It is hard finding a property in Tauranga let alone for 30 chickens, three horses, a couple of cows, a flock of ducks and some pigs.
August 23 was supposed to be D-Day for the holistic charity Teacher in the Paddock as their lease has ended, but by a stroke of luck, they have been granted three more weeks to find a spot to house the outdoor classroom.
In 2014 teacher Kevin Powell recognised the growing disconnection between people and the planet not only through global crises but through increasing levels of anxiety, hyperactivity and other health issues present in children today, together with a loss of life skills and values.
He and his wife Jane decided to open Teacher in the Paddock on their leased property in Pāpāmoa where children could connect to nature through farming and food. It has since seen more than 7000 kids and their families learning skills and hanging out with animals.
"It is a real possibility that we will just have to sell up and move on which would be tragic," Powell said.
The initiative is servicing about 10 schools in the Pāpāmoa and Te Puke area through its after-school and holiday programme, Powell said, and while they have looked at a property in Pyes Pa, he is reluctant to walk away from the children he already knows to re-establish.
Ideally, he would like to find somewhere to lease in the wider Pāpāmoa area that is between 20ha and 50ha with a dwelling so the programme can reach more whānau and tamariki.
Longer-term, through crowdfunding, Powell said he would like to buy a property to continue their work, which is carried out under their Toi Toi Charity.
"This isn't for our benefit, although the vision is for everyone to be paid well, the reality is we earn less than what the dole pays.
"But the reason I do it is that I love to see the joy on kids faces as they connect with nature. And there is a need because I've had a child wonder why the cow isn't blue like it is on the milk bottle."