enviroschools newsletter no.7.indd - Waikato Regional Council


enviroschools newsletter no.7.indd - Waikato Regional Council

Waikato Enviroschools

Welcome to the seventh edition of the Waikato

Enviroschools newsletter.

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 dean.king@ew.govt.nz or phone

(07) 859 0970. For further resources and previous

editions of this newsletter visit www.ew.govt.nz.

Dean King

Regional Enviroschools Co-ordinator


newsletter no.7


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

three dimensions:

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

landscapes workshop

Marianne Robertson

Here are some topic suggestions as a follow up to the zero waste and

living landscapes workshop.

Zero waste

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

• plastics

• rubbish bins – designing to make them more efficient and attractive

• soil and soil animals – worms

• composting.


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).

Living landscapes

• weeds

• 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

• harakeke

• conservation and restoration – investigate what is happening in the


• play areas

• pathways

• 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?

• purakau.

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

Jeff Bryant

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

recycling facilities.

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.

Guiding principles

Maori perspective

Genuine student participation

Environmental education

Respect for the diversity of people and cultures

Sustainable communities

E whai ake nei he tauira korero

He kupu taka ‘para kore’

- zero waste vocab list

Jacqui Forbes

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 ian@kupengahao.co.nz.

The words at the bottom of this page are only a selection,

for the complete list please email jacqui@globe.net.nz

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 whakamärama

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

momo kirihou.

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 whakamärama

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.

English Maori

• 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

Pine Campbell

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

Haratua 06.

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

feed ourselves.

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

Haratua 06.

Air quality

Did you know?

Prohibited - school/healthcare incinerators unless resource

consent obtained.

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 elizabeth.hoskins@minedu.govt.nz 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 dean.king@ew.govt.nz 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.

Profile on

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

and nature.

in their fifth year of this sustainable journey

Tauhara Primary School

Sarah Painter

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

Awards judging

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)

Coffee afternoons

(weeks are based on the primary terms)

Term two

Week five, Thursday 25 May – Tamahere

Term three

Week five, Wednesday 16 August – Nga Taiatea

Term four

Week five, Wednesday 8 November


Environment Waikato’s website

features a range of resources to

help you teach students about our

natural environment.

Download our FREE curriculum-linked

classroom units:

• 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.

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