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Tairāwhiti Early Childhood sector joins others to embrace Enviroschools

May 1, 2023

“I am inspired and motivated to start this journey,” was the feedback from one participant at a recent Enviroschools hui in Te Tairāwhiti.

Bridget takes the group through the Enviroschools ECE Handbook.

Charlotte, centre, discusses the Enviroschools Big Picture with others.







Te Tairāwhiti Region has broadened their engagement to bring onboard 7 ECE centres to the Enviroschools Programme.

Facilitators, Bridget and Kauri, with the support of Regional Coordinator, Charlotte, facilitated a workshop/hui to welcome and introduce the centre teams to Enviroschools. Katie Higgins, National Enviroschools Early Childhood Coordinator supported Te Tairāwhiti facilitators in creating the workshop plan, along with providing some strategic elements to ensure the support and commitment to the kaupapa from the centres that have recently signed onto the programme.

The aim of the workshop was to help set them on a haerenga of Enviroschools and help build a network of ECE Enviroschools people in the region. The workshop covered the essentials of Enviroschools including the Kaupapa, Guiding Principles and Holistic Approach guided by the Action Learning Cycle. Participants got to experience some of the activities from the main Enviroschools resources as well as immerse themselves in some of the resource material.

“I learnt about new places to take our tamariki which will link into both Enviroschools and location-based curriculum into one.” – feedback

Participating kaiako were challenged to consider what the next steps could be for their centres. Some wanted to reduce waste in their centre and bring whānau on board while others wanted to explore clean and sustainable practices in the maara kai.

‘What a relaxed space for learning,” one kaiako commented about the venue.

Kaiako got a chance to unpack some of the resources, undertake activities and network.

Building and understanding of the Guiding Principles and what they might look like in an ECE setting.







From a Regional Coordinator’s perspective, it is an incredible achievement for Tairāwhiti Enviroschools to be able to expand the reach of the kaupapa to the early childhood sector. It has been sought after from within the early childhood community for a number of years, so to get to this point, and to have such a great uptake, is fantastic. At the workshop itself, there was a lot of enthusiasm and sharing of existing mahi the centres are already doing and how Enviroschools will be woven into and compliment the sustainability journey that centres are already on. The support from the Toimata team, particularly Katie, has been invaluable – wouldn’t have got to this point without it. – Charlotte Phelps, Regional Coordinator Enviroschools Tairāwhiti Gisborne

Banner image: Kauri makes the most of the outdoor space and great weather to explore some of the activities.