About Us

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

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.

Local Groups

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.

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.

Auckland

Working with the Auckland Council Sustainable Schools team.

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.

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.

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 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.

Our People

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.

Robyn Zink

Co-Chair

Robyn joined Enviroschools as Otago Regional Coordinator in 2016. Before this she worked as an outdoor and environmental educator, and has undertaken numerous research projects with a focus on young people’s experiences of learning in outdoor environments. PHOTO Ed Dunens: "I have chosen the Cape Petrel because sea birds need all the help they can get - they need some serious raising of profile - a bit like EEfS and NZAEE!"

Sally Birdsall

Co-Chair

Sally teaches science and sustainability education courses in undergraduate and postgraduate teacher education programmes at Waipapa Taumata Rau, the University of Auckland. Her research focuses on ways in which teachers and students learn about contentious issues, come to appreciate differing viewpoints, develop emotional resilience, and take informed action both individually and collectively. Sally’s current research is in contexts of declining biodiversity and the climate emergency. PHOTO: Ewen Cameron. "I have chosen the Kumerahou plant, which is found in Tāmaki Makaurau and its bright yellow flowers mark the beginning of spring."

Annie McDonald

National Executive Member

Annie is a new member to the executive. Annie works with the Marlborough District Council as an education officer and before this role was a primary, intermediate and secondary school teacher. Annie is passionate about helping young people have a voice in environmental education and citizenship. PHOTO: Jon Radoff. "My plant is an unfolding fern because I am learning and growing in this space."

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."

Elspeth McMillan

National Executive Member, Treasurer

Elspeth is the Education Partnership Lead in the Community Partnerships team of Parks, Sport and Recreation at Wellington City Council. Together with Gill she helped establish the Wellington Region Environmental Educators Forum 7 years ago. In her role Elspeth works closely with a number of Environmental Education providers. Being part of the NZAEE 2018 Conference committee when Wellington hosted the national conference sparked an interest in the role and function of the National Exec. PHOTO: John and Karen Hollingsworth. "I come from a family of Armadillos, which despite their hard exterior are really soft on the inside."

Gill Stewart

National Executive Member

Gill lives in Gladstone in the Wairarapa. She grew up and taught in Primary schools between North Canterbury and Southland. Gill has been working for Enviroschools in the Wellington Region since 2004 and her role now supports facilitators across Aotearoa. She has been a key member of the WREEF team, a providers network in the Wellington Region which is now an NZAEE branch. Gill enjoys being part of the national exec team helping it to be a supportive and strong organisation to support educators empowering young people. PHOTO: Rosa Stewart. "The Piwakawaka fits me as I love networking and am curious; I flit around collecting and sharing."

Michaela Coleman

National Executive Member

Michaela works for the Department of Conservation - Te Papa Atawhai as Senior Advisor in the Community Engagement Unit. With her experience across the public sector, Michaela enjoys working together to make positive change in our communities. Michaela believes in providing young people with opportunities to connect with nature and empowering them to take action on issues that matter to them. Photo: Velela. The Horoeka (Lancewood) changes dramatically as it grows, and the younger plants are often found in regenerating bush. The Horoeka demonstrates the importance and potential of young people.

Pam Crisp

National Executive Member

Pam joined NZAEE in the 1990s, while working in an education role for Te Papa Atawhai/Department of Conservation. She is Seaweek coordinator for the Wellington Region, and Co Director of the Nature Through Arts Collective: “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."

Becky McCormack

Content Curator

Becky has recently moved to Wānaka with her family and has also lived in Porirua, Ōtepoti and Taranaki. Becky worked as a secondary Science and Biology teacher for nine years and then moved into an environmental education role in Porirua for seven years. She is passionate about supporting people to connect with their local places and environment, and is looking forward to sharing inspirational resources and stories with kaiako across Aotearoa. PHOTO: "The Kōwhai was chosen because I have always planted Kōwhai in our garden, no matter which part of the country I have lived in (having moved around a lot!)."

Chris Montgomerie

Executive Officer

Chris 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: Stuart Yeates. "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.

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

News and Publications

Annual Review 2021

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

Case Study Header

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Case Study Header

Occulpa nat est et dolorio omniae lit et ilit, nam 
nis aut optasincte volorru mquisqui quat optae 
recuptae uptaturio officil luptamus cor reprovit 
aut et faccuptae nis et rero tem. Itatiatus rem.

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

Annual Review 2020

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

Annual Review 2019

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

Annual Review 2018

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

Annual Review 2017

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

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.

Newsletter April 2020

Our member newsletter for April 2020.

Newsletter November 2019

Our member newsletter for November 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.

Newsletter May 2018

Our member newsletter for May 2018.

Newsletter February 2018

Our member newsletter for February 2018.

Newsletter November 2017

Our member newsletter for November 2017.

Newsletter July 2017

Our member newsletter for July 2017.