Yes! Students display Kiwi can-do

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 25/06/2014

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A Manawatu-made garden sculpture designed by two secondary-school students is making its way to a lawn near you.

Budding young business entrepreneurs from Freyberg High School are launching LawnMoa's all-aluminium garden sculptures tomorrow night.

The company's directors, Jonathan Brandon, 17, and William Kitt, 16, started brainstorming ideas as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) and are now pushing their product.

The scheme gives senior secondary-school students experience in business, connecting them with mentors and running them through a handful of tasks in the one-year programme.

Jonathan and William's first idea was a new prototype for a hammer, which changes the tool's traditional design, moving the pivot point, increasing the leverage and helping make nail removal easier.

"We interviewed heaps of professional builders about the hammer idea, but they were already content with the current, trusted brands and we thought it would be difficult for us to sell a product from a completely new company with a completely new idea," Jonathan said. "Whereas this market [garden sculptures] is more open, with more possibilities and there's something new coming out pretty much all the time," William said.

Their product, which is part of the Buy NZ Made campaign asking people to buy and sell New Zealand-made products, is 100 per cent New Zealand made - their friend stencilled the design and Palmerston North engineering firm ETECH lasered it.

Each sculpture retails for $70, of which $20 would be donated to Massey University's Wildbase hospital to go towards its $1.47 million fundraising campaign for new facilities.

"We're supporting a cause close to home, and that was a big aim," Jonathan said. Orders are already backing up from friends, family and teachers, with Palmers Palmerston North, Thee Garden Centre and the iSite also stocking the sculptures. Visit lawnmoas.co.nz for more information.

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- Manawatu Standard

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