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NORTHERN OUTLOOK, NOVEMBER 10, 2012
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Flatpack idea slays Dragon
FAB FIVE: The Flatpack Farming team with a prototype of their creation. From left: Anika Bayly, Annabelle Williamson, Sophie Green, Lizzie Bridges and Emily
By MAT KERMEEN
A SEFTON teenager has teamed
up with four fellow students to
prove age is no barrier when it
comes to business success.
Lizzie Bridges, 16, and her
Rangi Ruru schoolmates won
awards for business presentation,
sales, and marketing, before win-
ning the overall award at the Can-
terbury Dragon s Den competition
run by the Young Enterprise
Their manager, Sophie Green,
l7, has also been nominated for
the New Zealand Institute of
Chartered Accountants young
managing director of the year.
The enterprise scheme encour-
ages students to develop and oper-
ate their own business, and has
long been promoted in school eco-
nomics classes in New Zealand.
The group were brainstorming
for a product or service when a
chance conversation with econom-
ics teacher John Mills set their
creative minds alight.
Mr Mills, also a deer farmer,
mentioned his frustration at not
being able to buy a suitable carry
case for the back of his quad bike.
The fab five swung into action --
in a matter of hours Anika Bayly,
16, Annabelle Williamson, 17,
Emily Tasker, 16, Sophie and Liz-
zie were designing a prototype of a
flexible, safe, practical and quality
carry case that would attach to
the rear tray of a quad bike.
They researched the market
and surveyed potential customers,
and found options were limited,
with nothing strong and flexible
Mr Mills said the girls were all
practically minded and had
proved their talents as individuals
and as a team.
They have thought the process
through, developed the idea, com-
municated well and thrived while
working together. Those are the
sort of skills that young enterprise
is all about.
Mr Mills described the product
as a practical way of carrying
almost anything from safety
equipment and tools, to tents and
The experienced teacher said
the group had thought outside the
square and now had the self-belief
to go on to bigger things, while
gaining a point of difference to
add to their CVs.
They could have sold slushies
around the school and made a
good profit, but they chose to
reach out further.
Flatpack Farming will display
its product at the Canterbury
A&P Show next week to gain
exposure and interest.
It will be marketed to hunters,
farmers, fishermen, surf life
savers, lifestyle block and batch
owners, and skifields that operate
Sophie said the group hopes to
provide better capacity for any-
body who carries valuable items
or equipment on their quad bikes,
eliminating worries about losing
equipment off the back.
Flatpack Farming isn t a one-
hit wonder. The group is looking
towards future developments for
According to their manager, the
group is excited by its success, but
also humbled and determined to
It has been very exciting,
especially when we see it develop-
ing into something that is a real
product. It s really cool when
people are interested in what we
Sophie will travel to Wellington
on December 4 for the awards,
where she will go up against four
other nominees from around the
country for the managing director
Prestigious gardens open
BUSY GARDENER: Finding a moment to take a
seat in the garden has been a rarity for Sally
Allison in the build-up to the Gardens of Fernside
By MAT KERMEEN
FANCY GOING for a sneak peek up the
Garden lovers have the opportunity to
look through of some of North Canterbury s
most prestigious backyards during the
Gardens of Fernside tour on November 25.
Nine stunning gardens will entertain
tour-goers, from green-thumbed profes-
sionals to curious beginners.
Sally Allison has been involved with the
garden show almost every year since its
inception in 1991, and has also a long
association with Fernside School -- which
runs the event as a fundraiser.
This summer s tour holds a special
significance for the Allisons. A gourmet
lunch will be served at Sally and husband
Bey s property, and a string quartet will
add to an already stunning atmosphere.
The spectacular 10 acre rolling hillside
garden boasts views of Mt Thomas and Mt
Grey, and is an idyllic spot for a relaxing
Mrs Allison has been flat-tack preparing
her Lyddington property for the tour, but
confesses it is more a labour of love than a
It s hard to say how much work goes into
preparations and it s not something I think
It s a wonderful opportunity to share
what is probably my lifetime of achieve-
The Allisons started planting in 1958,
and say the garden has constantly devel-
oped and matured from what was originally
a hillside covered in gorse and broom.
It s one of those things you just build on
over time, adding bits and pieces on each
year, Mrs Allison said.
Chairperson of the organising committee,
Sarah Davidson, said it was a wonderful
chance for the public to view gardens that
they would not normally see, and also
support a local school.
Gardens of Fernside is the school s
major fundraiser and has made an
outstanding contribution to the school over
the past 20 years.
The 2012 tour will raise funds for play-
ground equipment and projects within the
Mrs Allison hopes that the tour can
inspire people to be ambitious and plant
more gardens to enjoy and share with
Gardening becomes a way of life,
especially sharing the enjoyment from
Fernside School will also host a market
day on November 25, including a plant and
shrub sale, a range of stalls with a home
and garden theme, a silent auction, and art
from the Rangiora Art Society and Fernside
Tickets are available for $15 -- or $30
including lunch. Phone 03 312 5553 for
Tickets can also be purchased on the day
from Fernside School for $20. The tour runs
between 10am and 4pm.
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