Development & Why We are Doing It
Through no fault of their own, children bear the worst impacts of poverty and have no power to change their circumstances. Māori and Pasifika families are disproportionately affected by poverty, and in turn in many of our negative statistics. For example New Zealand has the highest youth suicide rate in the OECD, and the rate for Māori is 2.8 times higher than for non-Māori.
We know that our schools have not been equitable places for tamariki Maori, nor have they been accessible and welcoming places for children of different abilities.
It became clear to us that if we want to give children richer life experiences for our most in-need communities, that schools, where children spend a significant proportion of their time, were the places to do it. And that the potential of a school’s outdoor spaces to contribute to the health and well-being of our kids and communities were both largely under-recognised and underutilised in Aotearoa.
We decided to change this.
Implementation of the Te Puna Taiao kaupapa presents a cost-effective opportunity for a cross-government approach to improve the lives and outcomes of our children, reduce current inequities and build stronger, more resilient whānau and communities.
In August 2018 we developed the Te Puna Taiao Charitable Trust to give our mahi the legal entity to enable us to share our learnings more widely, advocate for the better use of outdoor spaces, collaborate with others, and to support schools, communities, iwi and hapū to implement change in their outdoor spaces for the benefit of our kids.