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The quality of our projects depends on the quality of our relationships

‘”The quality of our projects depends on the quality of our relationships” – I learned this from Tangata Whenua,’ said Green MP Catherine Delahunty yesterday at the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE) conference which I’m currently attending. (Tangata Whenua means the people of the land, the Maori people so strongly and positively associated with place in New Zealand.)
What better way to sum up the theme of my book, Seven Steps to Successful Environmental Training Programs: partnership is, I firmly believe, at the heart of this success.
The topic of my book touched a chord with lots of people, including some of the many overseas delegates attending this wonderful conference. One man told me how he works closely with a wide range of stakeholders when preparing and delivering his plant and animal pest control training programs – he’d never thought of how he worked as being “partnership” – but it undoubtedly is – and all the better for being how he naturally goes about his work. And having a conscious awareness that this is what he is doing could strengthen those relationships still more.
Wait for a case study on his work soon….!
Several people from local and overseas universities and polytechnics were present, and it is thrilling to see an emerging focus on adult vocational training as a positive force for environmental change as part of a new knowledge-based restoration economy.
This year’s NZAEE conference theme is “Changing course for a sustainable world” with the image of a mighty waka (canoe). The Association does wonderful work in early childhood, school and tertiary education, with strong input from local government, and I see training as being another powerful paddle for the sustainability waka.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll update this blog along a new series theme and we’ll see where that journey takes us.
There is a new short e-book on training available on my website (Environmental Training – how to change the world, one workshop at a time), and printed copies of the long book (Seven Steps to Successful Environmental Training Programs) in colour are now also for sale – click here to find out more. 

Click here to find out more about the NZAEE and here to find out about this year’s conference – there are similar associations in many other countries – here’s the Australian one, for a start.