We run five week-long programmes each year focused on tackling the important issues facing our future at the most grassroots level, each custom designed for the regions in which they operate:

  • Waterwise Engineering - Central Otago
  • Kiwi-Whio Forever - Tongariro
  • Post-Graduate Leadership - National

Each has been specially developed by Programme Director Dr. Barry Law with a framework that places the student at the centre of decision-making and activity.

Over the course of a week, students are mentored by lecturers, teachers and community educators from a range of backgrounds to provide support and guidance into becoming independent learners that can share ideas collaboratively and work together to problem solve challenges along the way.

“I think it is a strength of the programme that we were never told something and expected to believe it. Instead we discussed, debated, and deliberated everything before coming to our own well-reasoned conclusions. The confidence that this has given me has encouraged me to speak out about issues that matter to me and has given me the determination to make a difference to the sustainability of our planet”.
— George Watson – Darfield High

In 2007 our work was acknowledged by UNESCO as a model of quality learning and teaching for sustainable development at an international level, a partnership which continues to this day. As a result, each UWF Scholarship certificate will include the UNESCO Global Action Programme logo.


Our Programmes

Blumine Island

Marlborough Sounds

Our foundation programme where we have been working since 2002, focused on returning the island to its original state without introduced predators, and developing a sanctuary for native animal and plant species at risk.


WATERWISE

Otago

An exploration of four primary issues pertaining to this most critical of resources. Students are exposed to, and interact with, all players in the water resource chain in the Central Otago region, from the primary energy players, through to the farming, recreation, cultural and conservation interests, all of whom are involved in sustainable water management.


Upcoming Programmes

Scheduled for early 2019 are our programmes in Canterbury & the Central Plateau.

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Waterwise Canterbury

An exploration of four primary issues pertaining to this most critical of resources. Students are exposed to, and interact with, all players in the water resource chain in the Canterbury region, from the primary energy players, through to the farming, recreation, cultural and conservation interests, all of whom are involved in sustainable water management.

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Kiwi-Whio Forever Tongariro

Our primary Kiwi programme is centred around Ruapehu National Park and is focused on our national icon, the Kiwi. Based on Ngati Rangi marae at the foot of the mountain, ‘Kiwi-Whio Forever’ has a strong cultural focus, and examines the challenges the endangered birds face in their fight for survival.

Graduate Programmes

In early 2019 we will be piloting our first advanced or Graduate programme, working with exceptional Graduate students from across New Zealand.  The question is often asked by students and stakeholders 'what next?' Our aim with the Graduate program is to go some way to answering this question directly, taking the passion of graduates and focusing it specifically on both their own personal behaviour change and consequent action that will positively impact their community . 

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recognising our leaders

We also host a bi-annual dinner that honours four annual outstanding student leaders from that year’s field programmes, and two Alumni Champion student teachers, whose progress since leaving our programmes has been exemplary.