Arekatera Turia out walking
Image: Kim Turia | DOC


Habitat Heroes showcases and celebrates young people’s environmental action projects across Aotearoa.


We hope these case studies provide educators and young people with inspiration to explore and take action in your local environment.

Green heroes

Haumoana School, Hastings – students developed a 'taking action' plan to bring back native birds to their school through tracking, trapping and planting. Check out their Bring back the birds website for more news on the campaign.

Mangonui School, Northland – students, with help from community group Friends of Rangikapiti, planted trees on their maunga. They are planning to grow their own native trees from seeds collected on the maunga, these include karaka and kohekohe. Find out more from their presentation - Taniwha Class and Rangikapiti Pa.

Kaingaroa School, Chatham Islands – students restored their school yard into a bee haven and are growing food for them and the community to eat. See Kaingaroa School's Habitat Heroes journey (PDF, 1,631K).

Katikati College, Tauranga: Future Thinkers and Environmental Studies Students – students worked towards restoring a green space in their school grounds. Bring back the kereru presentation (PDF, 6,395K)

Hilltop School the weed busters group removed weeds such as blackberry, Japanese honeysuckle and broom from the Oruatua Conservation Reserve. They have also planted new native saplings and are protecting them with tree protectors and weed mats made out of harakeke. Read more on DOC's Conservation Blog.

Stream Heroes

Ruawai College, Northland – Year 7 and 8 classes undertook a thorough investigation into the health of their local stream that leads to the Kaipara Harbour. Using the results from their study they took action for the stream by planting native trees in the riparian strip. Next the students want to continue monitoring their waterways and set up a nursery to provide plants for the community. To see more of the hard work being completed by Ruawai College, the year 7 class have made this presentation: We are habitat hero's and the year 8 class have made this website: Year 8 enviro project 2017

Koraunui School, Lower Hutt – students investigated their local stream and took action by planting along its banks. They created their own paper mulch protectors for the native trees they planted. Koraunui School also ran a hugely successful bioblitz for their community, check out their website for all the information. Check out this amazing video put together by Korounui School, Room 1213.

Rotorua Lakes High School, Rotorua – two students undertook a local stream study using a stream health monitoring and assessment kit (SHMAK). Using the data they collected, they worked out a thorough plan to restore a local wetland for their community. See the students in action in the video they made: Talking SHMAK.

Supporting resources

How to be a Habitat Hero poster.
How to be a Habitat Hero poster (PDF, 1,076K)

How to be a Habitat Hero poster (PDF, 1,076K) is a suggested learning sequence based on the DOC inquiry cycle. This guides you through the competition.

Protecting your local environment resources encourage primary and intermediate students to go outdoors, explore and connect to a local green space (eg. school grounds, local park, etc). The series includes a range of teaching and learning ideas from stand-alone authentic experiences to a comprehensive integrated inquiry unit. The resources have been designed to be used by themselves or joined together to create a unit of work.

Habitat Heroes curriculum resources include various hands-on activity ideas to help understand and explore your local area.

Share your stories and be in to win!

If you have any questions, or would like to share your environmental action stories, please email us –

By sharing your stories you'll go into a prize draw to win a DOC education pack. These include posters, ID guide books, hut passes and more!  

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