Local Connection Days

Conference Local Connection Days

Connecting to place has to start locally, so in planning this conference we made an intentional decision to start with local connection.

The Local Connection Days on October 11th provided a chance for teachers, providers, mana whenua, community groups and young people to gather, connect and share. We focused on building connections to each other and place, to strengthen our mahi and networks. Local landforms and communities make each place unique, and so too do the educators and teachers working in environmental education for sustainability.

We will be sharing photos and stories from the Local Connection Days on our Facebook page over October and November and will continue to support local groups and educators with their local, collaborative work.

Locations and Key Information

Scroll down through the list of 13 locations to find more details about each event. Thank you to the local coordinators and supporters who made it possible for these events to happen across the motu.

Te Tai Tokerau | Northland

Takahiwai Marae, Whangārei       October 11th, 9am-4:30pm

Held in conjunction with the Mountains to Sea Wānanga. We will meet in the morning and then join in with Mountains to Sea at the Marae. The day will include a series of field trips for connection with local educators and the local environment, including visiting the Ruakākā River to see īnanga spawning sites and learn about the local collaboration and restoration happening along this awa, a guided tour of the NIWA hatchery, snorkelling with Experiencing Marine Reserves, and Marine Metre Squared and biodiversity workshops.

NZAEE registration covers catering and activities for the full day, and participants can opt to join the Mountains to Sea social evening as well.

Tāmaki Makaurau | Auckland

Te Mahurehure Cultural Marae,
Pt Chevalier     October 11th, 9:30am - 4pm

Join us for a day of learning and networking, with a range of opportunities to get involved and feel inspired. We will explore local areas including the new interactive space at MOTAT and programmes at Auckland Zoo. You will also have the opportunity to engage with environmental education programmes from Sustainable Coastlines, BLAKE Inspire, and Marine Metre Squared, while making new connections with teachers and educators from across Tāmaki Makaurau.

Kirikiriroa | Hamilton

The Fairfield Project      October 11th, 9am - 2pm

You are warmly invited to join Kirikiriroa Environmental Educators (KEE) at the Fairfield Project for a fun day of connecting with each other and our beautiful natural environment. We will offer activities that explore how environmental education can be integrated into your local curriculum; how to engage with mana whenua for meaningful education; how nature connection can support wellbeing in our kura and te taiao and how collaboration can enrich learning.

This will be a chance to meet other educators and providers, share food and good ideas. Teachers and educators from around the Waikato (and further) are welcome to attend. We will finish at 2pm, with optional field trips afterwards (or time to go shopping).

Te Moana-a-Toi | Bay of Plenty

Venue: Eastbay REAP, Whakatāne     
October 11th, 9 - 2:30pm

Nau mai hare mai ki te tangata o Te Moana a Toi-te-Huatahi.  We invite you to jump on an eco-friendly transport and come on a haerenga with Eastbay REAP and the Halo Whakatāne Conservation Project.  We will collaboratively explore our ‘backyard’ enrichment projects that provide authentic learning experiences in place-based biodiversity and conservation education.  

The day will offer countless opportunities to korero about:  Nature-based and free play learning; place-based learning; Māori world views; cross-curricula learning; inquiry/project-based learning; and future-focused learning.  Attendees will also experience a Sustainable Development Goals workshop to chat about the Global Goals and why they are important to us as individuals and communities.


Taupō Museum, Story Place   October 11th, 5 - 7:30pm

Taupō EEC invites you to attend this evening event for wine and nibbles, meet and share. Ha, educator and local identity, will be sharing insights through music and local history gems to help inform future action and choices. It will also include a follow up to Ngā Kōrero (local event held in September during Conservation Week).

Te Matau a Māui | Hawke’s Bay

Location: Various          October 11th

We invite you to join Te Matau-a-Māui Mystery Bus Tour, visiting outdoor locations throughout the bay, networking and sharing ideas with each other, and spending time in nature. We will also explore how education providers and teachers can collaborate to offer meaningful learning opportunities for students to lead and take positive action for our local environment. Teachers and educators from the Hawke’s Bay region are welcome to register for this event.


Pukeiti Gardens       October 11th, 9am - 4pm

Spend the day in the beautiful location of Pukeiti, taking part in interactive sessions with local environmental education and community organisations, including local hapū. The day will include delicious kai, along with time for networking with others. More details coming soon.


Hurunui-o-Rangi Marae, Gladstone
October 11th, 9am - 4pm

We welcome kaiako from all sectors to join us to refresh, reconnect and be part of regenerative kōrero. We want to acknowledge our mana whenua, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitāne o Wairarapa, in their roles as kaitiaki for te taiao. After a mihi whakatau at Hurunui-o-Rangi marae you will be immersed in: Pūrākau o Wairarapa; Te taiao at Uhi Manuka - Carters Reserve led by Nanny Francis with Reino (DOC) and mokomoko - lizards, Sam (Ngāti Kahungunu) and wai māori - water monitoring, Kelly (Pūkaha) and aitanga pepeke - insect search, Hella (New Forest School) and storytelling; Creating inspiring kai in the kitchen or garden with Olivia and Paula from Garden to Table; and hanging out with Nanny Francis on the marae talking about rākau, rongoā and māra kai.

Te Whanganui-a-Tara | Wellington

Porirua and Tawa area    October 11th, 9am - 5pm

Explore and learn more about our local history and opportunities for environmental education, by visiting a range of locations in the Porirua - Tawa area. Projects and facilitators will include KETE (Kids Enhancing Tawa Environment) with Wellington City Council, Pātaka, Enviroschools, Te Rito Gardens and Sustainable Coastlines. The day will include lots of time for networking and discussion with others, finishing with social drinks at the end of the day. This event is open to teachers and educators from across the wider Wellington area, including Kāpiti, Porirua, Te Awakairangi and Wellington City (note there is a separate event in the Wairarapa).

Whakatū | Nelson and Tasman

Venue: Whenua Iti Outdoors 
October 11th, 10am - 3pm

Haere mai ki a Wheriko Rā. We warmly welcome kaiako, whānau, other educators and providers to sessions on site at Whenua Iti Outdoors that will celebrate how nature nourishes us, and how we in turn can nourish and care for te taiao through education. Expert facilitators Mike Elkington (Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Kuia), Rick Field (Enviroschools), Joanna Santa Barbara (Climate Leaders Forum) and Prashanti  Lovegrove (TDC) will lead activities designed to fill your kete, nurturing both yourself and your ākonga (learners). We look forward to sharing kai, sharing pūrākau (stories) and sharing ideas for the future of environmental education in our rohe ātaahua (beautiful region).

Ōtautahi | Christchurch

Various Locations, Ōtakaro Avon River    
October 11th, 9:30-4:30

Join us for a walking journey along the banks of the Ōtākaro Avon River to reconnect with each other and with te taiao, the environment.

The journey will begin at Victoria Square where we will learn how both Māori and European cultural history is being recognised and celebrated. Following this we will follow the river’s path downstream for just over 3km. We’ll be stopping at significant spots along the way and doing a variety of activities, including hearing from mana whenua, learning about sustainable urban orchards, connecting with the beautiful green spaces in the Avon Red Zone, visiting community gardens, and ending the journey at a dedicated climate change campus. EfS providers will be showcasing their programmes and services along the way.

Ōtepoti | Dunedin

Te Taumata o Puaka, 121 Grimness Street, Karitane October 11th, 9:30 - 4pm

You are warmly invited to join together at Karitāne to share your environmental education / education for sustainability programme and actions, and network with others. We will have the opportunity to give back and connect with te taiao and hear from a local youth panel about why they care for te taiao and what they want from teachers and providers. Take part in a wide range of activities including: Nature craft with tamariki (led by Lizzie Potter); Hikoi to Huriawa Pā (led by Rauhina Scott-Fyfe); Signs of the Sea and Marine Metre Squared (led by the Marine Studies Centre); Water quality (led by Harriet Love); Mahi at the Puketeraki nursery and mara kai; Find out how nature friendly your food is (led by Davina Hunt and Catriona MacLeod); along with an opportunity to do some 'speed dating' - a chance to highlight your mahi / resources / programmes.


Wānaka Community Hub       October 10th, 9:30 - 2:30

Please note our local day is taking place on Monday October 10th. Come and spend time in nature, networking and sharing ideas, including visiting Bullock Creek and learning about our local history and ecology. We will also explore how education providers and teachers can collaborate to offer authentic, long-term opportunities for students to lead and take positive action for our local environment. Teachers and educators from the wider Upper Clutha area are welcome to register for this event.

Registration Types and Rates

NZAEE Members: Online Day Registration only

ONLINE REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED. Members of NZAEE receive a discounted rate. This registration price is for the national Online Day only and registrations close on October 7th.

Non-Members: Online Day Registration only

ONLINE REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED. If you are not currently a member of NZAEE, you can choose to become a member for the discounted rate above, or choose this option to attend only the Online Day. Registration for the Online Day closes on October 7th.

Student or Unwaged: Online Day Registration only

ONLINE REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED. If you are currently a student or unwaged we would like to offer you a discounted rate so you can attend the online day on October 12th. Online Day registration closes on October 7th.

NZAEE Members: Local and Online Day Registration

LOCAL DAY REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED. Members of NZAEE receive a discounted rate. This registration is for both a Local Day and the national Online Day on October 12th. Local day includes catering. Being a member of NZEI Te Riu Roa entitles you to this rate. Registration closes on September 30th.

Non-Members: Local and Online Day Registration

LOCAL DAY REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED. If you're not a current member of NZAEE you can either sign up before you register, or choose this option which includes registration for both a Local Day and national Online Day on October 12th. Registration for Local Days closes on September 30th.

Student or Unwaged: Local and Online Day Registration

LOCAL DAY REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED. If you are currently a student or unwaged we would like to offer you a discounted rate so you can attend both days of the conference. Registration closes on September 30th.

Local Connection Day Registration only

REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED. This registration rate is for those attending a Local Connection Day only, and will not give you access to the online day (live or recordings). This is a set rate for all delegates, including NZAEE members, students, unwaged and non-members, to cover catering costs for the day. Local Day registrations close on September 30th.


Any questions?

We're here to help if you can't access the recordings from the conference or want to follow up with actions or questions.