Tā Tātou Kaupapa About Enviroschools How Enviroschools Works Ngā Huānga Outcomes & Benefits I Tōu Ake Rohe Your Region Te Reo o Karere News Tangata Members Areas Whakapā Mai Contact us

We would like to acknowledge the depth and breadth of the Enviroschools network in 16 regions of Aotearoa and Te Waiponamu. The expertise, experience, dedication and knowledge of each Regional team and every Enviroschool involved, contributes to the ultimate success of the Enviroschools programme in New Zealand!  

These are the latest happenings in our regions with more news on each regional page at In Your Region

Regional Newsletters

Highlighting actions, learning and events from around Aotearoa

These newsletters are filled with amazing highlights from schools and kindergartens! Some profile specific action projects, others showcase regional events and workshops...check out the links below and be inspired by what's happening in regions around Aotearoa!

Northland - Enviroschools Northland 

Auckland - Connections 

Waikato - Waikato blogsite

Bay of Plenty- Plenty for Teachers 

Gisborne - Enviroschools Tairawhiti 

Hawke's Bay - Enviroschools in Hawke's Bay

Manawatu-Wanganui - Seedlings eNewsletter

Taranaki - Enviroschools Taranaki 

Wellington - E-newsletters

Nelson & Tasman - EcoBuzz

Marlborough - Greentalk Schools Newsletter

West Coast - Enviroschools on the West Coast 

Canterbury - Chatterbox   Latest newsletter direct download here (March 2017)

Otago - Enviroschools Otago 

Southland - Enviroschools Southland newsletters

Congratulations Sunnyhills School - the winners of the Mother Earth "Big Garden" competition

From little things, big things grow

Sunnyhills School has broken ground for their new Big Garden after being drawn as the winner from hundreds of consumer entries across New Zealand.

The Pakuranga school has had its own edible garden for a few years and was already planning for growth. Now after winning the Mother Earth “Big Garden” promotion they have the cash they need to get their plan off the ground.

Today the school is buzzing with the arrival of 12 big new planter boxes, lots of plants and a commercial scale worm farm to keep it in good health. Along with many New World Little Garden seedlings, children will be growing over 20 different vegetables from scratch. Each year group will be responsible for maintaining a section of the garden.

With a focus on garden to plate learning, Sunnyhill’s Middle School students are fortunate to have an interactive and inspiring learning environment in which to get their hands dirty.


Sunnyhills principal Justine Driver says she is delighted to see the garden grow so that the students can learn more about their environmental footprint and harvest a new way to learn, along with lots of fresh vegetables. Mrs Driver says that the new Big Garden will ensure gardening activities can be integrated into all areas of the school curriculum, including science and nutrition, and to connect with the wider school community.

It was an entry into the Mother Earth Big Garden competition from local mum, Lilli Wang that kicked it all off. Ms Wang entered the promotion which ran in conjunction with New World’s Little Garden campaign last month.

Sue Venville, a Senior Leader at Sunnyhills School, understands the importance of providing children with a place to grow. “Thanks to the Mother Earth Big Garden promotion, our children now have a garden substantially larger that the whole school can be involved in”.

As for the benefits, Mrs Venville says, “until now we have only harvested peas, broad beans and radishes that the students have eaten.  We will now be able to grow a variety of vegetables and tackle projects such as cooking, supplying the lunch room with produce and selling the excess to our local community with all funds going back into keeping the garden well stocked.”

“This garden is a lasting legacy from current students for future generations of Sunnyhill learners”.

Caroline Potter from Prolife Foods says, “The team at Mother Earth was thrilled to be part of New World’s Little Garden campaign. We wanted to find a way to ensure a school community could put their collectables to good use, growing and eventually harvesting their vegetables.

“With Sunnyhill School’s constant commitment to gardening and sustainability, we believe the Big Garden upgrade from Mother Earth is in safe hands”. 

Project Possum at NZAEE conference!

Possums went to town last Friday! Approximately 50 dead possums were transported from Northland to Auckland for hands on, (if participants wanted!), possum plucking/skinning/trapping as part of a workshop on Enviroschools ‘Project Possum’. The workshop was a component of the three day long NZAEE (New Zealand Association for Environmental Education) conference based at Auckland University. Project Possum practicals took place in Feijoa Forest/Constitution Hill.

Showing delegates the possum machine plucking process (photo courtesy of Northland Regional Council)

Taranaki Enviroschools Royal Visit November 2015

Enviroschools Taranaki was invited to take part in the recent Royal Visit to New Zealand, given how interested Prince Charles is in sustainability and empowering youth. A party of around 50 represented Enviroschools in the region near the Te Rewa Rewa bridge.

Katie Sinclair & Bailey Bright from Opunake High School spoke with His Royal Highness and explained what they do within their school and the community to support sustainability within their region. Simon Fuller, Opunake High School’s Principal, was on hand to discuss with the Prince how great Enviroschools is for students and the school in general. In particular, His Royal Highness was impressed with the students’ community work and their recent trip to Bali where they volunteered at schools either teaching English or helping build a classroom.

Lauree Tito, Taranaki Enviroschools Regional Coordinator, Prince Charles, Bailey Bright from Opunake High School & Andrew Judd, Mayor of New Plymouth.  Discussing Enviroschools with His Royal Highness.

Prince Charles collecting a packet of Kumi Kumi pumpkin seeds from Kings Seeds from a royal supporter.

 Waite, Principal, Marie Stark, lead Enviroschools teacher, & Keith Mitchell, BOT Chair, all from Toko School, were able to demonstrate the benefits of having the full support of the staff and Board to create success in an Enviroschool. Toko School is a prime example of this with their recent Silver Enviroschool achievement. Around 35 Toko school students from the Envirogroup were on hand to explain to the Prince the results of their investigations into the differences between rural and coastal waterways and what was required to sustain each.

Lauree Tito, Regional Coordinator for Taranaki Enviroschools & Esther Kirk, Resource and PD Manager for Toimata Foundation, were able to further explain the benefits of the Enviroschools programme to His Royal Highness. Lauree and Esther presented him with a copy of the 2014 national Enviroschools census report.

Lauree is really proud to have been able to showcase the Enviroschools kaupapa and thanks the students & staff for the fabulous job they all did of representing their schools, their whānau, their community & the province. It was an honour to be part of the day.

Prince Charles finding out more from Toko students about their investigations on rural to coastal waterways studies.   


Following the visit to New Zealand, Lauree received this letter of thanks from the Assistant Private Secretary to The Prince of Wales,  ka pai Lauree!! 

Happy Birthday Marlborough - celebrating 10 years of Enviroschools in 2015

Enviroschools, a school programme that teaches children to love, care for and respect the environment, celebrated 10 years in Marlborough last week.

The day involved a planting event at the Taylor River walkway in the morning, followed by a teacher workshop at Blenheim School in the afternoon. The planting event was run by Envirogroup students from Fairhall, Springlands, Linkwater and Waikawa Bay schools, who did a really fantastic job of introducing special guests, sharing the commemorative plaque, and offering a mihi before the planting began. 

But it's not just the anniversary that is being celebrated - the programme, supported in the region by the Marlborough District Council, Marlborough Kindergarten Association and the Department of Conservation, has the largest uptake of any area nationally, and it's growing.

From humble beginnings in 2005 with five schools piloting the programme, 80 per cent of Marlborough schools are now signed on and all Marlborough kindergartens are on board. More than 90 per cent of the schools involved have eatable gardens and fruit trees, 90 per cent of schools have compost collection methods in place, 41 per cent are harvesting rainwater and 20 per cent keep chickens for eggs.

And it doesn't stop there. Thanks to Enviroschools, close to 1000 trees were planted across the Marlborough region in 2014 and the schools regularly go on outings to clean-up their local area. In addition to signing on to environmentally sustainable initiatives, the Enviroschools kaupapa teaches Māori perspectives and is about fostering deep connections within students "to love, care for and respect ourselves, each other and our planet."

Springlands School Enviroschool lead teacher Cathee Wilks says one of the highlights of the school's involvement with the programme has been how it had empowered children to take the lead on projects and use their initiative. "[It is great] seeing the 5-year olds take on leadership and initiate some actions at our school and the fact that they know they have a voice and know it will be listened to," she says.

Installing a sense of responsibility and empowerment within children is what motivates Enviroschools regional co-ordinator Annie McDonald. "We know that over the past 50 years humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable time in human history. "If we are preparing our students to be future focused then we need to equip them with the skills they need for our changing world."


Nelson Enviroschools Celebrate 10 years

In June, 70 Enviroschools teachers and principals gathered to make the achievement and look to the future with Nelson mayor Rachel Reese, Nelson MP Nick Smith, and Heidi Mardon who is chief executive of the Hamilton-based Toimata Foundation which is the trust working with Enviroschools.

The celebration, with a powhiri, was held at Auckland Point School which is the latest of the 21 Enviroschools in Nelson, which include eight kindergartens as well as primary and intermediate schools and three colleges - Garin, Nayland and Nelson College for Girls.

Regional coordinator for Enviroschools Nelson Lindsey Fish, left, Toimata Foundation chief executive Heidi Mardon and Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese with the new Enviroschools sign

Story & picture above featured in The Nelson Mail.

Long Term Plans Submission to Gisborne District Council

·      “Let’s talk about Tairawhiti” was a fantastic workshop to support staff and students to make submissions on the Gisborne District Council (GDC) Long Term Plan 2015-2025.  GDC councillors and the mayor were delighted to meet and workshop with our student leaders about what they want for the future. So impressed with some of our schools even  orally presenting their submissions to the council. We love empowered students who have great ideas about how to make Gisborne a sustainable community. 

The mayor Meng Foon showing our enviroschools how decisions get made in the Council Chambers. That’s our kids sitting in all the important chairs!

Whatatutu school thinking hard about what they want Tairawhiti look like in the next 10 years

Wānanga for 15 Secondary Enviroschools Students a real success!

A wānanga for 15 young environmental leaders in Southland was held at Te Kōawa Tūroa o Takitimu in February this year.  

The two day wānanga was the first of its kind for these students and was supported by an amazing local team of organisations.  The students were selected as representatives of the three southland secondary Enviroschools.

The two day event was the reflection of a partnership between one of our local runaka (Oraka Aparima) and our environmental education team.  It was designed to explore Māori perspectives of and in an environmental context.  Held at Te Koawa Turoa o Takitimi, a special place for mahika kai (producing and gathering of food) nestled in the shadow of the Takitimu mountains near Fiordland. 

Students took part in mihi, waiata and whakawhanaunga using taonga each student had brought with them. There was wananga on Kai Tahu whakapapa, kaitiakitanga, mauri and manākitanga.  

A hikoi up the valley led to discussions about building a seat up in the wetland beside a pond.  Students gathered resources, carried them up to the wetland, build and developed a name concept for the seat. The poroporoaki ended a magical two day hui. 

 More on this wonderful event here at Te panui

Poetry Slam Champ visits Nelson Enviroschools!

 Nelson Enviroschools were privileged to receive a visit from National Poetry Slam Champion Te Kahu Rolleston, at the end of Term one 2015. Te Kahu, whose official job title is ‘Poet,’ works for Te Aho Tū Roa, part of Toimata Foundation.  Fresh from the Pacifica festival, with an audience of 4000 people, we were extremely lucky to have him to work with our youth in Nelson, bringing his gifted brand of cool to inspire envirogroups . After a heros’ welcome where students already knew of his work, he went on to show the power that words can have as a tool to convey a message and initiate behaviour change in a relevant and appealing way to our students. 

Te Kahu visited 6 schools, as well as giving a public performance at the Elma Turner Library. Students were fortunate to workshop with him to produce their own poetry related to environmental issues. This also illustrated how it is possible to integrate environmental education within other curriculum areas, such as English, in an over stretched programme. His poetry strikes a chord with everyone who hears it and he also instilled confidence in the students to make some awesome performances of their writing. 


 A poem by Victor Ruhen from Victory School:


Yeah, as that rain falls down

I am thinking about how…

How much of that counts as a drop of life.

Like the flowers growing,

Like da trees bursting out of the ground…


And then I think of the people who can’t get to water

or rain

their pounding

their praying.


And the joy in their life,

when a drop of precious water hits their tongue.

Water Is Life.

Without water there would not be


Enviroschools Jams in Auckland for Secondary School Students

'Mini Green Jams' is a concept that has been put into action after the Auckland Secondary Schools Sustainability Conference, held in Term 1 this year.

The purpose of the regional mini jams in Auckland is to get a wider group of like-minded students together to empower and inspire one-another.  The jams also have been great in:

  • motivating host schools to get action happening and consolidate sustainability in their school
  • giving students practice of running sustainable events
  • keeping momentum up in all schools
  • tackling bigger actions in regions
  • making sustainability more mainstream 

The third mini Jam to happen in Auckland this year was at Glenfield College.  They hosted the latest Green Jam in their school marae and had a focus on Māori Perspectives in the environment, native plant seed sowing, recycling and a swap-meet.  

Find out more on their school website www.glenfieldcollege.school.nz/


Four other mini Green Jams have also been held this year!  St Kentigern College hosted the eastern, Waitakere  College in the west, Papatoetoe High School in the south and One Tree Hill College in central Auckland.  Keep up the momentum this is wonderful!