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Student Kaitiaki from Te Tai o Aorere and Whākatu get together to kick off 2024

May 8, 2024

Connecting through shared kai.

Senior secondary environmental leaders from Nelson and Tasman met at the beautiful Waimārama Sanctuary outdoor classroom at the beginning of Term 1 to reflect and share what could be done to get environmental actions and tikanga underway at their kura.

The 18 students who attended were keen to get their schools engaged with Learning for Sustainability with a range of environmental activities.

The programme started with kai at the beginning of the workshop and an icebreaker that helped students get to know one another.

Enviroschools Facilitator, Rick Field, took the students on a guided walk describing and explaining how the sanctuary was flourishing to become a special place with a range of New Zealand’s biodiversity thriving within the fenced area.

Sharing ideas for action.

The hui gave them the opportunity to share with like-minded students from the local secondary schools what had been successful in previous years and some of the obstacles. They made a combined list of activities that they intended to do and they discussed the planning and organisation needed for each activity or event to be run.

A student commented, “I got the opportunity to work with enviro leaders from around my region, make meaningful connections and exchange ideas.”

They explored the qualities a good environmental leader could have. A range of qualities were discussed including being organised, enthusiastic and empathetic. Finally, everyone agreed that during the year it would be good to meet up again to work on a community-based project together.

There were plenty of positive discussions and students enjoyed the opportunity to meet the other students.  It was great to see students empowered to promote environmental action at their respective kura.

A comment from the student’s feedback on the Hui was, “It was achieved successfully as we met the students from other schools and had a chance to engage with them and learn more about their schools/ideas etc.”

Co-designing events

Being aware that schools are currently averse to students being away from their curriculum time and wanting to encourage attendance, the hui was held from 2- 4.40 pm on a Friday. It was important to use the time efficiently and make this a meaningful experience. Within the limited time, the student’s overall responses indicated their time spent at the hui was very worthwhile.


Students’ feedback was positive, with comments like, “I found sharing ideas and reflection useful for improvement and perspective. I liked the walk and seeing parts of the sanctuary.”