A John Paul College student has won a national environmental entrepreneurship competition - and hopes Rotorua's streams will benefit from his invention.
Eamon Walsh said he was honoured to take the top prize at the New Zealand Environmental Entrepreneurship Competition held in Auckland in May.
"It was a surprise, the other finalists had such a high calibre of work ... I've always had a huge love of combining scientific ideas with helping the environment."
His winning idea was a turbine mechanism able to collect rubbish from streams using convection currents.
He said streams filled with rubbish "were a huge issue in Rotorua".
To get to the final round, the Year 13 student said he first had to submit a proposal of an invention or project idea that positively impacts on the environment, followed by a presentation of the idea to a committee in Auckland for regionals.
"It was similar to a Dragon's Den."
The national finals were also held in Auckland.
For his win Eamon took home $2500 as a "seed fund" towards the invention being made into a reality.
In his last year of high school, Eamon said he was interested in possibly going down an environmental science or engineering route.
"Environmental issues, such as global warming, are important issues of today. As they said at the nationals, they need young people to take the mantle."
The New Zealand Environmental Entrepreneurship Competition hopes to instil a spirit of entrepreneurship in high school students and at the same time raise awareness of the environmental issues facing the world today.
The competition is open to students from Year 9 to 13, and is sponsored by the Ministry of Youth Development, AUT Business School and supported by Youth Parliament.