Executive meeting summaries

Next meeting

The Executive meets monthly, on the first Friday of the Month. The next few meetings are: Friday 1 October 2021, Friday 5 November.

Previous meeting synopsis

3 September 2021

  1. Based on the Strategic Canvas, three working groups have been established: Capability; Networking and Advocacy.
  • Capability Group will collate information and resources, work on the webinar series and the conference.
  • Networking Group will work on the website and making connections.
  • Advocacy Group will work on advocating for environmental education and for gaining more funding support.
  • Governance Group consisting of the two Co-chairs, Treasurer and Executive Officer who oversee the policies, finances and the general direction of the Association.
  1. National Executive members will join one of these groups and we are looking for people in our community with particualr skills who we could co-opt to help us in these areas.
  1. Robyn Zink from Otago was elected the new Junior Co-chair as Morag Vasilaki has resigned.
  1. The question of a newsletter and annual report was discussed. We decided that we need a Communications Strategy and this would be part of the Networking Group’s responsibilities.
  1. The application to Foundation North for Seaweek funding has been submitted. UNESCO has funded MERC to do marine education webinars. The first is on 30 September.
  1. We discussed the re-vamping of the website. Chris M. has written a brief and gathered some quotes. We decided to go for a two stage approach – first of all of brand refresh and design with FixInc as the designer. A decision about who to contract for the website development needs to be made.
  1. The MOU with the Australian Association for Environmental Education is outdated and needs to be re-negotiated. This process is underway.

4 July 2021

Planning for national hui: Initial promotion has begun with Facebook links to Humanitix site. Flyer sent electronically to teacher networks. Two speakers confirmed and regionals that want to host face to face events will be given catering contribution.

Strategic planning: Details of each page of the Strategic Canvas were discussed and updated to be ready for the Wii. Circulated in advance.

Conference: Decided that most likely time for conference next year would be October. Location/venue still to be decided.

Executive committee position description: Draft description was discussed and will be finalised at next meeting.

Working groups: We discussed having short term and permanent working groups. Permanent groups will align with impact areas and need to have separate groups for the conference and for governance.

Governance group would include senior executive members (Co-chairs, Treasurer) who would have oversight, ensuring we keep to our vision and values, ensuring that the Strategic Plan is implemented.

Whole National Exec is responsible for health and safety incidents, so we need to have robust health and safety plans in place.

Management report: NEX has a package from Findex that we can use that is based on Xero software.

Need to have a financial management policy was discussed along with a delegation procedure. The other policies required by NEX are nearly completed. 

We decided to use police vetting in the Child Safety policy. Any providers would do their own vetting and we would keep a copy on file. Access to these data being held will be controlled by the Executive Office and Governance group.

Seaweek: Pam, Sally and Chris M. are going to meet with Yuin and Sara from MERC and Sally Carson from NZ Marine Studies Centre to discuss the Seaweek contract and planning for next year and the funding application.

7 May 2021

With the confirmation of NEX funding, work has begun on the necessary documentation requited, including policies and insurance. Chris Montgomerie has been employed to undertake initial planning work and preparation of all plans and material required by August 2012.

Further discussion on the structure and vision/values

Contact to be made with EONZ to share experience of NEX

A report was made from the PPTA Subject Association Forum, attended by Elspeth McMillan and Chris Montgomerie

National Hui that was in the initial planning for the NEX proposal, so was discussed in more detail.

9 April 2021

  • There was a discussion about developing a new Vision and Mission statement for our Association. Following a process, ideas were recorded and will be further developed at the next meeting. Members will then be consulted.
  • Chris Montgomerie has been employed to investigate possible structures that our Association could adopt. She presented her report and was thanked for her comprehensive work.
  • Two members of the National Exec will be attending the PPTA Subject Forum which is being held in Wellington on 22 and 23 April. They will report back at our next meeting.
  • Winning NEX Funding means that we need to begin the work necessary to deliver the PLD. A contract to employ Chris M. to assist with the first part of this work up to 31 August is being developed.
  • A meeting with EONZ will take place to find out what worked for them and what they learnt from winning NEX Funding to help us.
  • A meeting is going to be held in between the regular National Exec meetings to discuss possible portfolios to align with delivery of the NEX Funding and re-visioning of our Association.
  • A submission was made to the Climate Change Commission about the importance of including education for sustainability. Members were emailed with ideas that they could use to make an individual submission.
  • Two applications were made to be part of the writing group for the National Curriculum Refresh. These offers were declined but instead offers were made to be ‘critical friends’.
  • A submission was made to the internal audit of the MoE Climate Change Education resource on behalf of NZAEE.
  • The next edition of KiwEE News was discussed and National Exec members were encouraged to submit material.
  • The National AGM needs to be organised. A small group will lead this.

5 March 2021

Re-visioning of NZAEE

Chris Montgomerie is gathering information about the structures of various organisations for us to consider at the next meeting A report will be tabled at that meeting and Chris will report back.

Developing a Vision and Mission Statement

A process for undertaking this work was suggested. Gill Stewart and Annie McDonald will develop a document for National Exec members to record their ideas for discussion at the next meeting.

Seaweek 2021

Seaweek 2021 is being held on 08-14 March. There is a new website and a Facebook event on 08 March. There are other virtual events, e.g. the Bill Ballantyne Memorial Lecture and a LEARNZ virtual field trip. Education resources are also available. The contracts with MERC and NZ Marine Studies Centres are nearly at the point where they can be signed.


It is proposed to have a webinar once a term for an hour so that we have a more prominent online presence. Anzac offered to deliver his Explorer’s Journal in April. We need a flyer to advertise this webinar.

Connection with other organisations

  • A submission is being prepared on behalf of the NZAEE to the Climate Change Commission in terms of the need for EfS. It will be sent to members to encourage them to make individual submissions.
  • An email was sent to the National Curriculum Refresh Committee indicating that NZAEE would like to be part of this process.
  • PPTA Subject Association Meeting – we have received an invitation to attend this again. It is on 22-23 April. Elspeth can attend on 22 April and Robyn on 23 April.
  • Audit of Climate Change Education resource – we will confirm that the organiser of this audit wants NZAEE to contribute.


A date for the next AGM needs to be set. It is proposed to have a virtual one.

5 February 2021

Strategic planning progress

  • We discussed the development of a Vision and Mission Statement for NZAEE as part of our re-visioning process. Annie McDonald and Gill Stewart are going to continue their work on developing these. We also need a process for planning our work for the year. We decided the first step was organising a calendar and begin populating it.
  • As part of our re-visioning of NZAEE, we invited Chris Montgomerie to put forward a proposal to scope alternative structures for NZAEE. After reading and discussing her proposal of work, we voted to accept it and have Chris begin the work. It will be completed by the middle of March.

Sector support

  • In response to the questionnaire sent to members in December, Rick Fisher from the Open Polytechnic made contact as he wanted to discuss courses he was setting up. Chris Eames is going to contact him and also put him in touch with Allen Hill who is involved in the polytechnic sector.
  • Sally has been contacted by the Rotoroa Island Trust (small island in the Hauraki Gulf between Waiheke and the Coromandel Peninsula) who have employed an educator to develop an education programme for 10-14 year olds when they visit this island (now pest-free, has had extensive native tree planting and release of kiwi, taheke and other endemic animal species). They have requested advice on developing a programme and Sally will meet with the educator to see what advice and contacts would be useful for this group. They also plan to join NZAEE.

Professional Development

The NEX Funding Application was submitted on time and successful applicants will be notified on 19 February.

Outdoor Education proposal for NCEA subject list

EONZ requested a letter of support for their request for outdoor education to be on the RAS NCEA subject list for Levels 2 and 3. After discussion, we decided to write a letter of support. Chris Eames drafted this letter, Sally completed it and sent it to Libby Paterson from EONZ.


Pam reported that a draft contract has been organised for MERC. This contract is in the process of being finalised..

NZAEE National Executive Meeting 06 November 2020


Anzac and Annie have offered to lead the process of having a series of webinars in 2021 to showcase research that is being done in the sustainability education space in New Zealand.

SDG Summit Series Hui – See the Change

The first of these hui will be held on 17 November. It will explore the questions of how can we make our own world more sustainable and why does it matter?

Strategic Planning Progress

A brief was prepared for Chris Montgomerie and circulated around the Executive members for comment. There was agreement in principle of the three goals developed. These goals will now be further developed by a small sub-committee. The resulting document will include a:

  • Vision for the Association that will state why we exist, who we are, what we want to be and how we will deliver this.
  • Structure that will support the enactment of the vision.

This document will then be circulated around the Executive members for comment.

Following that a specific brief will be written and discussed with Chris Montgomerie so that she can provide some options. Her work would inform the next steps.

Members will be kept informed through a communication and an opportunity provided for them to give feedback, e.g. a Google Doc.


A document will be drafted to communicate how the collaboration with MERC around Seaweek was established in order to progress a total handover to MERC to run and manage Seaweek.

National Executive Meeting 02 October 2020

Strategic Planning
The majority of the meeting was spent discussing the outcomes of the Strategic Planning meeting that was held on 17 September and the report furnished by the facilitator Billy Matheson.

There was a consensus that maintaining the way our Association is going is not an option. Now is the time for change. Firstly, we decided that we wanted to ‘step up’ our Association. Conditional to this stepping up is having a leader to facilitate our way through the process, having people involved in this process with the energy to drive it. We decided that we needed to commit time each week to this process and decided on an initial six month commitment. Everyone made a commitment of about 3 hours per week to the process.

An action plan now needs to be written by a small group. Morag, Gill and Robyn committed to be part of this group. If you want to be part, please contact Morag. Sally emailed Chris Montgomerie to report on progress and she is now waiting for this action plan.

TRCC Application
Sally reported that our proposal was not accepted. However, the TRCC has put it forward to the Ministry of Education recommending that it be run and requesting more funding to be able to do this. The TRCC are waiting to hear back from the Ministry.

National Executive Meeting 04 September 2020 

Definition of ‘Control’

There are new reporting standards with a new concept called ‘Control’ which has implications for financial responsibility. The National body and the Branches might need to consolidate their financial information. We need to clarify what this means and decide whether the National Body and its branches meet the definition of control.

Strategic Meeting

This is going ahead on 17 September. Billy Matheson will be facilitating the day. The contingency plan is a Zoom meeting.

Otago Regional Centre for Expertise in Sustainability

Robyn reported that this Centre has now opened in Otago to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Barry Law has led it and Robyn is involved with SDG 4 Education.

EEfS in Otautahi (Jocelyn)

The Canterbury Branch are wanting to support and fund EEfS providers and are wondering how the finances could be managed. A discussion point for the Strategic Meeting.

EE Conferences Survey

We have been approached by a group of EE researchers to ask to distribute a survey. It was agreed that Debbie would disseminate it to members.

SDG Report (Annie)

Annie will let us know dates for hui that will lead up the UN SDG Seminar next year. If anyone knows names of ‘rockstar provocateurs’, please send their names to Annie.

GEEP (Anita)

Anita will send information about the GEEP Case Studies to committee members so that perhaps we could have a New Zealand case study or two up on this website. See https://thegeep.org/learn

North American Association for Environmental Education Virtual Conference
Chris and Sally are presenting at this conference. There was interest in having a webinar where Chris and Sally could do their presentations for a New Zealand audience. Perhaps this is a type of event that NZAEE could champion (something for discussion at the Strategic Meeting).

National Executive Meeting 07 August 2020

Making quick decisions

There are occasions when we need to make a quick decision and it would take too long to consult everyone on the National Exec. We agreed that at least two of the following officers could make such a decision – the two Co-chairs and the Treasurer – when time does not allow for full consultation.

Strategic Planning Update

It was agreed to hold an in-person meeting at the Treehouse in Wellington’s Botanic Gardens on 17 September 10am-4pm. Billy has sent back a collation of the responses and comments to the responses to the Ten Provocation questions that the National Exec and others provided. This collation will form the basis of discussion at our meeting in the designing of our new Strategic Plan.

TRCC application

The National Exec is preparing a bid to gain funding from the TRCC for a teacher professional development and learning day next year. It is planned to run this day concurrently at 3 centres around New Zealand (north, central and south) with online keynote speakers and local teachers sharing their expertise. The bid is due on 01 September.

Annual Review

People in the National Exec are organising their contributions to the 2019-2020 Annual Review. Any photos would be gratefully accepted.

Seaweek and the Hauraki Gulf Monitoring Project

MERC, in association with NZAEE and the NZ Marine Studies Centre in Otago have prepared an application for funding from Foundation North for 2021-23.

NZAEE Branch Money

A question was asked about the spending of branch funding. These funds come from annual capitation (30% of members’ annual subscriptions) and any other money raised by the branch. It was noted that there is currently no direction in the NZAEE Branch Guidelines and this omission needs updating. Typically, branch funds have been used to hold local events, such as professional learning and development events or Green Drinks. Some branches have used their money to support youth to attend an annual conference.

National Executive Meeting 03 July 2020

Bank Signatories – Sally

We had been investigating adding Sally to the list of signatories to our bank account. Sally investigated the process and found it is was very involved with a current signatory having to go to a branch with Sally to get her registered. So we decided to stay with the current situation of having 3 signatories.

Life Memberships – Morag and Elspeth

Morag and Elspeth tabled a request to nominate a member of each of their branches for life membership because of their contributions to NZAEE. We decided to delay a decision until we have finalised our strategy and thought of ways to boost our membership. Otherwise we might end up with too many lifetime members. We currently have six.

Website – Annie

Annie wanted to know who was responsible for updating our website. Anita has very recently been able to access the website and make changes. We agreed that our website needed work. Anita and Gill are going to review it and develop an improvement plan. Sally would like to see it showcasing current New Zealand research to keep our community informed.

Annual Review – Sally

It is time to organise the next Annual Review covering the period 01 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. Sally is going to develop a table of contents with who is responsible for what with the aim of it being completed by the end of August.

Strategic Plan – Everyone

Billy has collated the responses from the National Executive in the first stage of developing a strategic plan. The National Executive will respond/comment to these ideas by 16 July. Chris is going to negotiate a day/time for a face to face meeting with Billy Matheson to progress this work. Sally is going to email Chris Montgomerie to keep her up to date so she can join us at the face to face meeting.

Seaweek Review and Next Steps – Pam

Pam and Sally (NZAEE), Yuin and Sara (MERC), Sally Carson and Aless (NZMSC) met to discuss the future of Seaweek and the Hauraki Gulf Monitoring Project. Both MERC and NZMSC want NZAEE to continue working with them in the role of holding the projects together/working alongside these two organisations as an umbrella. MERC is going to apply to Foundation North for funding but under the NZAEE name. Pam will be part of the process.

TRCC Invitation – Sally

The TRCC has sent information about running teacher learning and development courses. In the past NZAEE has run such a course. Sally is going to investigate and report back about what is involved. We could lead a course about climate change or biodiversity loss.

NZSDG Summit Stakeholder Group – Sally

This group is holding a series of online monthly meetings leading to a summit in 2021. Allen Hill has invited NZAEE to send a representative from NZAEE to be part of the organisation of these events. Sally to circulate the invitation to the National Executive to see who would be interested in being part of it.