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Gumboots were the order of the day when Joseph Mooney visited Millers Flat Primary School last week.

The Southland MP was at the Teviot Valley school, an example of a school punching above its weight in terms of educational opportunities, to meet pupils and staff and to hear about projects the pupils were doing.

Pupils showed Mr Mooney their exhibition of paintings, Matariki lanterns and 3-D models of back-country huts.

Senior pupils took him on a tour of native plantings at the stream next to the school.

The pupils had adopted the stream. They regularly applied classroom science to the stream, testing water quality and removing loose objects to improve water flow.

Mr Mooney said he was impressed to see the community values and practical learning being instilled in the children.

“This was a really amazing example of the strength of our smaller rural schools and the incredible experience they give to kids,” he said.