Sustainability is a critical issue for New Zealand - environmentally, economically, culturally, politically, and socially. We need to learn how to live smarter, to reduce our impact on the environment for future generations.”
— NZ Curriculum

What is Papa Taiao Earthcare?


Papa Taiao Earthcare is a Project-learning enterprise that is working towards a more sustainable future.


Students learn about sustainability and develop a product or service that focuses on improving outcomes for people in their local community and the local environment.




To facilitate and encourage the growth of an industry in



Ecological Restoration 



link enterprise with sustainability through a network of locally led

Earthcare Academies across Aotearoa New Zealand




Be bold, creative and enterprising




work together for a better world



Papa Taiao Earthcare is built on the premise that people can make a positive change in their local environment and community.

Papa Taiao Earthcare evolved from Education for Sustainability in the New Zealand Curriculum. The key concepts of sustainability underpin the values of Papa Taiao Earthcare.

At the heart of sustainability is systems thinking. Our learning programmes adopt the inquiry process and integrates curricula with the goal of producing action competent and enterprising learners who embrace complexity and take a systems approach to their actions and behaviours.

Like EfS, Papa Taiao Earthcare places great emphasis on doing. Students are taught a specific vocational skill set related to ecological action and enterprise. Students participate in a hybrid of proscriptive vocational skills-acquisition learning and student led project-based learning. The skills component enables students to experiment with ideas they formulate for taking ecological Action and to gain NCEA qualifications in Earth care related subjects. Taking contextualised Action enables students to think in terms of relationships and how their decisions impact on the world around them.

The vision is that students will bring their competence to take Action, the thinking and problem solving skills of Education for Enterprise and EfS and a set of vocational earth care skills to the workplace that will promote a more sustainable use of natural resource.

We acknowledge, and promote Māori values by:

  • raising the Mana of people, and things, by showing respect and kindness  Manaakitanga
  • building our strength by strengthening relationships in our community  Whanaungatanga
  • strengthening understanding of our inter-connectedness with the Earth  Tangata Whenuatanga
  • exercising guardianship over all things special to Aotearoa / NZ including the land, our flora and fauna, and our precious things, such as, culture, water, sea, knowledge, people and our character  Kaitiakitanga