Enviroschools Wellington | Te Upoko o te Ika a Māui update - news for Enviroschools across the region

Thank you

to the following partners for their ongoing support of the Enviroschools Programme in Te Upoko o te Ika a Māui / The Wellington Region.

In this issue :
What Enviroschools in the region have been up to, including
  • Kids Connect 2016
  • Pest Control at Pirinoa School and Kahutara School
  • Video from Keep New Zealand Beatiful Sustainable Schools award winners - Eastern Hutt School
  • Presenting Petitions to Parliament - Kāpiti College and Berhampore School
Resources and Opportunities worth looking at, including:
  • Movin' March 2017
  • SeaWeek 2017
  • Love your Coast Wellington Clean-up and Education Tour
  • Connecting with Nature - Mental Health Awareness Week
  • Bird of the Year Competition

A note from the Enviroschools Team  
Kia ora koutou,

I was lucky enough to attend TWO inspiring Green-Gold sharing and decision making days in September (read more below). Our region now has 12 Green-Gold Enviroschools - incredible!! It’s amazing to reflect that in 2003, there were only 8 Enviroschools in the Wellington region and there are now 93 - wow! 

I would like to acknowledge the awesome support (funding, skills and knowledge) our funding partners provide to the Enviroschools Programme. Thanks so much!!  (For more information about our funding partners, click on their logos on the left side of our newsletter).

Enviroschools Te Upoko o te Ika a Māui has made a submission on the government’s Draft National Environmental Education for Sustainability Strategy. You can read the submission here.  We supported the intentions of the strategy but pointed out some concerns.  Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the strategy through our google form, and also to students at Wellington High School. Your comments were so valuable and helped shape the submission.

As you head into Term 4 and towards Chirstmas take a little bit of time with your tamariki to reflect on all you've achieved this year (big or small) on your Enviroschools journey and celebrate!


Upcoming Support for teachers
Enviroschools Te Upoko o te Ika a Māui have lots of exciting local PD opportunities planned for Term Four.  Your local Enviroschools facilitator will be in touch about these directly. Here are a few of these opportunities. 

Te Awarua o Porirua Teacher Network Hui
24th November, 3.30 - 5pm - 17A Hartham place (Porirua CBD)
Tiakina Ngā Taonga Art Exhibition - where tamariki share their vision for the protection of Te Awarua o Porirua.

Northern Wellington Schools
28th October 1:30-2:30pm, Johnsonville School 
Native Plant Audit with Wild Fruits of Wellington, Zealandia and grandparents.

Student Empowerment
20th October 3:30-5:30pm, Otari School
with guest speakers from Wild Eyes. Wellington City schools register here

Congratulations to.....

...Clyde QuaySchool who reflected as a Bronze Enviroschool in Term 3!
...Plateau School and St Patrick's School - our newest Green Gold Enviroschools!

St Patrick's School (Masterton) reflected as a Green-Gold Enviroschool in September.  Read more here about how St Patrick's School has found connections between the Enviroschools Kaupapa and the Catholic Character


Plateau School became Upper Hutt’s first Green-Gold Enviroschool after a great sharing and decision-making day in September. It was amazing to see the pride of the students as they shared their projects and the school’s huge enthusiasm for student empowerment and sustainability.

What Enviroschools in the Region have been up to...

... Kids Connect in the Hutt Valley
In August 2016 Hutt City Council supported Enviroschools to run Kids Connect for the fifth year.  This year 90 students from 21 schools participated in a day focused on sustainability learning and action.  They also collaborated with artists to perform a new waiata and create a mural and a music video.  Read more here and  watch the film here.

Last weekend, this year's host of Kids Connect, Eastern Hutt School won
the “Keep New Zealand Beautiful Sustainable Schools award. We are so impressed by their commitment to sustainability!  They have made an amazing short film showing us what Enviroschools looks like at their school.  This could be great to share with your students and staff to get ideas and  inspiration.
They also have an excellent blog which is regularly updated with great ideas and information:

... Kāpiti College and Kuranui College

Kāpiti College is currently the only secondary Enviroschool of Te Upoko o te Ika a Māui / The Wellington Region. Recently they hosted students from Greytown's Kuranui College, who are interested in becoming an Enviroschool. Each group shared with the other sustainability projects they have been and are currently involved with.   Read more here about their day of sharing and inspiration.

Kāpiti College students speak in support of CHOOSE CLEAN WATER Petition 

On Thursday 13th October four students from Kāpiti College’s Eco Action Group attended and spoke at the Choose Clean Water Petition, Environment Select Committee Hearing at Parliament.  Read more here.
"The submissions from the Choose Clean Water campaigners and the Kapiti College students were eloquent, impassioned and moving. Select committee members need to pay careful attention to what the next generation is saying as these young people have the most to lose,” said Fish and Game Chief Executive,  Bryce Johnson.

Sophie Handford, Pippa Mc Cormack-Wolf, Bree  Renwick and Ruby Hayvice, Year 10 & 11 students took up the invite to speak as a representation of youth at the hearing.

Click here for more information about the Choose Clean Water Petition

Education for All rally

Well done to students of Berhampore School who performed kapa haka at the Education for All Rally at Parliament in September. The rally was organised in response to Government’s recent policy announcements about including students with disabilities. These students demonstrated sustainability in action as empowered students using creative means to stand for inclusivity and access to education. Berhampore School Student Indi said "It felt really good to attend the ralley because better support means better teaching for everyone.  I was supporting one of the girls in my class. she would have felt really happy for people standing up for her." Ka mau te wehi!  Read more about the Education for All rally  here

Taking initiative to make schools pest free!
Students of two South Wairarapa primary schools have been turning pest control into a learning experience.Nine students from Pirinoa School and Kahutara School have formed a Pest Control Group. “Our goal is to make our schools pest free. We are starting to do this to make New Zealand pest free by 2050.”

First the students decided where to put the traps and lures, like the shed, the BBQ and the school attic. Then students from both schools check the traps each day. They share the results online with each other. They already have killed 3 rats and 2 mice! Once the students have perfected their skills, they will be able to teach others at the schools. Students will even be able to take traps home to extend the learning and the trapping network.
Read more here.

Funding for these ‘The Good Nature’ traps came from Fonterra and both schools are supported by the Department of Conservation and local care groups.

Check out Zealandia's Tracking and Trapping Resource including five lesson plans.

Resources worth looking at
Movin' March 1-31 March 2017

Movin’March is a month long event run by Greater Wellington Regional Council celebrating active journeys to school in the Wellington region. Walking, cycling and scooting to school have many benefits for children. As well as being a great opportunity for regular exercise in the outdoors, they can improve independence, physical and mental health, decision making, risk assessment and road safety skills.
There are so many ways to celebrate and support students to make active and sustainable trips to and from school, many of which can be incorporated into the curriculum in and out of the classroom. Take part in the Walk or Wheel Challenge to be in to win great prizes for your school and students – or use the new Movin’March lesson plans in class.  To find out more, visit

Mental Health Awareness Week
Last  week was Mental Health Awareness week - and the theme this year was Connect with Nature. Visit the Mental Health Awareness Week website for stories about ways to connect - including this one inspired by Wainuiomata Primary School. Many studies show the positive links between direct experiences in nature and children’s mental, emotional and physical health and wellbeing, as reported by the Department of Conservation’s document  Benefits of connecting children with nature.

Nga Taitamariki Kaimatakitaki Manu o Aotearoa: The Young Birders of New Zealand
Check out these bird identification quizzes on the new Young Birders of New Zealand website.  Young Birders New Zealand is run by a team of four young birders who live right across New Zealand. Their goals are encouraging young New Zealanders to get into birding, learn more about the amazing birds in this country and to help them meet people with similar interests.

Forest and Bird: Bird of the Year Competition 2016
Bird of the Year is a fun way to learn about our native birds and advocate for them.  
Voting is open now and closes on October 30th.

Soft plastics recycling comes to Wellington
New World, Pak'nSave, Countdown and Warehouse stores will be accepting soft plastics for recycling around Wellington City from 19 October.

The project will take all soft plastic bags including bread bags, frozen food bags, packaging, confectionery and biscuit wrap, chip bags, pasta and rice bags, courier envelopes, shopping bags - basically anything made of plastic which can be scrunched into a ball.

Customers can bring their used soft plastics back to store and put them in the recycling bin. This will be collected from store by REDcycle.

The Buddy2Buddy Schools Solar Program connects school communities who want to make a difference with other children and communities in areas throughout the world that live in energy poverty.  Purchasing and building a ‘SolarBuddy’ light at school teaches children about the positive impact renewable energy has on communities living in energy poverty. Sending that light to a child in need, along with a personal letter, can make a huge difference to their life and future.
Click here for more information about the SolarBuddy Buddy2Buddy Schools Solar Programme 

For more information, or to get your school involved please contact:
Kate Rowland  022 108 4318

Other upcoming dates

Love your Coast Wellington Clean-up and Education Tour
10 October - 9 December 2016

Anytime during Term 4 Sustainable Coastlines offers any year group at your school the opportunity to be a part of Love your Coast Wellington 2016. Your School will receive an educational presentation and/or an organised clean-up of your local coastline or waterway at no cost to your school.
Visit Sustainable Coastlines for more information and to register.

School Grounds Development Workshop
Thursday 27 October 2016  
The Treehouse, Wellingon Botanic Garden 9.30am - 3pm

Join Guy Redmond and Alice Robin from Leaves of Green for a one-day workshop to explore developing your school grounds into effective outdoor learning environments and natural play spaces.
This workshop for Principals, board members, teaching staff and caretakers will guide you through the creative, practical and legal considerations of outdoor learning environment planning.
For more information view the workshop flyer here visit leaves of  

Para-Kore hui-a-tau (Zero Waste annual conference)
Friday 28 - Sunday 30 October 2016

Parihaka Pā, Te Paepae o Te Raukura (Takitūtū Marae), in Taranaki 

Para Kore or Zero Waste is a philosophy, a programme and a Māori organisation with a kaupapa based on whakapapa to Papatūānuku. Guest speakers at this years hui-a-tau will cover topics on going plastic-free, whakapapa to natural resources, how our tūpuna lived 'para kore'; workshops will include composting, waste checks and visits to the ngahere (bush) to talk about rongoa (natural medicines) and to the moana to talk about current issues facing our coastal environments and mahinga kai.   All people welcome.  
More information about the hui-a-tau and how to register can be found here.
Pare-Kore have also put together Zero Waste resources in English and Te Reo which you can access here.

The Pauatahanui Cockle Count
Sunday 27 November, 3.00pm.
Get involved in the longest running citizen science initiative in the country. Greater Wellington Regional Council and Guardians of the Pauatahanui Inlet (GOPI) are holding the eighth cockle survey count.  They need 100 volunteers to survey 31 sites. To register for the cockle count, visit

SeaWeek 2017
Saturday 25 February - Sunday 5 March
Toiora te Moana, Toiora te Tangata - Healthy Seas, Healthy People
If you'd like to get involved in Seaweek by organising an event, no matter how small, NZAEE can help - just let the National Coordinator know your plans by emailing Mels Barton on

Whio Forever  Resource Teacher's Workshop
Thursday 2 March 2017 at Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre

Whio Forever is an integrated curriculum teaching and learning resource with the whio/blue duck as the real life context for learning. The resource covers multiple learning areas of the New Zealand Curriculum.
Join DoC for a free workshop about how to use the resource.
Teacher release funding is available
To book or for more information, visit

2016 Meridian Sustainability Calendar
This calendar shows dates of Sustainability events around the country and the world for 2016.  It is available on our website.

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