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Launch of WaiRestoration celebration resource

Engaging young people and local communities in the restoration of waterways and biodiversity

The beautiful WaiRestoration resource has been printed and is ready for sharing around our beautiful motu! Enviroschools WaiRestoration is engaging young people and local communities in the restoration of waterways and biodiversity, building sustainable communities through wai/water.

Mihi nui ki a koutou to the fabulous Northland team of Susan, Jacque, Julie and Eden who have been implementing the successful WaiRestoration project over a number of years now. We would like to acknowledge the energy, passion and dedication you have all put into this vital project and the fruits that are now flourishing in your region as a result of so many positive collaborations, partnerships and actions for wai.  

We mihi to the many Enviroschools students, teachers and the whānau and communities involved in this project; the Northland Regional Council and many other partner organisations, iwi, community organisations and landowners involved.  This collective approach has shaped WaiRestoration and has created an environment that deepens learning and practice for everyone involved. Thanks also go out to Robyn Irving and Faye Wilson-Hill for their mahi in the resource development, and Kyla Saunders for the lovely design.  

This WaiRestoration booklet is a celebration and sharing of the collaborative learning, experiences and actions taken by Northland Enviroschools, farmers and landowners.  We hope that you all find inspiration in the approach and in the initiatives and actions for improving freshwater and preserving native species. 

Copies of this resource are available for independent purchase for $25 +gst. If you'd like to order a copy please contact info@toimata.org.nz  


National Energiser Hui 2017

In April this year, we had the pleasure of bringing together 85 Enviroschools Facilitators and Regional Coordinators from every region in Aotearoa for the Energiser Hui.

The Hui was held over three days at the Hamilton Gardens, where the beautiful surroundings of the Gardens framed our workshops and interaction with each other. We were able to use the space to our advantage, by engaging with the atua as a group every morning, and taking strolls throught the themed gardens like Te Parapapa on our breaks.



Following the national hui,  regional workshops have been taking place across the country, rolling out the new holistic reflection and theme area resources with teachers. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive:

"Lots of ideas for facilitation, love the reviewed Theme Areas. Good to look at what other areas are doing"

"I loved delving into the resources, especially the new theme areas. As always hearing stories from other facilitators was really valuable either in a formal or informal fashion"

"I feel more confident to make the resources my own now, I'm not sure why this shift occurred, it just did. The session on facilitation skills was really great, a really good way to remind me to spend time doing some of these important exercises"

"Re energised and more confident about using resources also more committed to including using Atua in my facilitation practice"

"A chance to unpack/explore the new reflective kit was invaluable"

"Every moment spent on whanaungatanga leads to better outcomes". I believe this but it can be really challenging some times when time is short or you have an employer who does not hold to this belief. Just this one statement heightens my resolve to continue to build this into my meetings and clusters with teams. And we had so many ways of doing this modelled over the three days - thanks".


Theme Area Resources Out Now

Updated and revised for teachers and facilitators

We are pleased to share with our network the updated Theme Area resources that are available now through your Enviroschools facilitator.  


The Enviroschools Theme Areas are Living Landscapes, Water of Life, Ecological Building, Zero Waste and Energy! They are relevant, meaningful contexts and link to all learning areas.

Two Theme Areas are out now, Zero Waste and Water of Life!  They are printed as booklets along with loose-leaf case studies that share some of the innovation and learning happening in our regions around these two theme areas.  

We look forward to sharing Living Landscapes with you at the beginning of Term 3, and Energy! and Ecological Buildings by the end of this year.  

Regional Coordinator Hui February 2017

Our Regional Coordinator hui was held over 3 days at the beautiful Te Mauri Tau in Whaingaroa (Raglan).

Some inspiring highlights included: The sharing of stories from the Regions (3 slides in 3 minutes – well done Sally and Robyn for your inspiring presentations!), connecting with the Atua - which involved a beautiful walking pūmahara, discussions about water and how we are each connected to the wai, and cultural views around whare. These discussions were combined with times to reflect upon and contemplate our individual experience and viewpoints.


Central Government Funding

Further 6 years of funding for Toimata Foundation

On 30 August 2016 the Government announced a further six years’ funding for Toimata Foundation, totaling $11.4 million.   The announcement was made by Minister for the Environment, Hon. Dr Nick Smith, during an event at Waitakiri School, an Enviroschool in Christchurch.

At the event, Associate Minister of Conservation Hon. Nicky Wagner also announced a refreshed National Strategy for Environmental Education for Sustainability (EEfS).

We are delighted that the Government has recognised Toimata Foundation as a leading enabler of environmental education. The continued funding will ensure that Toimata, through our two main programmes, Te Aho Tū Roa and Enviroschools, will be able to continue to support children and young people in over 1000 schools, kura, and early childhood centres to realise their vision for the future.

Download the media release from Toimata Foundation here

Download the Government media release here

Te Ara I Takahia

Nau mai! Tomo mai!

Te Aho Tū Roa and Toimata Foundation are proud to share with the Enviroschools whānau ‘Te Ara I Takahia’, an online resource showcasing the inspiring awa restoration project undertaken by Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rawhiti Roa, a kura leading leading the way in environmental sustainability action in Northland. Their journey started in 2003, with a desire to return the life force back to their awa – the Waitaua river. The journey blossomed into so much more – connecting people to people, people to place and people to our environment. This online resource contains a wealth of information, project ideas, photos, and celebrates all that the kura and community have achieved. Ka mau te wehi!

Poroporoaki for Jan Cox

Aue taukuri e! Kua pā te ringa kaha o aituā ki runga ki a tātou o Te Toimata. Nō reira haere e te tuahine, e te whakaruruhau, ki ō tūpuna, ki ō pakeke, ki ō mātua e tauwhanga ana mōu, nō reira moe mai takoto e te ruruhi i roto i te kauawhiawhi o te wāhi ngaro.

Kei aku rangatira, kei aku raukura tēnēi rā te mihi o te ngakau e tangi tīkapakapa tonu ana mō tō tātou hoa a Jan nō reira kia kaha tātou. Taea te aha, taea te pēwhea, e kore rā te ringa kaha o Aituā e taea te karo. Ngā manaakitanga ki runga ki a koutou e noho nei i raro i te kapua pōuri.

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of  our dearly loved friend and colleague Jan Cox.

Jan began working with us in the Enviroschools Programme in the mid 2000’s, bringing many years of experience in education and her special passion for environmental education.  In everything she did she gave wholeheartedly to empower young people for a better future.  She modelled the kaupapa of sustainability through her words and action.

She laid the foundations for Enviroschools in the Wellington region and later took on some key national projects during a time when funding was extremely tight and there was much to do in the programme.  In true Jan style she brought her passion and organisational skills together to very carefully utilise small pieces of funding and lead the development of the reflection process that is now a cornerstone of the programme. When funding came in 2012 Jan became the first National Manager of Enviroschools and has achieved much over the last 4 years.

Jan was renowned for the calibre of her work and for her propensity to work tirelessly and far beyond the call of duty. She was always prepared to ‘go the extra mile’ to ensure others were supported and empowered in their work.  A significant stand-out aspect of Jan’s work was her reflective practice which has added depth and rigour to the kaupapa she embraced and in which so many of us are involved.

In the more than 10 years since Jan has been involved in Enviroschools the programme has grown to over 1000 schools supported by 16 regional networks and nearly 100 partner organisations across the country. Jan has mentored, guided and supported this network. She has made an enormous contribution to the national team. Jan’s work has empowered thousands of young people, teachers and Enviroschools staff.   She always ensured people felt that their voices were heard, recognised and valued. The nationwide Enviroschools network is stronger and more effective as a result of her dedication, love and skills. 

Jan had many, many qualities admired by her colleagues: 

·      Her wisdom, her fortitude, her warmth, her unfailing passion for the kaupapa

·      Her careful conduct - always looking out for others and how they were feeling.

·      Her wisdom, vigour, savviness, empathy and abundant doses of humour and generosity

·      Her depth of knowledge and collaborative way of working.

·      Her mischievous smile and wonderful sense of the ridiculous.

·      Her sparkly ear-rings and colourful woollen slippers.

·      Her friendship and support – she was there to celebrate the good times and there with a cuppa and a        hug in the hard times. 

·      Her creativity - many of us have ‘Jan knitted’ slippers, scarves or gloves.

·      Her style and ability to encourage us to buy expensive shoes in mini shopping trips between meetings        in Wellington.

All our love to you Jan, you were a leader in a nationwide movement for a better world, you made a huge difference, your energy will forever be part of our work and our lives. 

Mihi nui, aroha nui ki a koe. 

The Enviroschools Foundation becomes Toimata Foundation

Haere mai, nau mai ki Toimata Foundation!

During April 2015 the name of The Enviroschools Foundation changed to Toimata Foundation.


Over the last 15 years our organisation has grown from supporting a handful of primary schools to supporting over 1000 schools, kura and early childhood centres.  Participants range from children in early childhood, primary and intermediate to secondary school students, post-school youth and communities in both English and Māori settings.  

We work with this wide network through two programmes: Enviroschools and Te Aho Tū Roa.  

We stepped into the name Toimata Foundation to support the continued growth of Enviroschools and Te Aho Tū Roa, and future new phases of development.

Toimata is a concept from Dame Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira.  The name evokes ideas of creativity and craft, sustainability and vision.  The takarangi design depicts all life nestled in the embrace of Ranginui and Papatūānuku and their love that flows to us here in the present, to all who have gone before and all generations to come. 

Visit www.toimata.org.nz

Enviroschools National Energiser Hui 2014

What a wonderful success!

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou.  Thankyou to all who attended and participated in the 9th Enviroschools National Energiser Hui held at St Peter's Green-Gold Enviroschool in Cambridge.

The hui was an amazing success with over 140 participants from 14 regions around Aotearoa.  

It was wonderful to bring together teachers, Principals, facilitators and regional co-ordinators from around New Zealand, to share ideas, build knowledge and be inspired by what is happening around the country in the Enviroschools Programme. 

The three day hui had a focus on professional development and networking that saw participants take part in workshop sessions, action in the grounds of St Peters and time spent with their regional teams and education streams. 

You can find links to download the workshops and pecha kucha presentations given at the hui in the facilitator tools section of our website.  Teachers please contact your facilitator for the log-in details. 

Inspiring and Amazing Early Childhood Hui!

May 2014

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou!

Thankyou to all who attended and participated in the first ever Enviroschools Early Childhood Hui held at Papamoa from the 29th April-1st May 2014.  

The hui was an amazing success with over 80 participants from 14 regions around Aotearoa!

It was wonderful to have the support of Nga Potiki, Tauranga Region Kindergartens and Bay of Plenty Regional Council in the planning and opening of the hui.  We were also honoured to host Jenny Ritchie, Rob McGowan and Antonio Te Maioha as inspirational guest speakers along with all the amazing people who put their hands up to run workshops and Pecha Kucha presentations! 

Please find links to download some of the workshops and pecha kucha presentations given at the hui. Photos, relfections and some thoughts from the facilitator session and bus tours will be up by the 16th May.

Mihi aroha, mihi nui ki a koutou