Empowering our people in 2022

| By National Team

A strong network of regional facilitators brings skills and on-the-ground support to implement the Enviroschools Programme. The Enviroschools national team provides a range of ways for these facilitators to build their knowledge, confidence and competence to work effectively with Enviroschools and their communities. Below is a summary of what was provided for facilitators working in the primary and secondary school sectors in 2022.

Professional Development delivered Online

New and Developing Facilitator Zoom Hui

Throughout the year the Enviroschools National Team hosted online Zoom support sessions to meet the needs of new and developing facilitators.  The purpose of these sessions is to provide a platform for facilitators to support each other through sharing experiences, successes, challenges and to have an opportunity to network. Each session also focused on a particular topic based on the group’s needs and the opportunity to learn from and ask questions of experienced facilitators.

During 2022 the topics that were delivered were: Regional Responses to the COVID situation; Resources for COVID times; Exploring Supportive Websites; Exploring the Enviroschools Theme Areas; Cultural Safety and Connecting with Mana Whenua; All aboard – exploring a Whole School Approach; Scenario café – problem-solving typical Enviroschools scenarios; Exploring the website; Top tips for on-line PD; Connecting our Kaupapa with Aotearoa Histories and NZ Curriculum; and finally a ‘Reflection’ on the journey of the year and feeding forward for 2023.

“I have appreciated the adaptability of our people to continue our mahi in a reframed world of health-related disruptions and ever-increasing demands on teachers.” – participant feedback after a zoom sharing event

Facilitator Sharing Zoom Hui

In 2022 we offered a range of Professional Development Sharing Zoom sessions to the whole Enviroschools facilitator network.  Our topics included launching the Ecological Building Theme Area; Tools, Tips and Tricks for engaging with schools online; Linking our Kaupapa to Local Curriculum; and Facilitators Celebrating Successes.

Zoom Café

Similar to ‘speed dating’, the Zoom café was an energising opportunity to get together with other facilitators online and kōrero on topics of their choice.  In our 2022 café, discussions were held on the topics: Climate Action; Facilitation Skills; Collaboration; Talking Carbon Footprint with Schools; Enviroschools Holistic Reflection; Matariki; Supporting Schools with Native Nurseries; Local responses to Global Issues … and more!

Secondary discussion Zoom sessions

As a follow-up to the rich learning from a series of Zoom hui in 2021 focused on understanding Enviroschools in a Secondary context, ‘Secondary Discussion Groups’ were held each term of 2022.  These were hugely valued by facilitators working in the secondary sector and provided a great forum for facilitators to learn from and support each other as well as express their ideas and needs.  These sessions have led to the forming of an action group in 2023 to realise some of these ideas.


Kanohi ki te Kanohi/ Face to Face Professional Development:

Building a collective pool of knowledge around the Guiding Principles at the Introduction to Enviroschools Hui.

Introduction to Enviroschools hui

In June and November 2022, Facilitators and Regional Co-ordinators who had recently joined the network gathered at the Home of Compassion in Te Whanganui-a-Tara for an ‘Introduction to Enviroschools’ hui. Participants from across the motu spent three days exploring the kaupapa, resources and processes of the programme.

“There was excellent ‘thinking out loud’ letting us know the reason behind actions/ choices/ ideas – good modelling.” – participant feedback

Arihia Latham, Kaikōkiri Māori Advisor for Toimata Foundation, facilitated three great sessions exploring different aspects of Māori Perspectives and connecting with mana whenua.

“Arihia’s input was invaluable for te ao Māori perspectives!” – feedback from the June hui

A highlight from our June hui was the evening experience of ‘learning in the environment’ at Zealandia where, alongside connecting with each other and te taiao, we were delighted to see tuatara, kiwi and takahē.

Mapping our place.

Experiencing the Kaupapa hui

The inaugural ‘Experiencing the Kaupapa’ three-day hui was held at Te Mauri Tau, Whāingaroa, in early November. The purpose of this hui was for facilitators to deeply explore the Enviroschools kaupapa and develop stronger connections with te ao Māori.  It was also an opportunity for participants to be immersed in an environment that models sustainable living. This amazing experience included being nourished by incredible kai and time on the whenua getting hands, heads and hearts engaged.


Regional Support Hui:

Whakatū and Aorere 

Following an ‘Introduction to Enviroschools’ day with a new facilitator, Beccy Dove (Enviroschools Facilitator Support) worked with the teams from Whakatū and Aorere.  An enlightening day was held, exploring the Holistic Reflection kit, delving into the Enviroschools Theme Areas and integrating Māori Perspectives throughout.

Tairāwhiti team ‘Visualising their place’ by creating a 3D map of the local area (Ecological Buildings activity).

Te Tairāwhiti

In August Beccy joined the Tairāwhiti team in Turanga nui a Kiwa for a two-day hui.  Day one was spent exploring the resources, kaupapa, processes and the role of facilitator and day two saw participants delving into the Theme Areas resources to become more familiar with them and be inspired by the activities.



Morag and Esther from the national Enviroschools team support professional development for Southland and Otago teams on the Otago coast.

Murihiku and Ōtakau teams came together twice through the year and were joined by Morag Vasilaki (Enviroschools Facilitator Support) and Esther Kirk (Enviroschools National Manager), to explore a variety of topics including reflections and Theme Areas.

The Term 4 hui included a session at the beach immersing themselves in the presence of the atua Māori.  An additional day was spent on both occasions in Murihiku providing 1 to 1 support for the new Regional Co-ordinator and Facilitators.



Gill Stewart (Enviroschools Facilitator Support) joined the Manawatū-Whanganui team for a training day in June.  The focus of this day was facilitator tools and exploration of the new Ecological Building Theme Area.


Regional Co-ordinator of Manawatū-Whanganui Region with facilitator Heidi working through an activity.

Enviroschools National Manager, Esther Kirk explains the Enviroschools journey of investigation, exploration action and reflection on the pathway to creating a sustainable community.