Awards & Recognition

Our success is measured by the impact we have on the nature around us but also on people interacting with us. Our success is evident through the stories being told and shared.

Below are such stories and experiences from our volunteers, course and event participants, community groups and businesses, as well as awards we collectively received.

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Awards & Recognition

WasteMINZ Awards for Excellence 2024

Auckland Council & Community Partners (incl. Kaipātiki Project) - Auckland's Food Scraps Service Rollout: Community Engagement - Winner in the Best Research or Advocacy Project. Read more here.

Tāmaki Makaurau Architecture Awards 2024

Kaipātiki Project EcoHub, designed by Athfield Architects - Winner in the Public Architecture category. The building is praised for incorporating “five of the seven Living Building Challenge Petals” in its design. Read more here.

The Kūmara Awards Tāmaki Makaurau 2024

Te Ara Awataha - Northcote's new Greenway - Finalist in the It Takes a Village category.

Sustainable Business Awards 2023

EcoFest partners: Beautification Trust, EcoMatters, Waiheke Resources Trust & Kaipātiki Project - Finalist in the Outstanding Collaboration category.

SBN Impact Investor FCSustainable Business Network

Kaipātiki Project - Sustainable Business Impact Investor

Water New Zealand Excellence Awards 2023

Te Ara Awataha Greenway Regeneration - Winner in the Environmental Sustainability Project Award category.

Kōmata o Te Rangi | Supreme Asset Management Excellence Award 2023

Te Ara Awataha Greenway Regeneration - Supreme Winner. Read more.

Pūrerehua Aotearoa | Moths & Butterflies of New Zealand Trust Certification 2023

Kaipātiki Project Birkdale and Hobsonville Point nursery sites

CAF International Valudated Organisation, 2023-2026

230201 CAF Internation Validated Organisation KPThe validation process includes a review of an organisation’s key operational elements such as our governance structure, registration status, annual financial statements, online and media presence, and our board members and senior staff. This validation process ensures that all funds sent to the organization will be used charitably. Read more.

Tāmaki Makaurau Zero Waste Awards 2022

Kaipātiki Project - Finalist in the Community Collaboration Award category.

Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2022

Kaipātiki Project - Finalist in Excellence in Community Contribution category for North & West region. Read more.

New Zealander of the Year 2022

NewZealandEnvironmentalHeroOfTheYear LOGO v2

Charmaine Bailie, Kaipātiki Project Chair - Winner in Te Toa Taiao o Te Tau / the Environmental Hero of the Year category. Read more

Volunteering Auckland's LoVE Award 2022

Sam Tu'itahi - Winner of the Leader of Volunteer Engagement  Award. Read more about Sam.

Case study in 'Commonwealth Sustainable Cities', 2021

Te Ara Awataha – Northcote’s 1.5km green corridor – has been selected as a case study for its role in sustainable good practice on the ‘Commonwealth Sustainable Cities’ website

Sustainable Business Awards 2021

SBN Awards Finalist blue

  • Charmaine Bailie, Kaipātiki Project Chair - Commendation in the Sustainability Superstar category
  • Kaipātiki Project  - Finalist in the Social Impactor category

Mayoral Conservation Awards 2021

Street Guardians, who volunteer at Kaipātiki Project - Highly commended in the Collaboration category. Read more.

The Kūmara Awards 2021

211110 Kumara Awards winners

Jessie Tonar Scout Reserve regeneration - Winner in ‘Saving the World One Place at a Time’ category. Read more or watch a video here.

Tāmaki Makaurau Zero Waste Awards 2021

Hobsonville Community Compost Hub, run by Kaipātiki Project - Finalist in the 'Growing The Movement' category. Read more.

LGFA Taituarā Excellence Awards 2021

Eke Panuku Development - Winner of the Environmental Leadership Award with Te Ara Awataha project. Read more.

NZ Charity Reporting Awards 2021

Kaipātiki Project - Joint Winner in the Sustainability category. Watch a video or read more.

Upper Harbour Local Board Environment Award 2021

Engine Bay Plant Nursery volunteers - Winners. Read more.

Case study in 'Te Mana o te Taiao - Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy' 2020

Te Ara Awataha project was selected to feature as a case study. This is the testament to our impact to-date and is very encouraging to continue to deliver on our vision to revive nature and live lightly on this planet. View full document.

Mayoral Conservation Awards 2020

  • Te Ara Awataha - Winner in the Collaboration Category. Read more.
  • EcoFest North - Finalist in the Triumph Against Adversity Category

In the Media





Student volunteer inspired to pursue environmental studies

"Through Rangitoto College I volunteered to help out at your nursery in 2021, and the experience of working in the Kaipatiki Project inspired me to pursue a profession in horticulture. I am currently studying for my level 3 horticulture, and as part of my academic study I am required to visit an horticulture operation, namely a plant nursery. I am eager to acquire the insight of how your facility is conducted, pruning and harvesting, water management, weed, pest and disease control etc. Your nursery would be a perfect candidate for my study and I was hoping if I could please have the opportunity to have a tour of your facility and learn more about the way you propagate and treat your plants."  - Issac. Of course we said YES!

Onepoto Primary School educational visit

"Thank you so much for the wonderful session this morning with our Year 1 children. I really liked the lovely calm way you presented the lesson to the children and the lesson flowed so well from the chat, videos, bird spotting walk to the art work. The children were still talking about the birds at the end of the day and pointing different birds out to me. I know they will really enjoy seeing their creations of bird art using different pieces of nature.  It's such a lovely technique to use for creating pictures." -  Kristen

Eskdale Reserve volunteering

"Please thank the team at the project for an awesome experience. I will be spreading word of the amazing work being done, and will be back to help more in the new year." - Jo Anne

Corporate Group Volunteers

"Our team had an amazing time with Maria.  She really made our day.  Just to give you context – some of the members of our team had no idea what the Kauri Dieback station was for!?!?!?  So, I think after their experience with Maria and Kaipātiki Project, they will now have a better understanding around some of the fantastic work that you and your teams do.”

Stream Care Citizen Science working with schools

“Brett has gone to extra trouble to engage the children’s interest by setting his fish traps the evening prior to a session with the children. On several occasions they have been the luckiest students alive to help Brett discover long fin eels in the trap and study and learn more about them up close.” -  Jeanette Dunning, Verran Primary School Principal

“The children who are involved in the stream care programme are developing a keen interest on how best to improve the health of our local eco systems.  The visits to our local stream are informative, practical and eye opening to our students.” - Craig Watson, Deputy Principal Birkdale Intermediate School

Hands on Ecology course

“This is also a great basis for people wanting to work in restoration or horticulture. I have learned so much from this course from you all and now each bush walk I do now seems to take twice as long, as I am busy trying to identify the names of the plants and the types of ecosystems etc.” - Carolyn

“Thank you for introducing me to the wonderful world of New Zealand’s forest. I’ve learned so much and our walks changed my perspective on the nature surrounding us completely." - Sabine

"When you know something more, when you spend time with it, it becomes more beautiful. See things in many states where light and temperature is different, while you are alone or with many, with distraction and without. You will learn about self and other and love both more." - Challen 

Weekly volunteers at our nursery

“I love to feel soil under my nails. My garden at home is too small, so coming here gives me a chance to do much more.”

“It has become my main job! Working with plants you get a sense of serenity and achievement, especially if you are feeling a bit low or disconnected – it makes your self-esteem go up.”

“It keeps your growing skills alive. Every time I come I can’t wait to see how the plants have grown.”

Working with Bayview Primary School

"This year through Enviro-schools I was put in touch with Brett. He has been invaluable to our school community. As a school we value Kaitiakitanga and through Brett's expertise the children are connecting with the environment and becoming passionate about protecting it. The first session Brett did was with approximately 60 kids and parent helpers. He set traps and did water testing, patiently answering all the students questions and explaining what each result meant. He also made short videos naming and discussing all the creatures that were found in the water sample. The students were absolutely intrigued, delighted and amazed with what was in their stream!

The second session Brett did was with a smaller group of students who showed particular interest and passion and so became the “Stream Team”. Some of these students struggle academically at school with formal learning. Brett included every child in this group checking nets, taking samples and asking questions. Brett has an incredible way of protecting children’s mana. He is respectful and kind. Allowing them to openly share their thoughts and ideas without the fear of being ‘wrong’. Students are involved in every step of the process. This type of authentic, project based learning has surpassed my expectation. The students are so engaged that they are driving their own learning around this area, back at school. I have also been blown away by the amount of information, scientific vocabulary and detail the students remember. It is exponentially more than if we read a journal article or had someone come and speak in the classroom. Hands on, practical learning with a Scientist like Brett has been absolutely incredible. I have no doubt that these children will not forget what they have learnt. And will continue to be environmental warriors for their community." - Michelle Hayden, Teacher

Grow Your Own Food ethnic communities workshop

All participants were very interest in the idea of a community garden and potentially being involved with a space where people can garden collectively.  

Gloria comes from Colombia and found composting component very valuable. The connection to how composting can positively impact the environment is a revelation. Gloria is interested in joining an advanced class and found the natural fertilizers as another important component.  

Mahsa is a Masters student in Environmental Engineering. Learning about fertilizer has enforced some of her own learnings on the environmental impact of chemical fertilizers have in Aotearoa in the agricultural sector. She has had zero experience in gardening and growing her own food and has always felt intimidated to begin. Through the workshop and seedlings, we have given out, she has found the courage and inspiration to start her journey at home. Alongside her new interest in composting, she has found the information on building soil health very helpful for her journey. She reflects there is very little information accessible for the Iranian community and is keen to collaborate with others on developing this material both here and at home in Iran.

Nastaran, a pHD candidate, spoke about her long difficulty in trying to find her feet in Aotearoa, and how Judith and Sam from Kaipātiki Project changed that. Nastaran has completed the workshop series in addition to her volunteering, and found the connection with Aotearoa through the teaching gardens and a connection to new friends. She takes photos of the work she is doing in the garden to show and talk about what she is up to in the garden. She expresses that she now feels like she belongs and has now found her new place to be. She is incredibly grateful to the opportunities offered through the teaching garden and looks forward to a continued involvement.  

Garden Intern

"I just wanted to send a follow-up and thank you again for all of the knowledge and support you gave me over the 6 weeks I was with you! I have a fun update for you guys. Because of the experiences I gained working with KP, I was able to get a part-time job working for the United States Department of Agriculture! I help them maintain species in a nursery as well as in a field setting for gene collection. They have also offered to help me find a full-time position once I graduate from university. I take care of lots of species of fruit/ nut trees and the most exciting for me is taking care of their kiwifruit collection! I have attached some pictures here. But thank you again for all of the love you guys showed me and I wouldn't have been able to do this without you! I hope to be able to visit NZ again soon and see how everyone is doing. Josh also sends his regards!" - Emily from the University of California Davis internship programme

Courses & Workshops

"I recently attended 4 community gardener workshops run for free over a number of weeks. Each was as valuable as the other and I'm very grateful to have access to the Kaipatiki Project for such events. Special thanks to Sam for organising the workshops and Judith for her expert knowledge and time running them." - Graham, workshop participant

"Went to an event learning about pest plants and it was very informative and practical and run by friendly knowledgeable experts in their field. Highly recommend." - Stara

Thank you letter

"I had a wonderful day at Kaipātiki Project. Thank you for making the day special. I wish it had been longer. I am looking forward to visit again – one day when your new building is up and running. I think it will be quite a special place. The kind of hub, we have always been dreaming about – a building demonstrating elements of sustainable living, including zero waste in action,  education spaces, including a community garden with composting facilities, etc. and then you have more than we ever dared to dream about – you have a stream next door for onsite water monitoring and a beautiful nursery for growing people and plants. And then you have the bush for hands on restoration, right next door. It is just amazing how it all comes together. I like the way you seem to be enabling other community groups and networks of groups to take ownership in their immediate neighbourhoods. It is that bigger vision being realised by communities that care – centre-led, but local, with room for local adaptations. In a way, the best of both worlds, a hub and a network." - Dr. Heike Schiele, Environment Network Manawatū Co-Chair 

Forest Restoration Leaders training

"Charmaine and Derek cover a wide range of plant species while walking through native bush. I’ve learned a lot about natives and weeds and it helped me getting a job in that field. Informative, fun and highly recommended!" - Angi, whose training with us led her to employment with Pest Free Kaipātiki

Restoration Day at Herald Island

“On behalf of the Herald Island Environmental Group I would like to thank Kaipātiki Project and your wonderful trainees for joining with us at our planting day on Saturday. We really appreciate your support and the enthusiasm of your trainees and look forward to seeing the plants we planted in the Herald Island Domain, Alison Ave and Christmas Beach taking root and growing. Thank you all for your contribution to the day and for helping provide more food and habitat for our native birds.” - Jan Diprose, Herald Island Environmental Group Chair

Working with Birkenhead College

"Whaea Takutai has been working with myself and our Birkenhead College tauira (under the guidance of Whaea Judy Te Hiwi) for several weeks now. Whaea Takutai has been assisting in units entitled ‘Harvest and Prepare Harakeke and Raranga Kono’ and ‘Harvest and Prepare Harakeke and Raranga Konae’.

Throughout this time, Whaea Takutai has ensured our tauira build confidence and find their weaving ara. Whaea Takutai has a calm and professional demeanour. She is able to easily form relationships with the students who have developed high trust in her due to her welcoming manner and kind wairua. One main quality which Whaea Takutai exemplifies is an exceptional listening capacity. She truly listens to our tauira and works to get to know them. Whaea Takutai listens to the difficulties they face when weaving and works alongside them to help improve their skills. I myself have found her so easy to talk to and communicate with. I have really appreciated her presence in our classroom. 

Moreover, Whaea Takutai had a consistent temperament and always arrives with a smile. She is never overwhelmed or flustered and this brought a sense of clarity and tranquility to the class. It is this ability to ensure a positive class atmosphere and environment that I really admire about Whaea Takutai.

Lastly, Whaea Takutai has a contagious passion for nature, te ao Māori and plant life. She has a wealth of knowledge on these topics and she readily shares this understanding with members of our class.

I highly recommend Whaea Takutai to any groups wanting to learn more about harakeke, weaving and nature. She is an accomplished weaver, a considerate person to work alongside and she is a skilled kaiako whose mana and disposition help her make connections with others." - Laura Mckenzie Roha  Head of the Department of English and teacher of te reo Māori Manga o Te Reo Pākehā Birkenhead College

Raranga activities with volunteers

"What an awesome morning, feeling so so grateful: learning how to weave harakeke, that there is harakeke to weave, that we have such a great teacher, that we have such a great group of volunteers to share with, that we are learning, being of service, and creating! Thank you Kaipātiki Project!" - Kristi, volunteer

Community groups

"Hello Derek, on behalf of the tremendous group we would like to say thank you for your advice and guidance, we all really enjoy helping out at the nursery. And we are happy to say that we won the Treemendous competition, so we will be ordering plants from you when it is time to. Planting will happen next June. we are also really keen to come back sometime and help out at the nursery." - Harry and the Treemendous group.


"Hi Kaipatiki, big thank you from me for the three Ecowalks hosted by Char and Derek. Lovely people and great walks. I think by the time we did Kendall Bay we really got into it. I had a lovely time, great plant and eco knowledge as well as cultural heritage stories and significances. I didn’t want it to stop. Thanks again and keep me posted for the next one." - Bill

Thank you to Keith Salmon, a steward of Le Roys Bush and other Kaipātiki reserves, for writing up about Le Roys Bush ecowalk: "It was great to see Le Roys Bush (Wai Manawa) through different eyes and to walk at a slow pace without stopping to pull out weeds. Derek Craig and Char Bailie of the Kaipatiki Project led a two hour walk today with volunteers from the project to learn more about the ecology of our native rain forests." read more here.