About Us

NZAEE’s mission is to connect and inspire educators, ākonga and communities to learn, collaborate and take action for te taiao.

When the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education began in 1984, it was to agitate for change, and to get more environmental education happening and integrated into schools.

Thirty years later, we have the same Kaupapa, and it feels more urgent than ever before. The idea of environmental education has grown to include sustainable living and regeneration, and expanded from the school setting to whole communities. And as the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss have moved from an abstract concept to reality, people are realising that the human-centred view of the planet needs changing.

We need to support our young people, and their whānau, to connect with and learn in nature so they can understand how interdependent and interrelated everything in our natural world is. By valuing and loving what the natural world offers we can all be more aware of the impact of our actions upon it.

NZAEE is an Incorporated Society and Registered Charity (CC37847). Our Constitution sets out the way we do things, and we have a National Executive that meets monthly to lead the work of the Association.

Local Groups

Taupō EEC

Taupō Environmental Education Collaborative was formed in 2017 to bring together Taupō’s environmental education providers so we can provider better services to schools and our community.

Waikato
February 17, 2024
Taranaki

Based on the west coast of Te Ika-a-Māui, a coastal and mountainous region with beautiful landscape dominated by Mount Taranaki.

Taranaki
November 3, 2023
Te Tauihu

Based at the top of the South Island the Te Tauihu Collaborative group is focussed on environmental education in the widest context of community.

Te Tauihu-o-te-Waka | Top of the South Island
August 7, 2023
Auckland

Working with the Auckland Council Sustainable Schools team.

Tāmaki Makaurau | Auckland
Waikato Branch

Covering the Waikato region from Taupo to the Bombays and out to each coast, we are a diverse and dynamic region containing New Zealand’s longest waterway, as well as volcanic regions, coastal forests, pastoral farming, and extensive urban and rural communities.

Waikato
Canterbury | Waitaha

All people working in the Environmental Education for Sustainability space whether they are teachers in schools or educators working independently, for NGOs or local/central government, are welcome to join this network.

Waitaha | Canterbury
Wairarapa

In the Wairarapa we have passionate environmental educators working in schools and communities to empower our rangitahi to develop a sense of awe and a relationship with the natural world, so they are invested in working for a better future.

Wairarapa
WREEF Wellington Region

The Wellington Region Environmental Educators Forum also operates as the Wellington branch, supporting teachers of all levels and environmental education providers in the Wellington region.

Te Upoko o te Ika a Māui | Wellington Region
Nature Connection Community of Practice

This national, online group focuses on nature connection for young people in Aotearoa NZ. We will pilot a Community of Practice approach in 2023, to strengthen learning, networking and actions.

Aotearoa-wide
NaturED Upper Clutha

Our collaborative group of Wānaka and Upper Clutha environmental educators aims to support young people and educators to connect with people and the environment in our place.

Ōtākou | Otago

National Executive

All of our National Executive members are passionate about environmental education, and many have been working, teaching and inspiring others in this field for a long time.
We have each chosen a part of nature to represent us, and explain why in our profiles.

Annie McDonald

National Executive Co-Chair

Annie has been on the national executive for four years and works as as an environmental educator and Enviroschools Regional Coordinator with Marlborough District Council. Annie has worked in the education space most of her adult life initially as a teacher for seven years and currently in an education delivery space with a small team. She has been involved in some national working groups and has also worked on three boards of trustees and two national trusts.

PHOTO: Annie chose the mānuka tree because it is resilient, can be found in many different places and allows for the growth of other plants that it protects as they develop .

Erana Whaiapu

National Executive Co-Chair

Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Paoa, Ngāti Raukawa

Erana is a Senior Māori Advisor within Auckland Council’s Education and Community Climate Action Team, delivering Māori-led projects in Te Tāruke ā Tāwhiri, Auckland’s Climate Plan. Erana brings experience as an environmental educator, teaching across a diverse range of educational settings. Guided by whakapapa and drawing on traditional Māori knowledge systems, Erana aspires to build collective understanding and action towards restoring our Taiao for future generations.

PHOTO: The Kauri has cultural significance and is connected to a wider ecosystem.

Chris Montgomerie

National Executive Member

Chris has recently joined the National Executive after working as the National Manager for NZAEE until 2023. She is an experienced business communicator and project manager, a trained landscape designer and a community gardener. Her knowledge of the education sector has been gained through Playcentre and Board roles at her daughters' primary school, and environmental education during a contract with Project Crimson. It was at this time she discovered NZAEE and saw the potential for a strong sector group to promote the benefits of sustainability education through all facets of learning. PHOTO: "The Pohutukawa is endemic to the northern half of the North Island, where grew up, but also thrives in Wellington, where I now call home. Credit: Stuart Yeates.

Nettie Stow

National Executive Member

Over many years Nettie has experienced a variety of volunteer and workplace roles with a focus on connecting people to nature and encouraging positive action for local to global environments.  Her current work life includes contracting to a range of community organisations.

PHOTO: "I have chosen the tui as it can represent people and nature living alongside each other and the beauty of the everyday species that inspire us to take care of all environments." Credit: Johnny Johnson

Kim Tabrum

National Executive Member

Kim joined the national executive in 2022 and has been working in environmental education since 2010. Working with Wellington schools to restore native diversity and now with Sustainability Trust as the Community Education Manager, leading the charge on Climate Action through the development and delivery of the RepairED programme. Kim is an advocate for system change and is excited for the day the waste hierarchy guidelines are widely adopted by Aotearoa and ōhanga  āmiomio -circular economy- becomes a way of life again, bringing with it social change.

PHOTO: Kim chose the Maud Island Frog which is Nationally endangered and in 2021 and she was part of a team who released 100 into Zealandia.

Paul Murray

National Executive Member

Nō Ngāti Pākehā, Kānata (Canadian), Kōtarani (Scottish), Airihi (Irish) hoki a Paul.

Paul has been working in the discipline of zero waste education since 2011, first as an educator with Xtreme Zero Waste in Whāingaroa (Raglan), then as a kaiārahi for Para Kore Marae Inc. Coming from a teaching background, he has worked mostly with schools, early childhood, and community organisations in the Waikato. He now works full time for Para Kore as a Programme Training Specialist leading various projects on behaviour change, climate resilience, and community empowerment. As a manuhiri to Aotearoa, Paul is keen to ground his mahi in mātauranga Māori and te ao Māori, and above all, to support Māori aspirations.

PHOTO: The Sugar Maple, from Paul's homeland in the most southern region of Canada, part of the Carolinian Forest, a distinct biogeographic region characterized by rich biodiversity and unique flora and fauna.

Katrine Pringle

National Executive Member

Kat’s roles in the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) space include working as a primary and intermediate teacher; educational resource and curriculum writer for NGOs; and as an ESD consultant for UNESCO. In joining the NZAEE Exec for the first time this year, Kat is looking forward to seeing and sharing all the great work happening on the ground in the EE sector.

PHOTO: “I have chosen a Eurasian Skylark (Kairaka)as, like myself, they originally come from Europe, and their song reminds me of sunny days and fills me with positivity!” Oscar Thomas 2018.

Cami Carty-Melis

National Executive Member

Cami studied environmental sustainability with a focus on environmental education at university, and has been working in that space ever since. For the past 8 years Cami has been part of the team at Enviroschools Waikato and loves being able to support students, teachers and schools on their sustainability journeys.  When Cami's not working, they enjoy spending time exploring nature with family, taking part in fun projects, and volunteering. In recent years, Cami has been running events for 'Kiwi Conservation Club' and facilitating 'Waikato Family Adventures' after-school nature club.

PHOTO: Cami chose a pīwakawaka as they are playful and inquisitive.

Chris Eames

National Executive Member

Chris is Associate Professor Te Kura Toi Tangata, School of Education at the University of Waikato. He teaches environmental and sustainability education (ESE) to pre-service education students and conducts research with postgraduate students and colleagues in many areas of ESE, including most recently climate change education. He is currently also helping to revise the Achievement Standards for ESE for senior secondary schools.

PHOTO: "Kawakawa is a humble plant that can fill a space, but also has capacity to react quickly to suitable conditions, and to provide support through sustenance and health to others."

Role of the National Executive

How the National Executive operates

If you are interested in learning more about the role of the National Executive, please contact one of the current members.

We have summarised our role in this document.

The Wider Team

Becky McCormack

Learning and Content Curator

Becky lives in Wānaka and joined NZAEE in 2022. She previously worked as a secondary Science and Biology teacher for nine years and an environmental educator in Porirua for seven years. Becky is passionate about supporting people to connect with their local places and environment, and loves sharing inspirational resources and stories with kaiako across Aotearoa.

PHOTO: Kōwhai is one of my favourite trees. We have always planted Kōwhai in our garden, no matter which part of the country we have lived in, to provide food for birds and joy for humans!

Debbie Courtney

Administrator

Debbie has worked for NZAEE for 10 years in the role of National Coordinator/Administrator. Prior to this, she included components of environmental education in her teaching and sharing her love of the natural environment with her students.

PHOTO: "Grey warbler (riroriro) was chosen because its song reminds me of the warmth of summer." Credit: Rosa Stewart.

Gill Stewart

Capability Sub-Committee member

Jocelyn Papprill

Advocacy Sub-Committee member

Jocelyn has long been associated with NZAEE since getting into education for sustainability in the year 2000. She was a secondary social sciences teacher for 25 years before jumping ship to join the Youth Engagement & Education team at Environment Canterbury. She was a member of the panel that created the EfS achievement standards and enjoys supporting teachers using them in their learning programmes. She is also a programme facilitator for the Untouched World Foundation, a board member of Blue Cradle and current chair of Christchurch EnviroHub.

PHOTO: "I chose a ferret as they’re amazing animals. I can also be a bit of a pest, and enjoy ferreting out interesting things to do!"

Pam Crisp

Seaweek advisor

Pam joined NZAEE in the 1990s, while working in an education role for Te Papa Atawhai/Department of Conservation. She is a member of the Wellington Conservation Board, and Co Director of the Nature Through Arts Collective, and was a big part of Seaweek for many years: “Arts and science are often seen as two separate strands – but they are both essential for working through complex issues and empowering communities to grow as observers and enact change.”

PHOTO: "This ruru sculpture, made by artists Kemi & Niko for the Nature Through Arts Collective, reminds me of the power of play and creativity in connecting children with nature."

Sian Carvell

Capability Sub-Committee member

Sian has been connected to NZAEE since 2003 when she first started working at Environment Canterbury as an Environmental Educator, and later as the Education and Youth Engagement Team Leader. Previously, she was a primary school teacher, teaching at various North Island schools and overseas. Since 2015, she has been working for herself under her business name ‘Future Curious Limited’, supporting schools, business, NGOs, and local and central government to authentically engage with children and young people, especially around the natural environment and climate change. She also works part-time as a Learning Advisor at the Climate Action Campus in Ōtautahi. 

PHOTO: "I chose the Silvereye Tauhou as they show great agility and strength for such a small bird, an inspiration for when I feel I am too small to make a difference. And they are just so very, very cute and bring me joy in the garden every single day!”

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News and Publications

Term Three 2024: Seasonal Learning and Events

Read this summary of events for Term Three, with opportunities for ākonga to give back to nature during Conservation Week, Bee Aware month and Clean Up Week, along with the Bird of the Year competition.

Submission to Inquiry into Climate Adaptation

The National Executive of NZAEE made the following submission to the Inquiry into Climate Adaptation on 11 June 2024. We encourage members to make submissions before the deadline of midnight on Sunday 16 June.

Curriculum News #4 April 2024

Read this update about new government PLD priorities and the delay for NCEA Levels 2 and 3.

Term Two 2024: New Resources, Stories & PLD

Our website continues to be updated with new resources and stories, along with professional learning events and resources. This post is a snapshot of some of the content that has been added recently.

Term Two 2024: Seasonal Learning and Events

This term includes opportunities to engage ākonga with te taiao by celebrating and noticing trees and birds, Outdoor Classroom Day in May and connecting with mātauranga Māori and the night sky through Matariki learning.

Curriculum News #3 March 2024

Read this update about new government priorities, curriculum review, new MoE resources and NCEA Levels 1 and 2.

Term One 2024: New Resources, Stories & PLD

Our website continues to be updated with new resources and stories, along with professional learning events and resources. This post is a snapshot of some of the content that has been added recently.

Term One 2024: Seasonal Learning and Events

Ideas and events for Term One with lots of opportunities to engage with water, including World Wetlands Day, Seaweek and World Water Day, along with Bug of the Year, Whio awareness month and other seasonal events.

Annual Review 2023

This Annual Review reports on the year from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023.

Revised Constitution November 2023

A new Constitution will be tabled at the AGM on 14 November 2023.

NZAEE Annual General Meeting 14 November 2023

NZAEE will be holding an Annual General Meeting at 6pm on Tuesday 14 November, 2023.

Rangatahi Representative opportunity

We are looking for a passionate student who can bring rangatahi views to our National Executive in 2024. You will get support and guidance on strategy and governance, and have a hand in helping more students and schools learn in, and do more for the environment.

Term Four 2023: Website Updates and New Resources

Our website continues to be updated with new resources and stories. This post is a snapshot of some of the content that has been added recently.

Term Four 2023: Seasonal Learning and Events

Summary of ideas and events for Term Four, with opportunities for ākonga to reduce waste, learn about and care for birds, plant seeds and take learning outside.

Curriculum News #2 Sept 2023

The second in a series of updates about curriculum and assessment changes, with a focus on Secondary Education including NCEA and specific info on the Social Sciences and Sciences.

Curriculum News #1 Sept 2023

The first in a series of newsletter updates about curriculum and assessment changes, with a focus on Mātauranga Māori and Te Mātaiaho in this article.

Member Newsletter August 2023

Member newsletter for August 2023

International honour for NZAEE Executive member

We are very excited to share that Sian Crowley, a member of the NZAEE National Executive, and BLAKE educator has been selected by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) as one of the 2023 "EE 30 Under 30".

Term Three 2023: Website Updates and Resources

Our website continues to be updated with new resources, stories and events. This post is a snapshot of some of the content that has been added recently.

Term Three 2023: Seasonal Learning and Events

Read this summary of events for Term Three, with opportunities for ākonga to give back to nature during Conservation Week, Bee Aware month and Clean Up Week.

Happenings at our AGM, April 2023

A review of the presentations and happenings at our AGM held on 27 April 2023.

Annual Review 2022

A review of the 2021-22 year. This year we have structured the Review to follow the format of Mātauranga Whakauka Taiao: Environmental Education for Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan 2017-21, to provide a sector report on the first 5 years of the government plan. 

Term Two 2023: Website Updates and Resources

Our website continues to be updated with new resources, stories and events. This post is a snapshot of some of the content that has been added recently.

Term Two 2023: Seasonal Learning and Events

This term includes opportunities to engage ākonga with te taiao by celebrating and noticing trees and birds, and reducing our use of plastic in the lead up to the Matariki celebrations in July.

Term One 2023: Seasonal Learning and Events

As we move from Raumati | Summer into Ngahuru | Autumn, we can celebrate the changing seasons and notice tohu in the sky, awa and ngahere. 

Term One 2023: Website Updates and Resources

Our website continues to be updated with new resources, stories and events. This post is a snapshot of some of the content that has been added recently.

Newsletter August 2022

An update to our full database with details about the upcoming conference in October.

Newsletter June 2022

An update to our full database with details about the Term 2 webinar and October conference, June 2022

Newsletter May 2022

An update to our full database announcing the new website, conference dates and other upcoming opportunities in EEfS, May 2022.

Annual Review 2021

Review of the period ended 30 June 2021, and also an explanation of our strategy and plans for the future.

Newsletter March 2022

An update for members, profiling upcoming opportunities in EEfS, March 2022.

Emissions Reduction Plan Submission 2021

Emissions Reduction Plan submission, November 2021

Newsletter November 2021

An update for members, profiling upcoming opportunities for EEfS, November 2021.

Newsletter October 2021

An update for members, profiling upcoming opportunities in EEfS, October 2021.

Newsletter May 2021

Our member newsletter for May 2021.

Newsletter October 2020

Our member newsletter for October 2020.

Annual Review 2020

The Annual Review of the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education 2020.

Newsletter April 2020

Our member newsletter for April 2020.

Newsletter November 2019

Our member newsletter for November 2019.

Annual Review 2019

The Annual Review of the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education 2019.

Newsletter July 2019

Our member newsletter for July 2019.

Newsletter April 2019

Our member newsletter for April 2019.

Newsletter November 2018

Our member newsletter for November 2018.

Newsletter August 2018

Our member newsletter for August 2018.

Annual Review 2018

The Annual Review of the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education 2018.

Newsletter May 2018

Our member newsletter for May 2018.

Newsletter February 2018

Our member newsletter for February 2018.

Annual Review 2017

The Annual Review of the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education 2017.

Newsletter November 2017

Our member newsletter for November 2017.

Newsletter July 2017

Our member newsletter for July 2017.

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