Beehives, worms and skinks the winners as Kiwi kids lead the charge to protect Aotearoa

Young Kiwi conservationists, gardeners and environmental champions at 34 schools and early childhood education centres across the country will now be able to kickstart their sustainability projects, thanks to $26,000 of grants awarded by Countdown.

The Growing for Good grants aim to help encourage New Zealand tamariki to protect Aotearoa’s precious environment.  Projects being funded this year include installing beehives and chicken coops; planting native trees and plants, and fruit and vegetable gardens; revitalising a native skink garden; installing worm farms and reducing food waste.

Countdown’s General Manager Sustainability, Kiri Hannifin, says they were blown away by the huge number of applications received from schools and early childhood centres around New Zealand.

“It’s been incredible to watch the first round of projects come to life over the last year and we’re really excited to watch the second round of schools flourish, ” says Kiri Hannifin. 

“We’ve been particularly heartened to see that the majority of applications have a strong focus on supporting the students’ families and local communities as well as benefiting the environment.  It was incredibly difficult to make our final choices!  

“Countdown is focused on helping protect the precious environment we have here in New Zealand and we’re keen to help grow the minds of young Kiwis who are interested in sustainability.  It’s really clear that there are thousands of kids who are passionate about doing more, so we’re really glad that we can support a large number of schools and ECE’s to help encourage this,” says Kiri Hannifin.


Schools and Early Childhood Education Centres in alphabetical order:

Best Start North Road (Invercargill)

  • Install a vegetable garden for the school and local community

Best Start Tawa (Wellington)

  • Plant a vegetable garden from unused space to help feed the children for lunch.

First Years Learning Centre (Whanganui)

  • Build a community garden and orchard to support the school menu and provide help feed food for local families.

Greenwood Kindergarten (Tasman)

  • Introduce an automated watering system for their garden

Hastings Intermediate (Hastings)

  • Learn about the tikanga of harakeke and the rongoā of Māori medicinal plants through the planting and harvesting of these

Hatea-a-Rangi School (Tokomaru Bay)

  • Build a chicken coop to house six chickens

Hikuai School (Coromandel)

  • Create a bee-friendly garden in preparation for beehives

Huia Range School (Manawatu)

  • Build a greenhouse to assist students gardening club and creating a compost

Kokatahi - Kowhitirangi (Hokitika)

  • Plant an orchard to help with school lunches

John Street Kindergarten (Waimate)

  • Install a worm farm and add to their current vegetable garden

Makara Model School (Wellington)

  • Build a chicken coop

Mangere Central School (Auckland)

  • Build a chicken coop 

Manurewa Playcentre (Auckland)

  • Plant a vegetable garden

Marewa Primary School (Hawkes Bay)

  • Protect and grow the vegetable gardens and orchard as well as building a community pantry

Opawa School (Christchurch)

  • Grow a fruit orchard

Otane School (Hawkes Bay)

  • Grow a fruit orchard

Pauatahanui School (Porirua)

  • Grow a food forest 

Portobello Kindergarten (Dunedin)

  • Plant a vegetable garden and wildlife friendly planting

Puaka Bush School (Whakatane)

  • Making a recycled greenhouse to develop the local native bush

Pukerua Bay School (Wellington)

  • Revitalisation of our native skink garden and restoration of our planting tables and storage benches in the community shade house

Pukete School (Hamilton)

  • Create water butt to collect rainwater for vegetable garden 

Rapaura School (Marlborough)

  • Supporting their native tree planting with mulch

Rosebank School (Auckland)

  • Native planting to increase local wildlife

Roslyn Maori Hill Playcentre (Dunedin)

  • Build a greenhouse to provide produce all year round

Rotokawa Primary (Rotorua)

  • Build a bee and insect friendly garden

St Patrick’s Te Awamutu (Te Awamutu)

  • Joining the Trees for Survival national programme

Tangowahine School (Dargaville)

  • Continue to enhance their native planting

Te Pā Harakeke o Te Awahou Inc (Manawatu)

  • Create a sensory garden

Te Pukeiti Early Childhood Centre (Te Kuiti)

  • Build a chicken coop

The CubbyHouse Napier Road (Palmerston North)

  • Build a chicken coop to help reduce food waste

Tiddlywinks Preschool Ltd (Ashburton)

  • Install a beehive

Timaru South School (Timaru)

  • Grow fruits to feed the school’s breakfast club four days a week

Victory Primary School (Nelson)

  • Set up a compost system for the school

West Rolleston Primary School (Christchurch)

  • Extend the vegetable garden and create a native tree area


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