Welcome to the seventh edition of the Waikato
This newsletter includes information on environmental
education, worms, weedbusters, air quality and what is
happening in some Enviroschools.
Environmental education is the second of the five main
principles guiding the Enviroschools programme. These
principles are derived from emerging understanding
about how environment, ecology, education, society and
culture each contribute to creating a sustainable world.
Schools are encouraged to develop these principles and
continually check for signs that they are growing and
visible. The five principles are as follows:
• sustainable communities
• environmental education
• genuine student participation
• Maori perspectives
• respect for the diversity of people and cultures.
In this year’s newsletters we are focusing on each of these
principles in turn.
The recent zero waste and living landscapes workshop at
Hillcrest Normal School was a great success, attracting
27 schools and approximately 150 students. Most schools
came for the whole day and feedback was very positive.
The day was based on the action learning cycle, which
identifies the current situation, explores alternatives, takes
action and then reflects on the changes. Information is
included in this newsletter about some things schools
might decide to do to follow on from this workshop.
Please see the dates for workshops and upcoming coffee
and cake afternoons planned for 2006 on the back page
of this newsletter.
If you or your school would like to contribute to this
newsletter please contact me or your facilitator to arrange
If you would like to talk to me about the Enviroschools
programme or any of Environment Waikato’s resources
for schools, email email@example.com or phone
(07) 859 0970. For further resources and previous
editions of this newsletter visit www.ew.govt.nz.
Regional Enviroschools Co-ordinator
The last Enviroschools newsletter focused on the first of the
five Enviroschools guiding principles – sustainability. This
edition highlights the second of these guiding principles
– environmental education.
Environmental education is an action-focused approach
to learning that engages us in the physical, social, cultural
and political aspects of our environment.
This approach is also known as ‘sustainability education’
or ‘education for sustainable development’. Environmental
learning is holistic and integrated across the curriculum,
not confined to one subject. Environmental education has
Education about the environment
Provides information on the workings of the environment
- natural systems and the interactions between humans
and the environment. This informative approach is
concerned with developing awareness, knowledge and
understanding of the environment.
Education in the environment
Includes activities based outside the classroom setting
that encourage personal growth through contact with the
Education for the environment
Has environmental improvement as a goal. It can develop
a sense of responsibility and empower people to feel that
they can make a difference by being actively involved.
The aim is to strengthen students’ knowledge, skills,
attitudes, values, awareness and participation and to
foster environmental citizenship.
This information was sourced from the Enviroschools
handbook (Enviroschools Foundation, 2005, p.9).
For more information about the
Enviroschools programme, visit
Zero waste and living
Here are some topic suggestions as a follow up to the zero waste and
living landscapes workshop.
If your school has explored zero waste and established recycling and
wormeries, you may like to revisit the theme through other topics. Waste
audits provide an authentic context for statistics and measurement.
Reduce, recycle and re-use
• paper – materials, making recycled paper and card
• rubbish bins – designing to make them more efficient and attractive
• soil and soil animals – worms
Plan for a package free day. Reflect and evaluate. Does this make a
difference to the school’s waste stream? Have values and attitudes
shifted? Who does the school need to target with packaging? Who
does the shopping? Makes the lunches? Explore alternatives at the
Advertising and communication
This can help refocus established systems. Children can design creative
approaches using newsletters, posters, video, power point, dance and
Developing produce for sale
Fundraising from liquid and solid vermicasts (links to social studies
– resources and economic activities, maths – measurement, technology
– materials and production processes).
• native plants and/or animals
• exotic plants and/or animals
• exploring habitats
• planting to increase biodiversity, for example – trees, butterfly
gardens, reptile gardens and weta houses
• food gardens – kumara, vegetable, fruit
• plant/garden signage and labels – designing riddles, common,
Maori and botanical names
• establishing a plant/garden registry to record numbers, types and
• eco sourcing, propagating seeds, growing seedlings for planting in
the school and/or community or fund raising projects
• conservation and restoration – investigate what is happening in the
• play areas
• structures, such as playgrounds, fitness trails, carvings, talking poles
and totems – can these be complemented with plantings, signs or
animals feeders like seed balls or birdfeeders?
Looking for a great
project for your class?
Using the issue of weeds to follow the action
learning cycle is a wonderful context to
introduce environmental education to the
classroom. The resources are available, the
teaching concepts are simple and best of all
– finding an action project is (unfortunately)
never a problem.
A great place to start is
Enviroschool kids as weeds
Nicky and Clint chopping Weedbuster
Vardon School’s special outdoor classroom
Capturing the essence of being an Enviroschool in your school project
Vardon School joined the Enviroschools programme at the start of 2005. The school decided to focus on a specific living
landscape project – to develop an ‘outdoor special place’, in order to learn about environmental education by experiencing
Teachers took the idea to their classes and developed the children’s ideas about the landscape using the Enviroschools kit.
Every class presented a vision map of their ideas for the special place at an expo held in the school hall.
To ensure that the project was an environmental education project and not a landscaping or beautification project, a set of
specific criteria was decided upon to ensure that the Enviroschool guiding principles were captured within the project.
A mix and match exercise
See if you can match each of Vardon’s project criteria with an Enviroschool guiding principle:
Vardon’s project criteria
The space must reflect sustainable practices – such as
eco-sourcing, mulching and sustainable materials.
The area will be filled with environmental education
teaching resources, including theme gardens, signage and
The space must be sun smart and available as a quiet
space for students during break times.
The space will be available to community groups for
community activities outside of school times.
The space will reflect the Maori perspective and value
people’s connection to the whenua.
The ‘sleeping giant’
Experts who are involved in dealing with weeds in New Zealand often
talk about the ‘sleeping giant’.
They are referring to the huge number of introduced plants that are
over time adapting more and more to New Zealand conditions.
These plants have huge potential to wake up and leap from our
domesticated gardens into our natural areas. Many have already
done so and a visit to your local gully or stream bank will highlight
the number of ‘weeds’ that were once considered treasured garden
The threat of weeds to New Zealand’s unique ecosystems is one
of Aotearoa’s greatest environmental issues.
Genuine student participation
Respect for the diversity of people and cultures
E whai ake nei he tauira korero
He kupu taka ‘para kore’
- zero waste vocab list
I te wä o o tätou tupuna, käre kau he para penei i ä
tätau para o wenei rä. Ngä taputapu, ngä taonga katoa
i whakamahia e ngä tupuna, he mea ahu i te taiao, arä,
he kohatu, he tipu, he anga, he aha atu, he aha atu. No
reira, ka pau te kaha o tetahi mea, ka whiua atu, engari
ehara i te mea kino, he whakahoki noa i taua mea ki
te taiao. Kua rereke ä tätou taputapu, ä tätou taonga o
wenei rä. Ki te kore e tika te whiu atu, ka pängia kino a
Papa räua ko Rangi me ä räua tamariki.
No reira, ki a au, he mea nui kia aro atu ngä kura
kaupapa Mäori ki tenei kaupapa tiaki taiao, tiaki i to tätou
häkui a Papa. E whai ake nei etahi kupu i whakaemihia,
etahi i waihangatia e ‘He Kupenga Hao i te Reo’ hei
äwhina i ngä kaiako ki te kokiri i te kaupapa nei, te Para
Kore. Mehemea he kupu ano ä koutou, he whakaaro
ränei, tenä, whakapä mai koa ki a
The words at the bottom of this page were collated and
in some instances created by He Kupenga Hao i te Reo, a
trust based in Palmerston North, contracted by the Ministry
of Education to write a science dictionary for levels
1-5. Any feedback, suggestions or words are warmly
appreciated. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The words at the bottom of this page are only a selection,
for the complete list please email email@example.com
Wai whakapakeka - leachate
Para kore - zero waste
He rerenga korero
He kawenga tä tenä, tä tenä i raro i te kaupapa o te para
He tikanga, he kaupapa, he huarahi hoki te ‘para kore’
e whäia ana kia whakaitia te whakapau i ngä rawa o
Papatuänuku, kia whakaiti, kia whakakore ränei i te whiu
para a te tangata. Ka whäia te kaupapa ‘para kore’ mä te
tika o te hanga rawa, mä te tika o te whakaputa rawa, mä
te kawenga tiaki taiao a te umanga, a te kaihokohoko me
te hapori, mä te tika hoki o te mahi whakaaraara rawa
me te hangarua.
‘Zero waste’ is a philosophy, a journey, and a goal
which aims to reduce the consumption of raw materials,
and to reduce or eliminate the disposal of waste. The
goal of ‘zero waste’ involves sustainable design and
production, extended producer, consumer and community
responsibility, resource recovery and recycling.
Hangarua - recycling
He rerenga korero
He aha ngä mea e hangaruatia ana i o tätou käinga?
Ko te mahi nui ko te wehewehe, ko te whakakao i ngä
momo para perä i te konumohe, te pepa, me ngä
He aha ngä para a o tätou mätua tupuna i o rätou nä wä,
he aha hoki ä tätou para i enei rä?
I ngä tau tata nei, kua timata te mahi hangarua, hei
kaupapa whakaiti i te para ka whiua ki te taiao.
He rerenga korero
He täoke tonu te wai whakapäkeka.
Koia nei etahi o ngä hua ka puta i te hangarua:
Ki te kore e aukatia, ka puta he wai whakapäkeka i te • Käore e whakapau ana i ngä rawa ka takea mai i
ruapara, ka papi atu ki ngä koawa e pätata ana.
Menä he rahi tonu te wai ka taka atu ki te ruapara
• He mämä ake te utu ki te whakamahi ano i ngä
(mä te ua, mä te waipuke ränei), ka rahi ano te wai
momo matu perä i te konumohe, terä i te whakaputa
whakapäkeka ka papi atu.
tonu i te konumohe hou.
• Käore e perä rawa te nui o te para ka tukuna ki te
tähawahawa i te taiao.
• He iti ake te pungao (perä i te hiko) ki te whakaputa
i ngä mea hangarua, terä i te whakaputa i ngä mea
ka hangaia houtia mai i ngä rawa o Papatuänuku.
biodegradable popopo classify whakaropu compost wairäkau kupu ke atu: puwairäkau conserve tiaki contaminate
tähawahawa decompose whakapopo disposable porowhiu dispose whiu environment taiao food waste para
kai green waste para tipu ground water wainuku household waste/domestic waste para käinga incinerate tahu(na)
inorganic waste pararopi-kore landfill ruapara leachate wai whakapäkeka kupu kë atu: wai papi non-recyclable
hangarua-kore organic (environment) paraumu organic waste pararopi kupu ke atu: para rauropi package mokihi
kupu ke atu: moki packaging täkai packaging waste para täkai plastic kirihou pollute takakino kupu ke atu: poke
polystyrene kirihou komämä raw material rawa taketake recyclable packaging täkai hangarua recycle hangarua kupu
ke atu: tukurua reuse whakamahi ano rubbish dump ruapara sustainable ukauka toxic residues toenga täoke kupu ke
atu: toenga paihana, toenga paitini vermicast tutae noke waste para waste audit tätari para waste disposal whiu para
waste exchange whakawhitinga para waste minimisation whakaiti para waste strategy rautaki para waste stream
rerenga para worm farming/vermiculture pämu noke zero waste para kore
Successful vegetable gardening for
Toku Mapihi Maurea Kura Kaupapa Maori
Horahia e Matariki ki te whenua.....
Te Märamatanga mo te motu e.....
I te marama o Mahuru 05 i whakaritea te kura nei i tëtahi pärekereke mo ngä kümara. Ka pihi mai ngä pihipihi ka uhia ki
te oneone hei akiaki i o rätou pakiaka ki te whakawhanake haere. E 3 ngä wä he përä te mahi. No ngä rä whakamutunga
o te kura ka whakatongia ngä pihipihi kümara me ngä purapura rïwai mäori ki ngä mära e 3 kia tipu ngätahi ki te taha o
ngä tomato me ërä atu kai nä ngä tamariki i ono.
I te hokinga mai ki te kura i te marama o Hui-tanguru he matomato te tipu o ngä kai katoa. He waimarie no tëtahi whänau
atawhai te mära te tiaki.
I te marama o Poutü-te-rangi i hauhakengia e ngä
tamariki ngä tomato hei hanga kïnaki kai mä te
whanau. Ko Poutü-te-rangi hoki tëtahi o ngä whetü e
tohua ana te wä o te hauhake.
Huraina te marama o Paenga Whäwhä ka
hauhakengia katoatia ngä mara kia kitea te maha o
ngä tütaepoti, te rïwai mä me te kümara.
Ka wehea ngä rïwai me ngä kümara, tuatahi hei
purapura mo te tau kei te heke mai. Tuarua, hei kai
mä ngä manuwihiri. Tuatoru, hei kai mä te whänau.
No reira ko te mahi whakamutunga kei te toe ko te
whakanui i te pütanga mai o Matariki ki tëtahi häkari.
Ko ëtahi o ngä kümara te kai mo taua häkari. Na, ka
mutu te “Tau Mäori”.
Toku Mäpihi Maurea Kura Kaupapa Mäori
Horahia e Matariki ki te whenua.....
Te Märamatanga mä te motu e.....
We made a kümara seedbed in September. Whenever the seedlings appeared they were covered with a layer of soil, this
happened 3 times so that the seedlings would have a strong root system. Just before the end of kura the seedlings and
some Mäori potato seeds were planted alongside tomatoes and other kai that had been planted earlier.
When kura returned in Feburary the mara kai were festooned with abundance, thanks to one of our whänau who cared for
them over the summer break.
Poutu-te-rangi is a star that appears around March as a signal for the upcoming harvest. The tomatoes were harvested and
made into chutney for the whanau. We harvested our kümara, tütaepoti and white potatoes in April as the season seemed
to be turning wet.
The kümara and rïwai were sorted firstly into the best seed for the coming year, secondly, to feed our visitors and thirdly to
Our last bit of mahi for this Mäori year is to celebrate the rising of Matariki with a feast of kümara and rïwai, thus begins
the new Mäori year.
Toku Mäpihi Maurea Kura Kaupapa Mäori
Did you know?
Prohibited - school/healthcare incinerators unless resource
Date for compliance brought forward after consultation with
Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health.
1 October 2006
I know of only ten schools in the Waikato region which the Ministry of Education will be applying for consents
for. These schools were selected on the basis of distance from a transfer station or other suitable facility and
availability of council or commercial collection services.
If any other state schools wish to apply for a resource consent, they should contact Elizabeth Hoskins in the first
instance to discuss their options. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (04) 463 8283.
There are alternatives
There are alternatives working in schools to assist them in diverting material from landfill and incineration. We
recently held a zero waste workshop which explored such topics as composting and worm farms. Support people
and funding are available for developing projects like these. Contact Dean King for further information,
email email@example.com or phone (07) 859 0970.
The National Environmental Standard for Air: What’s it all about?
The government has introduced a set of air quality standards that apply across the whole country, with a range
of conditions that will come into force over the next eight years. This is the first such National Environmental
Standard (NES) to be introduced. Several urban areas in the Waikato region do not meet the standard at
present. These areas are Hamilton, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti and Taupo. The NES requires us to show improvements
from this year on and progressively improve air quality to comply by 2013. If we don’t comply, Environment
Waikato will not be allowed to grant resource consents for certain air discharges and this could mean that some
industries (both existing and new) will not be allowed to operate.
The problem is caused by small particles less than 10 microns in size (PM 10 ) in the air, for which there is no safe
level. These particles can restrict the development of children’s lungs and shorten life expectancy. It’s estimated
that PM 10 causes 970 premature deaths every year.
The main source of PM 10 is home heating fires, including open fires and wood burners. Older wood burners and
open fires are a particular problem and this is made worse by using damp or green wood, coal or rubbish as
fuel. Other sources include outdoor burning, vehicle emissions and industrial discharges.
From September 2005 it will be illegal to install a wood burner in an urban area unless it has been certified as
meeting the NES requirements for emissions. To achieve the required PM 10 concentrations, a large number of
open fires and older wood burners will have to be replaced with modern burners that achieve that standard, or
gas or electric heaters.
Puahue School Enviroschool
Native shrubs, sunflowers as tall as classrooms and enough tomatoes to upstage Watties! The students, teachers and
community of Puahue have been taking the Enviroschools principles seriously.
Puahue school is a rural school south-east of Te Awamutu, catering for around 85 budding
sustainably aware students. Now in their fifth year as an Enviroschool, differences are really
starting to show. One of the first major projects that the students undertook was the extension
of plantings in the shrubbery three and a half years ago. This came as a result of the
original vision process highlighting the need for more native plants and a fun place to
continue activities such as hut building. Check out the photo of then and now. The
difference is great!
One of the ongoing challenges that Puahue has taken on is reducing waste.
Mrs Collins’ pigs have chomped through peanut butter sandwiches, apple cores
and homemade date loaf (oh yes!). Miss Jones in the office is a whiz at reusing
and recycling paper and the teachers and students all do this in classrooms. More recently the
whole school has focused on ways that waste can be further reduced, in particular what comes to
school in lunchboxes. These guys are package conscious shoppers and eaters now (thanks to all those
Mums and Dads who are walking the talk too!).
A trip to the workshop held recently at Hillcrest Normal School has resulted in some keen worm farmers. The worms arrived
at the school in their banana box and were officially welcomed at an assembly. But what now? Mr Bryant the cleaner found
them before we had time to tell him about our friends! Was it a bomb? Was it a box of chocolates? No, that doesn’t smell
right! Could it be a load of rubbish? Yes!! But already our wrigglers were hard at work. Good thing Mr Bryant is such a
hard worker too because when Mrs Collins brought her bath (she still has a shower at home) to school, Mr Bryant sorted
out a frame from left-over timber. Then came Mrs Haddock and her senior students ready to put those worms to bed. They
(the worms, not Mrs Haddock and her senior students) love that mucky paper!
Puahue students are proud of their butterfly and vegetable garden, which produced a
wealth of produce and butterflies over summer and autumn. Students of mixed ages
worked on the wonderful mosaics that create the path through this garden area.
The winter plantings are now filling out – future hot soup?
Although the senior students are leaders of the process, it is fully supported
by all teachers and the BoT – because of this it is now a totally inclusive
programme. There is no precise recipe for being an Enviroschool and mistakes,
learning and changes are part of the culture. What has become clearer over the
years is the need to make it work for this school and this community.
The pictures are some of the many projects and issues that Puahue has embraced.
A process of re-visioning in term one of this year produced some interesting ideas and
plenty to keep the whole school switched on to creating a place that nurtures people
in their fifth year of this sustainable journey
Tauhara Primary School
Tauhara Primary School is a Year 2 Enviroschool and was the seventh school
in the Taupo region to join the Enviroschools programme. Last year a focus on
waste resulted in a comprehensive recycling and composting system being set
This year the Tauhara Envirogroup decided to refocus on rubbish for the term.
An audit of the school grounds and of the different waste bins showed that not
all waste was being sorted correctly. The Envirogroup immediately decided to
present their findings to the rest of the school to help students make the right
decision about which bins to use for different waste items. They also made a
display of their findings including a pie chart of the type of waste in the ‘other
rubbish’ bin that could have been recycled or composted. Meanwhile, staff had
also identified difficulties with the waste system and have incorporated ongoing
waste-sorting education into their weekly classroom routine.
As well as auditing the waste bins and the school grounds, the Envirogroup
have been investigating what happens to waste that is buried in the ground.
They gathered typical waste items from around the school, weighed each
grouping of items and buried them. Every week they have dug the waste up
and observed any changes. They have been very surprised to find that most of
the waste does not actually change at all when buried for several weeks.
Next term will be very exciting for Tauhara Primary, when the entire school will
focus on healthy water. Teachers have been working enthusiastically, planning
an enquiry-based unit incorporating activities from the Enviroschools kit. I can’t
wait to see the results!
Key dates to remember
Monday, 16 October
Applications for awards close
Wednesday, 25 - Thursday 26 October
Visit schools for awards judging if necessary
Proposed regional events
Wednesday, 14 June
Healthy water and awards (venue to be advised)
Wednesday, 6 September
Ecological buildings and precious energy
(venue to be advised)
Wednesday, 8 November
Planning for 2007 (venue to be advised)
(weeks are based on the primary terms)
Week five, Thursday 25 May – Tamahere
Week five, Wednesday 16 August – Nga Taiatea
Week five, Wednesday 8 November
Environment Waikato’s website
features a range of resources to
help you teach students about our
Download our FREE curriculum-linked
• rivers and us
• coasts and us
• stream Sense
• soils and us
and check out our range of classroom
Our website also includes pages
especially for students, packed with
useful information about the natural
For more information, check out
our website at www.ew.govt.nz/
forschools or contact Dean King on
Environment Waikato’s Freephone
0800 800 401.