NKA currently has six kindergartens who run regular, weekly excursions into community places of significance to their kindergarten. These areas include parkland (Mair Park, Mairtown Kindergarten), private native land blocks (Kerikeri), shoreline (Manaia, Doubtless Bay), native farm blocks (Comrie Park) and a community land space (Portland Kindergarten). These programmes are designed to allow tamariki and whānau active participation in ‘wild’ spaces where the day’s agenda is set by being responsive to the rhythms of nature. The purpose of these programmes is for tamariki to develop love and connection to nature and local environment through place-based learning in spaces familiar to children and their whānau.
Place-based education is important in the development of tamariki for it can strengthen a child’s sense of identity and belonging in the wider world, instil a sense of pride in their local environment and a desire to care for it as it cares for them, along with respect for the environment at large.