The Paihia Waitangi Kindergarten has been awarded Enviroschools Bronze status, and now has a large outdoor Enviro-schools sign and a framed certificate to prove it.

Northland Regional Council representatives Cathy Erstich (community engagement manager) and Susan Karels (Enviro-schools regional co-ordinator) made the presentations, acknowledging an achievement that had been years in the making.

"We have been incorporating sustainable practices within our programme for many years, and it is wonderful to have this publicly recognised," head teacher Wil Zwanikken said.

"However, the Enviro-schools journey is not just about sustainable practices. It is also about empowering our tamariki, and acknowledging and respecting Māori perspectives and the diversity of peoples and cultures."


The Enviroschools kaupapa, according to the official website, was about creating a healthy, peaceful, sustainable world through people teaching and learning together.

The kindergarten was grateful to all the whānau who had been part of the journey over the years, and those who were there to share the big occasion with them.

"We are already working towards a silver acknowledgement as we continue to embrace sustainable practices and whakawhanaungatanga in our programme," Wil added.

"And we look forward to sharing this continuing journey with present and future families of the kindergarten."