National Early Childhood Education Hui Celebrates and Nurtures Development

Sandy Bell-Jameson facilitates a group session.

Our National Early Childhood Education (ECE) Facilitator hui was a time to celebrate and nurture the strength, capacity and knowledge in the ECE sector of Enviroschools.

85 Facilitators, Regional Coordinators and teachers from around the country came together in Epsom, Auckland for an amazing 3 days of guest speakers, pecha kucha, workshops, fieldtrips and many networking opportunities.

The hui showed once again that bringing people together to spend time kanohi ki te kanohi, face to face, with others in the ECE sector is invaluable.

The plenary given by Dr Ihi Heke.

It gives the network a space to share ideas and stories of successes, connect with Enviroschools resources, contribute to the direction of the programme, and inspires and builds capacity in our facilitators and people involved in the Enviroschools kaupapa.

A focus of this hui was a rich exploration around Māori Perspectives – one of the key guiding principles of Enviroschools. Providing opportunities to connect to whenua, exploring local pūrākau and extending knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori was a key aim of the

Workshops and guest speaker topics included:

  • Weaving the Whāriki – Enviroschools and Te Whāriki 2017,
  • Māori Environmental Science in Action: Environment led Teaching,
  • Me and my rākau – Ko au ko koe, ko koe ko au,
  • Te Mahu: Visioning the Future of ECE Through Mara Hupara – Harko Brown,
  • The Atua Matua Maori Environmental Framework and Google Earth Virtual Tours: From Kaupapa Māori to Iwi Centred learning – Dr Ihi Heke.
  • The Water Journey: Appreciating the symbiotic relationship between our waters and those of Mother Earth and the seed – Mike O’Donnell

“Mike, your deeply moving korero was a fantastic way to end the 3 days of ‘sustaining communities, sustaining ourselves’. Many things lined up spiritually in your parting presentation, the whetu, the awa, the whenua, the sounds and vibrations of Papatūānuku resounding in us all……what a gift you gave us all! I cannot thank you enough” – Auckland ECE Facilitator.

Mike’s Artwork

Another intention of the hui was to provide opportunities to visit genuine, inspiring spaces, including local Green Gold Enviroschools and a guided hikoi up Maungakiekie, and to gain insights into current challenges, strengths and opportunities for ECE Enviroschools.

We really appreciated the energy and contributions that everyone brought to the hui, it really makes the ECE sector such a wonderful space to be working in and reinforces that Enviroschools is thriving in the ECE sector.


“The greatest highlight for me has been the synergy which grew as the collective knowledge of all our guest speakers and presenters interwove across the three days. This heightens my belief in the interconnectedness of all things” – Participant.

Banner photo: Harko Brown giving his plenary outdoors.