Papa Taiao Earthcare

Papa Taiao Earthcare

Our mission is to enable young people to make a living through enterprise while regenerating the planet and its people.  Our vision is to build a culture of sustainable regenerative enterprise and kaitiakitanga across Aotearoa.

Papa Taiao grew out of these words: “We don’t expect them to pass anything, just make sure they don’t burn the school down.”

There were 18 Māori boys, 4 Pākeha boys and two girls in that class. The ākonga didn’t lack talent, they lacked engagement in education after many years being told their qualities, skills and talents were not valued.

To re-engage the ākonga, MartyTaylor talked with Richard Nahi from Puatahi Marae to design a course. Nahi volunteered to help Taylor take the ākonga trapping to protect a Nationally Critically threatened bird called Weweia. The team took the ākonga into the bush, harvested totara and nikau and built a traditional whare nikau. While walking, talking and spending time connecting to the whenua Richard shared his Mātauranga, tikanga and kawa. That year all ākonga learnt how to trap and run a small fur collecting business and they all passed NCEA from the co-created innovative curriculum. More importantly all the rangatahi began to see themselves as valuable, capable and successful. They connected to their whenua and realised how important being Māori was to them. The non-Māori learnt respect for Mātauranga Māori. After seeing the results Richard gifted us the name Papa Taiao. In service to partnership and out of respect for Te Tiriti Taylor added the word Earthcare to the name.

Papa Taiao Earthcare  evolved from Education for Sustainability in the New Zealand curriculum and has been working with senior secondary ākonga since 2012. There are centres in Te Tai Tokerau, Te Ūpoko o Te Ika and Māwhera with short courses and collaborations happening across the country.

In December 2022 Papa Taiao Earthcare became a Private Training Establishment. The organisation is working to develop more qualifications and courses. As well as expanding to work with community groups and hapū to whakamana regeneration across the country.