Rongomātāne - Qualities of peacefulness and order, provision, cultivation.

Growing Outcomes

Creating sustainable, resilient communities is a learning journey

We believe that creating healthy, sustainable communities involves all of us, and that through our work and our lives we each have different skills, knowledge and experience to contribute. Our kaupapa therefore supports the empowerment of young people and their communities to connect with each other and the environment and work together, to innovate and create change.

Toimata Foundation has four strategic priorities that our two main programmes, Enviroschools and Te Aho Tū Roa contribute to:

  1. A growing and diverse nationwide partner network of organisations, contributing long–term funding, collaborative programme development and regional implementation.
  2. Diverse programme participation in both te reo Māori and English language settings, and high retention rates.
  3. Social and cultural changes taking place that support the systemic long-term change needed for a sustainable future.
  4. A widening range of environmental actions and practices being undertaken, from a diverse range of perspectives.


Enviroschools is proven.  It was launched nationally in 2001 so has a track record of over two decades.  Toimata Foundation has commissioned an extensive programme of external research and evaluation over many years.  Key reports are linked below.


Download 2021 Enviroschools survey topline findings >


Download 2017 Census Key Results >


Download Evaluation Summary report – 2015 >


Download 2014 Census Evaluation Report >


All Enviroschools are engaging in a wide range of actions for sustainability


 Source: 2017 Enviroschools Nationwide Census


Read Our Stories


Enviroschools positively impacts participants of all ages

In 2021 Toimata commissioned a survey of participants.  Respondents included teachers, principals, school trustees, parents/whānau, students, community members, councillors, council staff and collaborators.  The survey provided a range of valuable data,  including the responses below regarding the impact that being part of the Enviroschools network has had on them personally.


Overall Benefits of Enviroschools

The scale and range of action being taken by the schools and early childhood centres involved in Enviroschools is significant – it amounts to thousands of projects, creating healthy, peaceful and more sustainable communities. These practices are becoming embedded, they are empowering young people, they are connecting communities, and they are supporting a movement for change in this country.

Benefits for tamariki and students:

  • A sense of belonging and contribution
  • Recognition of the different skills and qualities of themselves and others
  • Skills and experience from working together, making decisions, planning and taking action
  • Hands-on practical ways to engage with the curriculum and learning

“The understanding of sustainability is becoming part of who they are. It’s just what they know and how they live, it’s normal thinking for them now. They know it, they practice it, they are serious about it” – Teacher

Benefits for ECE centres and schools:

  • A flexible adaptive framework so centres and schools can design their own unique pathway
  • Support from an expert Facilitator and a suite of resources
  • Participation in a network – peer to peer sharing across centres and schools
  • Fosters a culture of care and inclusion
  • More inspiring and healthy grounds
  • Sustainable practices that also save money
  • Increased connection with whānau and community

“Enviroschools allows both students and teachers to access learning outside the classroom. It allows teachers to build relationships and develop expertise in a variety of areas and creates opportunities for students interested in conservation, ecology, sustainability, hauora”.

Benefits for whānau and the wider community:

  • Sharing of knowledge and skills between centre/school and home
  • Active involvement in a range of interesting community-based projects 
  • Increased knowledge and experience of Māori perspectives
  • Increased understanding of cultural diversity
  • Attitudes of care, responsibility and creativity that transfer into all aspects of life as young people grow up.

“[The most valuable change from being an Enviroschool is] families being involved and following through with learning at home.” – Teacher

Benefits for partners:

  • Proven Programme backed by robust evaluation and a 20 year track record 
  • Long-term holistic approach creates a wide range of outcomes – cultural, environmental, social, and economic
  • Collaborative implementation model with co-investment from Central Government, Local Government and Community
  • Opportunities for authentic relationships with community –  working collaboratively on inspiring projects 

“Council benefits greatly from its relationship with Enviroschools. The programme makes a significant contribution to our  work across a range of teams and brings a unique holistic kaupapa into the organisation.  As the council moves more into collaborative ways of working the skills held and approach taken by Enviroschools team will be ever more valuable.” –  Manager, Greater Wellington Regional Council.