News and Events

Whakatinanatanga – Experiencing the Kaupapa Hui

December 6, 2023

An ‘Experiencing the Kaupapa’ three-day hui was held at Te Mauri Tau in Whāingaroa/Raglan in early November 2023.

Ideally this hui is attended within the first 12 months of a facilitator’s Enviroschools journey and is complementary to the ‘Introduction to Enviroschools’ hui, both part of a comprehensive professional development pathway offered to new and developing Enviroschools facilitators.

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.

“Excellent balance between work with our tinana and hinengaro and wairua.” – participant

Mahi ngātahi.

Releasing the young native trees.








The hot compost takes shape.

In this November cohort, participants enjoyed connecting to the whenua through whakatinanatanga – learning through experience and action. They had opportunity to create healthy kai using produce harvested straight from the māra kai and gave back to the soil through creating a hot compost pile from freshly removed weeds, hay and clippings. Previous attendees had planted native species on the hillside. The November rōpū released these young plants from weeds to help them establish and grow.

“I appreciated doing mahi on the whenua which has sustained us for the hui – a chance to give back, contribute, be part of something bigger while continuing to learn.” – participant

Activities from Enviroschools activities such as ‘Mapping our Place’, ‘Web of Life’ and ‘Exploring Ngā Atua’ were woven into the three days, following the Enviroschools Action Learning Cycle. Facilitators had a chance to hear the story/history of Enviroschools, the challenges and successes from people who ‘sat around the table’ in the early days and the growth and consolidation since.  The illustrated banner created by Chief Executive Heidi Mardon was rolled out and led to rich kōrero.

“The learning has been deep on many levels – understanding the history of the Enviroschools kaupapa, the people who have developed, carried and shared their aroha has made me feel more connected to this and do my bit to carry and tautoko this.”  – participant

Facilitators also got time to connect with the moana through time on a beautiful local beach and explore the concept of ‘ko au ko koe, ko koe ko au’ – ‘I am you and you are me’.

An underlying intention for this hui is that people go away feeling more connected to each other and nourished in body, mind and soul.

“It has been a long time since I felt so thoroughly nourished in every respect” – Susan Hutchinson-Daniel, Enviroschools Regional Coordinator, Tāmaki Makaurau

Creating fresh, yummy kai in the kāuta.

Banana leaf wraps for take-away lunch.