Located just an hour from Aotearoa’s largest city, this island sanctuary is home to an unrivaled range of wildlife, thanks to the tireless efforts of volunteers. In conjunction with 300,000 trees being planted, all mammalian predators were eradicated, and many endangered species successfully introduced. These include the flightless takahē, the North Island kōkako, hihi and the tuatara.

Tiritiri Matangi’s island ‘classroom’ provides school students the chance to understand ecological processes, the impact of humans on our environment and learn about New Zealand’s unique biodiversity. Students gain understanding about the importance of conservation and enjoy first-hand experiences of threatened species. The programme provides a range of experiential learning on the motu, and by seeing the results of this community-led project, students are inspired to be kaitiaki in their own local environment. 

The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust is an integral part of the Growing Minds Programme, providing generous support which has allowed thousands of students to visit the motu free of charge. The support of the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust of the Growing Minds Programme is a living legacy with an impact that will continue to be seen for decades to come.

“I am writing to express my sincere gratitude for the invaluable support and funding provided for our recent educational excursion to Tiritiri Matangi. Our trip to this pest-free island in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf was an unforgettable experience for our students, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance we received…The trip itself was nothing short of extraordinary. Tiritiri Matangi provided our students with a unique environment to explore and learn about New Zealand’s rich biodiversity. Witnessing various endemic bird species, such as tieke and takahe, in their natural habitat was a highlight for our students… The impact of this trip on our students’ learning and appreciation for the natural world cannot be overstated, and we are immensely grateful for the opportunity made possible through your funding.” – Everglade teacher