading up to the deadline, showing how connected our young writers are to the moana.

The judges, Jenna Heller and James Norcliffe, are both renowned poets. In fact James is so renowned he won the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry this year! Here are their picks for the junior winners:

Year 1-3
1st: Being a Dolphin, Benjamin R, Ilam School
2nd: Moana – Our Ocean, the Year 3 class at Medbury School

Year 4-6.
1st: Black beach horse, Holly-belle P, Heathcote Valley School
2nd: Seagull, Maya S, Heathcote Valley School


Being a Dolphin

by Benjamin R

Jumping up and down, as high as a house

Over the Pacific waves.

Swimming back and forth,

Avoiding plastic bottles;

Sneaking up on the tarakihi fish

And bringing it back to my mates;

Swimming away from the fishing net

Into the Pacific.


Moana - Our Ocean

by Year 3 Class, Medbury School

Fishing in the ocean with Dad is fun!

Splashing in the waves, basking in the sun.

Surfing at the beach, exploring dark caves.

Swerving in between the turquoise waves.

Zooming on a jet ski, oh so fast!

Boogie boarding, splashing and having a blast.

Exploring rock pools hunting for crabs and fish,

Served with chips, fish is delish!

But Oh DEAR! People are throwing rubbish in the sea.

And so it is up to you and me.

Sea animals are getting hurt and sick.

There’s a lot of rubbish that we need to pick up quick!

Coral has been taken, sea animals are losing their homes.

Too much rubbish means creatures can't roam.

And here is what I also wish…

Please don’t overfish.

It’s up to you and it’s up to me,

To stop the rubbish going into the sea.

Now be a tidy kiwi, pick up litter,

To keep the sea clean so it can glitter!

After a fun day at the beach,

Let’s practise what we preach.

Oh Moana, our precious treasure

Stay blue and clean forever and ever!


Black beach horse

by Holly-belle P

Hoof prints cover a line of sand

A red long dress streaking behind her

Fetlock feather of a black horse

A white and blue wave crashing through the water

The black nostrils of the horse flare up

The sunrise climbs over the sea

The waves stand still

Bareback with just a bridle

Just her, the beach

and a Friesian.



by Maya S

flap glide

to the side

quick hide

zoom swoop

there's the tide

big boat

little car

I have chosen

quick follow

follow car

long ride

grass lawn

I’m torn

kids screaming

me leaning

back to sea

I go!


Congratulations to each of these poets

and their wonderful poetry teachers!

A huge thanks to the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education, Selwyn Libraries, Christchurch Libraries and Creative Communities Christchurch for helping bring free poetry workshops to many young writers in the lead up to Seaweek 2023.

(c) Write On 2023


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