News and Events

ECE Facilitators connect in Tāmaki Makaurau and Ōtautahi

November 2, 2023

In September 2023 the National Enviroschools ECE team ran two hui (Tāmaki Makaurau and Ōtautahi) to support facilitators working with ECE Enviroschools. Roimata Macfarlane tells us about what happened.

Mō tātou te taiao ko te atawhai, mō tātou te taiao ko te oranga

It is for us to care for and look after the environment to ensure its wellbeing, in doing so we ensure our own wellbeing and that of our future generations.

It was really nice to be able to deliver our mahi kanohi ki te kanohi in both Te Ika-a-Māui (North Island) and Te Waipounamu (South Island) this year.  We had a total of 47 facilitators attend the two hui where we enjoyed sharing mauri, wholesome kōrero, good kai and lots of laughs.

Each year we offer space to hui-ā-tinana and address kaupapa requested by the Enviroschools facilitator network for us to unpack further. This year’s hui were focused on three main kaupapa;

  • Exploring Education for a Climate Changing Future and the relationship to the Enviroschools kaupapa, and our roles within it
  • Weaving te ao Māori through our facilitation mahi
  • Facilitation techniques

Records of the day’s mahi in Tāmaki Makaurau.

These three kaupapa provided rich kōrero and sharing of examples and experiences before further unpacking and building understanding. Lots of kōrero covered across all of our kaupapa landed on how we can offer opportunities to slow down and connect to the place we stand. Exploring, observing, connecting, questioning, and being part of actions that engage the head, the heart, and the hands, and that support te taiao, the environment. Localised curriculum or placed-based education certainly shone a light throughout these kaupapa of Climate Change/Education and Action and authentic connection when engaging with the appropriate mātauranga and pūrākau for each region to help to develop an understanding of that whakapapa and the history of place/ area/ wāhi/ rohe. We also spent some time within the hui gaining feedback and whakaaro on the holistic reflection stages as part of our national review. A visual journey of each hui was reflected on our Puna Mātauranga, capturing peoples whakaaro as we paused and reflected throughout each hui.


Katie Higgins engages the group.

Talking about Education for Climate Changing Future resources and the role of those working in ECE.









Co-creating a clear approach.

The beautiful thing about our Enviroschools kaupapa is that it’s a journey of gathering and learning knowledge over a period of time. Gathering that knowledge is about involving the Enviroschool, tamariki and whānau and the wider community and co-constructing understanding with it. Taking our time to pause and reflect on the current haerenga (journey), and what we can observe and learn moving forward. Professor Wally Penetito in his placed-based mahi acknowledges how we need to start where our feet are, but never stay there. It’s about beginning with the stuff you know, and then moving into the unknown.

“It was lovely meeting you properly, Roimata, and of course to see you again, Katie, also great to see you facilitate together and I always like how you lead the programme in the ECE space. It’s very clear, pragmatic approach so thank you.” – Matt Stranford


Considering the Enviroschools theme areas and the possible actions that help address climate change.

As we reflect on both hui, we felt uplifted with and by the mahi our Enviroschools ECE Facilitators are doing throughout the motu, engaging in learning that is meaningful and can build and navigate knowledge, using their heads and their hearts to make decisions.  We could certainly hear, see and feel that our kaupapa and our kaimahi are actively engaged in positively contributing to our communities, Aotearoa, and the world as we all strive to create a healthy, peaceful and more sustainable future.

It makes sense to conclude with the following whakataukī, “Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi | With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive.” This whakataukī talks to community, to collaboration and a strengths-based approach. It acknowledges that everybody has something to offer, a piece of the puzzle, and by working together we can all flourish.

“Thank you for a great day. You always create such a positive learning environment and of course the content is amazing.” – Angela O’Connor



Facilitators had a range of next steps recorded on pūrerehua images that they shared. These included:

  • The Ecological Building Theme Area actions brainstorm.

    Explore the Climate Change resource Te Whāriki online

  • Utilise the facilitation techniques shared today
  • Connect with the mauri states [activity used]
  • Facilitate how Enviroschools responds to climate change action
  • Facilitate a hui utilising the resources and ideas shared today
  • Facilitate a cluster workshop and go through Climate Change mahi shared

“I really enjoyed your hui in Ōtautahi last week. It was some great inspiration and nice for Laura and me to connect with the wider team as it’s just us over here on the coast.” – Lauren Kelly