Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Major milestones for Enviroschools Northland

The Enviroschools programme in Northland has celebrated one of its most successful years, with nine of the region’s Enviroschools – including the first kindergarten – achieving major milestones.

Enviroschools is a ‘whole school’ approach to sustainability which is about student-driven action for designing and creating sustainable schools, ecosystems, local neighbourhoods and beyond. The popular national programme is largely funded locally by the Northland Regional Council.

Regional Enviroschools Co-ordinator Susan Karels says two Northland schools – Kaitaia’s Oturu School and Whangarei’s Ruakaka School – reached the prestigious ‘Green-Gold’ status during 2013. (Only a fraction of Enviroschools achieve that status annually and it represented as the culmination of several years of involvement in the programme for Oturu and Ruakaka. The two joined Mangakahia Area and Whangarei Heads Schools, which became Green-Gold in 2011 and 2012 respectively.)

Meanwhile, Oromahoe and Umawera Schools became Silver Enviroschools, joining six other Northland schools that are currently at the Silver stage.

Four Northland schools achieved the Bronze stage in 2013 – Kokopu School, Okaihau Primary School, Otaika Valley School and Parua Bay School.

Also attaining the Bronze stage in 2013 was Comrie Park Kindergarten in Whangarei, Northland’s first Enviroschools kindergarten.

Mrs Karels says 72 Northland schools – nearly half of all those in the region – and three kindergartens are now in the Enviroschools programme, which the regional council introduced to Northland in 2003.

“Schools that include sustainability in their programmes play a significant role in creating sustainable communities. Students become role models of sustainable practices, teachers amongst their families and peers, and future leaders who understand how to make informed decisions and take action,” says Mrs Karels.

“They learn skills that they can put to good use throughout their lives – leadership, decision-making and planning, co-operation and developing partnerships.”

Mrs Karels noted that Oturu School is different from many other Enviroschools in that a far greater proportion of its work through the programme has revolved around sustainable businesses. (Examples included beekeeping/honey manufacture, traditional medicinal balm production, making soap, oil and other olive products and selling value-added goods made from the eggs, vegetables and fruit it harvests.)

Among Ruakaka School’s sustainability initiatives are the student ‘power police’ who saved the school hundreds of dollars last year by auditing its electricity use twice-daily and encouraging people to switch off unnecessary lighting and other equipment. Other students fill a similar role auditing waste and encouraging recycling and the school also has its own productive beehive, chickens and edible gardens.

“In addition to the direct benefits, involvement in the Enviroschools Programme leads to other positive outcomes. Increased pride and appreciation and greater involvement in the environment boosts positive behaviour and strengthens the connections between schools and their local communities,” says Mrs Karels.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



#soperraid: Police Search Wellington Apartment Of TV3 Journalist

Police on Tuesday morning began searching the home of another Wellington journalist... police were searching the Wellington apartment of TV3’s Heather du Plessis-Allan as part of an investigation into her report on the unlicensed purchase of a rifle. More>>


Relationship Property, Declaratory Judgments, And... New Law Commission To Review Search And Surveillance Law

“This joint review will consider how this law has operated since it was passed, and whether any changes are needed to respond to issues such as the impact of modern technology on the ability of Police and other authorities to prevent and investigate crime,” says Ms Adams. More>>


Housing Issues: Homelessness On The Horizon For Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers who have held down jobs and contributed to the well-being of New Zealand through their taxes may yet become homeless in late middle age or early retirement without urgent Government action, says The Salvation Army. More>>


Treasury Has Doubts On Christchurch Rebuild And... Auditor-General Follows Up On EQC

Despite the improvements made, EQC could still learn better from complaints and improve its customer focus and interactions... Although the programme is nearing completion, EQC needs to provide the best service possible for the home owners whose homes are still to be repaired. More>>


Man Who Banned 'Into The River' Out The Door: Appointments To The Film And Literature Board Of Review

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has announced seven appointments to the Film and Literature Board of Review... “The new members of the Board... will provide a strong mix of skills and experience to help the Board carry out its functions, while representing a cross-section of society.” More>>


Climate Marches: New Zealanders March For Solutions Not Pollution

Ahead of the UN Climate Summit in Paris more than 15,000 New Zealanders have taken part in the Peoples Climate march in Auckland, kicking off the largest climate mobilisation the world has ever seen... More>>


Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>


Because Reasons: Someone Reckons David Seymour Is Politician Of The Year

Trans Tasman's 11th annual Roll Call has thrown a curve ball this year, ignoring the likes of John Key, Bill English, and Winston Peters to pick its politician of the year from the ranks of the new generation. More>>


Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news