School children ready to enter the water as part of the Experiencing Marine Reserves programme

Image: Experiencing Marine Reserves | ©


DOC supports a range of education programmes that promote conservation and get young people into nature.

The following programmes operate nationally or across several regions. DOC is also involved with some local education programmes – see what's happening in your region.

Education Outdoors New Zealand (EONZ)

EONZ supports education outside the classroom (EOTC) and learning experiences in the outdoors. Their vision that all people in Aotearoa New Zealand have lifelong opportunity for meaningful experiences and learning in the outdoors for individual, community, and environmental wellbeing.

Find out more about EONZ.

Experiencing Marine Reserves

School children snorkling.
Kids snorkeling at Poor Knights Marine Reserve as part of EMR

Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) is an experiential learning programme about marine conservation. EMR empowers schools and communities by providing the equipment and expertise for hands-on learning experiences in the ocean.

The programme involves investigating marine biodiversity and local marine environments, before venturing to a fully-protected marine reserve. After this experience, students are able to compare unprotected and protected areas and are supported to put their knowledge into action within the community.

Since its introduction in Northland in 2002, EMR has expanded to 8 regions with a team of 16 coordinators nationwide. EMR has guided snorkel experiences in marine reserves around New Zealand involving 24,901 students. 

Find out more about Experiencing Marine Reserves.

Forest and Bird’s Kiwi Conservation Club | Hakuturi Toa (KCC) 

For over 30 years, Forest & Bird’s Kiwi Conservation Club | Hakuturi Toa (KCC) has been connecting Kiwi kids to New Zealand’s amazing wildlife and wild places. 
Find out more about Kiwi Conservation Club | Hakuturi Toa (KCC).

Habitat Heroes

2016 winners Country Creche, Hamilton investigating invertebrates

Habitat Heroes showcases and celebrates young people’s environmental action projects across Aotearoa New Zealand. 
Share your environmental action stories with us and be into a win DOC education prize pack. These include:

  • posters
  • ID guide books
  • hut passes and more.

Find out more about Habitat Heroes.


LEARNZ virtual field trips are an engaging, curriculum-linked opportunity for students to experience some of New Zealand's special places. They take students to remote and unique places where they meet and get to know people with fascinating careers in conservation and industry.

LEARNZ is free for teachers registered with the New Zealand Education Council teaching at state, integrated and registered private schools.

Find out more on the LEARNZ website.

Marine Metre Squared

Marine Metre Squared (Mm2) is an easy way for anyone to survey the plants and animals living on their local seashore and a great opportunity to get citizen science into the classroom.

Mm2 is free and easy to sign up to and as a registered member, you can get full access to the MM2 database to add your data and compare with others in New Zealand. Registered members also get free access to the fantastic primary and secondary teaching and learning resources as well as North and South Island specific 'sandy and muddy' and 'rocky' shore guides available in both English and Te Reo Māori.

Find out more about Marine Metre Squared.

New Zealand Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE)

NZAEE is a national, non-profit organisation promoting environmental education initiatives across New Zealand. Members come from a variety of backgrounds, but they all have a common interest in building stronger environmental education opportunities across all sectors of society.


  • Offers a national environmental education conference every two years
  • Coordinates Seaweek at the national level
  • Frequently hosts workshops and forums
  • Is an active participant in a number of initiatives including the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
  • Serves in an advisory capacity on an array of environmental education issues.

Find out more about NZAEE.

Outlook for Someday

Outlook for Someday film challenge.
The Outlook for Someday film challenge

The Outlook for Someday challenge is to make a short sustainability-related film. It can be any genre, filmed with any camera and any length up to 5 minutes.

Anyone up to age 24 can enter, either individually or in a team. Entrants are encouraged to interpret 'sustainability' in the way that makes sense to them. 

DOC is a partner of the challenge and also sponsors the Big Picture Award. 

Find out more about Outlook for Someday.

Sir Peter Blake Trust

Sir Peter Blake Trust - Blake Ambassador logo.

The Sir Peter Blake Trust has been working in partnership with Antarctica New Zealand, the Antarctic Heritage Trust, NIWA and DOC since 2008.

It has provided opportunities for young New Zealanders to work on projects in Antarctica, the Southern Ocean and New Zealand through the Blake Ambassador Programme.

Ambassadors have worked alongside teams of scientists, conservationists, engineers and conservators on environmental and heritage restoration projects. They have advanced our understanding and addressed some of the big environmental questions and challenges facing society.

Find out more about the Sir Peter Blake Trust.

The Toimata Foundation

Toimata Foundation.

The Toimata Foundation (formerly known as the Enviroschools Foundation) is a charitable trust which currently supports two programmes available to schools, kura and early childhood centres across New Zealand – Te Aho Tū Roa and Enviroschools. Their programmes are collaborative, empowering and action-focused.

Find out more about the Toimata Foundataion

Whitebait Connection

School children from Kendal School sorting out different kinds of stream life, Cust River, Canterbury.
Kids involved in the WBC programme in Canterbury

The Whitebait Connection (WBC) is a national, non-profit community conservation education programme. It's action-based and offers concrete and specific ways in which all New Zealanders can come to understand and become involved with our local freshwater environments.

The main focus of the programme is to provide experiential learning opportunities to schools and communities throughout New Zealand.

After discovering their local freshwater environments, students and their communities are encouraged to take action for their local catchment with activities like riparian restoration, fencing, and stream monitoring.

Find out more about the Whitebait Connection.

Toyota Kiwi Guardians

Kiwi Guardians is a free, fun and easy way for 6-10-year-olds to get to know our beautiful country. They'll learn about protecting our unique native landscape, earn cool rewards and go on epic family adventures.

It's a great way to get kids off screens and into the outdoors in a way they'll love. Grab a map, go and explore, and earn a reward!

Find out more about Kiwi Guardians.

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