A collaborative communities education project that aims to empower young people to lead community action towards creating a healthy river.

Te Waka Unua students planting in Connal Reserve. Healthy river, healthy people
Oranga awa, oranga tāngata

This project is an opportunity for students to connect and collaborate with each other and develop as leaders. 

There are over 100 schools and early childhood education centres within one kilometre of the awa/river. Many of these are taking action for the river or have connections to their river through their cultural narrative. 

A model for success

The project is a conservation education programme based on the Collaborative Community Education Model (CCEM).  The framework endeavours to develop a programme that is an authentic, collaborative, student-led, continuous learning journey and provides teacher professional development and support.

Other projects using this model include Kids Greening Taupo (external link)and Town Belt Kaitiaki(external link) in Dunedin.

Our collaborative partnership

The project steering group is made up of representatives from:

The next step in the project is to set up a student leadership group.

Meet our education co-ordinator - Sally Airey

"I live near the awa and bike or walk along it every day, and with my whānau have taken part in river clean-ups and other initiatives along the river. 

I am excited to start this journey, to facilitate the use of the Ōpāwaho/Heathcote catchment as an authentic learning context for schools and early childhood centres that have a close connection to the awa."