Whatungarongaro te tangata toitū te whenua

As man disappears from sight, the land remains

This demonstrates the holistic values of the Maori, and the utmost respect of Papatuanuku, the mother of the earth.

This Whakatauki resinates with thinking and practices here at Albany Kindergarten around our values and beliefs about the importance of caring for the environment. It is wonderful to see the way in which our community of learners have embraced such practices of recycling and caring for the physical world and how they have been shared at home and beyond.

Drawing upon our trip last term to The Zero Waste Zone at Waitakere Refuse Station we plan on revamping our waste and recycling bins at the entrance of the kindergarten. We hope that the conversations, design ideas and subsequent use of this space will further empower our learning community to think with a sustainable lens.


My recent trip to Rarotonga in the holidays has also provided a source of inspiration for the design of this area. Around key points on the island were recycling bins to enable both visitors and locals to care for this piece of paradise. I wonder if our design for the outdoor recycling space here at kindergarten will be similar?

I am also often reminded of the ethical stance that children convey and place value upon in their play and learning around caring for the world. An example of this was at our Kai table this morning when some rubbish was dropped onto the floor.  “It’s not just about the rubbish, its about looking after the world.” – Spencer shared with a group of children at the kai table this morning.

“We all need to pick up the rubbish to keep the world just as we want it.”

What a great advocate for taking responsibility for looking after Papatuanuku (earth mother).

Kaiako Fran

“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the Earth before we ask them to save it. Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, “the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.” David Sobel ‘Beyond Ecophobia’