Empowering our people in 2023

| By National Team

The Enviroschools Programme strives to engage all people as learners, encouraging participation in a genuine and inclusive way, honouring all perspectives to unleash the creative potential and enrich the development of the Enviroschools community. The Enviroschools National team provides a range of mechanisms to equip regional facilitation teams and individuals to grow their own competence and effectively deliver the Enviroschools Programme. Below is a summary of what was provided by the Enviroschools National team for facilitators working in the primary and secondary school sectors through 2023.

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 2023 the topics that were delivered were:

  • Creating connections through Clusters and Events,
  • NZC, Aotearoa Histories and Enviroschools,
  • Tips and Tricks and Tools for Successful Hui,
  • Planning for Staff Meetings – successful strategies, topics and tools,
  • Holistic Reflection,
  • Exploring the Enviroschools Website,
  • Exploring other websites
  • Kaupapa and Curriculum Connections,
  • Talking Transitions,
  • Cultural Safety and Connecting with Mana Whenua,
  • Scenario café – problem-solving typical Enviroschools challenges,
  • ‘Reflection’ on the journey of the year and feeding forward for 2024.

“I appreciate hearing different people’s experiences and practical ideas and how they have managed and engaged with their schools.”  – feedback


“I like to make connections with other facilitators from throughout the motu to listen to ideas and to share ideas.”


National Facilitator Sharing Zoom Hui

In 2023 we initiated Regional Sharing Zoom sessions for the whole Enviroschools facilitator network.  Regional teams from Te Tai Tokerau, Ōtākau, Te Tai Rāwhiti, Aorere and Whakatū shared inspirational stories about approaches and learning from their regions.  We finished 2023 with an online meeting to reflect on the year and to enable facilitators from all around the country to ‘Celebrate Successes’ and consider their desires for PDL in 2024








Zoom Café

Similar to ‘speed dating’, our annual Zoom café is an energising opportunity to get together with other facilitators online and kōrero on topics of their choice.

         What I love about my job.

In our 2023 café, discussions were held on various hot topics including:

  • Talking climate action – connecting our Kaupapa
  • Month in the life of an experienced facilitator
  • Being a good Te Tiriti partner
  • Histories curriculum – how are you connecting with this in your mahi
  • Secondary Student Leadership Climate Camp
  • Building relationships with Principals
  • Me in my Environment and Vision Mapping
  • Garden to Table Relationship


James Hargest College students at a planting day.

Secondary Working Group

As a follow-up to the rich learning from a series of Zoom hui in 2021 focused on understanding Enviroschools in a Secondary school context, ‘Secondary Discussion Groups’ were held each term of 2022.  These sessions led to the forming of an action group in 2023 and a suite of resources is now being developed with plans to build on and share these more widely in 2024.

Kanohi ki te Kanohi/ Face to Face Professional Development:

Celebrating great facilitation and facilitators!

Introduction to Enviroschools hui

In June 23, another ‘Introduction to Enviroschools’ hui was held in Te Whanganui-a-Tara for Facilitators and Regional Co-ordinators who had recently joined the network. Participants spent three days exploring the kaupapa, resources and processes of the programme through a mix of experiential, interactive and focused activities.


Feedback of ‘what worked well’ from participants included:

  • I built great relationships, learning snippets of each person’s journey
  • I loved learning more about being an effective facilitator.
  • It allowed group conversation, space to learn, speak and think.
  • Lots of room for questions
  • It was great to form connections with the other new facilitators and start our journey as a team
  • It was great to have some facilitation modelled for/with us like the GP’s exercise and mapping to start the vision.
  • [Facilitators were] fabulous at giving us the space to discuss issues. I felt really heard.

    Working together and hearing different perspectives.

  • I loved experiencing some of the activities in practice as a participant.

Arihia Latham, Kaikōkiri Māori Advisor for Toimata Foundation, explored how Te Ao Māori is integrated throughout the programme and supported facilitators confidence in connecting with mana whenua in their regions.

“On a personal level, Arihia’s session was very helpful to better understand connecting to iwi and personal whakapapa.” – Participant feedback



Everything has a purpose. Experiencing the Kaupapa participants remove weeds to then be used in the compost.

Experiencing the Kaupapa hui

‘Experiencing the Kaupapa’ is offered to facilitators after approximately a year in the programme. The purpose of these hui is for facilitators to have the opportunity to explore more deeply the kaupapa of Enviroschools, create stronger connections with Te Ao Māori and understand how this is intrinsically part of our kaupapa. Being held at Te Mauri Tau on their whenua means participants are immersed in an environment that models sustainable living. These hui are experiential and engage people through head, heart and hands. Read more about our hui in 2023 here 

Deepening Practice Hui

Developing Facilitators from the deep south to the far north came together in September at the Botanical Gardens in Tāmaki Makaurau for a hui aimed at deepening the understanding of the role of an Enviroschools Facilitator, knowledge of Enviroschools resources, developing Sustainable Communities and modelling effective facilitation. Find out more about it here.

Using well-crafted questions to reflect and connect.

Checking out the bounty of the Papatoetoe West gardens.











Regional Support Hui:


In April a two-day hui was held in Ōtautahi Christchurch.  Day one focused on introducing the Enviroschools programme to five new facilitators from Te Tai Poutini West Coast, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington and Ōtautahi Christchurch.  Beccy Dove and Arihia Latham from the National Enviroschools team worked with participants to explore the Enviroschools kaupapa and resources.

It was also a chance for Arihia to work with Tayla Nelson Tūhuru, new Māori advisor for Te Tai Poutini, to unpack her role.  On the second day the two teams from the South Island came together to connect and explore Te Ao Māori with Arihia.  There was also time for the new Regional Co-ordinator for Te Tai Poutini, Lauren Kelly, to explore her role with her predecessor, Zoe Watson.

Te Matau ā Māui

A one-and-a-half-day hui was held in Napier in October working with new facilitators and other members of the Te Mātau ā Māui team.  The time was spent exploring the Enviroschools Kaupapa, resources and unpacking what it means to be a facilitator of the programme.  The team who had been so severely impacted by Cyclone Gabriel earlier in the year appreciated the time to connect and share experiences.

In their reflection on the hui, some of the things that worked well for participants were “awesome examples in action”, “positive facilitation”, “interacting and sharing experiences”, “access to resources I hadn’t seen before”, “energising and active”, “hands on activities and visuals alongside our conversations.”