Latest news

New campaign empowering children to speak out

A new campaign designed to empower the “brave voices” of children by encouraging them to speak out and find help if they experience abuse launched in April. Read more

Navigating friendships and relationships

As teachers, parents, and carers, it's important to support children as they navigate the complexities of forming friendships and building relationships with their peers. Life Education Trust's lead educators offer their insights. Read more

Online safety advice from Harold the Giraffe

In a tech-driven world where Kiwi kids seem to navigate smartphones and tablets as effortlessly as riding a bike, the responsibility of buying a child's first device has become a significant challenge for parents. As parents grapple with the decision, Noel Leeming and Life Education teamed up to help kids stay safe online. Read more. 

Partnering with Noel Leeming to educate tamariki and whānau about digital wellbeing and online safety

Buying a new online device will be part of many families’ preparation for the school year and is an ideal time to talk about online safety and digital wellbeing. We’ve teamed up with Noel Leeming to run a back-to-school campaign sharing an interactive online resource called Harold's Tech Tips. Read more.

Harold The Giraffe and The Two Raw Sisters reunite to share nutrition in schools

Following its successful debut last year, Life Education Trust and 5+ A Day Charitable Trust are again teaming up with the Two Raw Sisters to inspire, motivate and educate tamariki about the benefits of eating vegetables and fruit as part of a balanced diet. Read more.

Guidance for teachers dealing with the impact of extreme weather events

The start of 2023 has been unexpected for many with extreme weather events, and the lingering impacts of COVID. Tamariki and rangatahi living in those areas effected by weather and flooding will be faced with all sorts of emotions and questions. At Life Education we’ve been working on practical strategies and learning resources. Read more

Supporting our students with specific learning needs

Schools across Aotearoa are required to have inclusive classrooms, with a growing number of students who have specific learning needs.

Educator Rebecca Coaton has extensive experience in specialist schools and is currently working with adults with disabilities at Idea Services. She shared some strategies that might help meet the needs of students with particular requirements in the classroom. Read more

Tribute to David Wale

In March, we paid tribute to David Wale, CBE and Patron of Life Education Trust, at a memorial service celebrating his life.

Part of Life Education virtually from the outset, David was a trustee of Life Education Trust (NZ) from the early 1990s, Chairman from 1997-2003 and Patron from 2004. 

David had a distinguished business career including Chairman on NZ Stock Exchange, Chairman of the National Provident Fund and partner of successful broker and investment firm Jarden. Read more

Healthy Harold teams up with Barnardos helpline to support the mental wellbeing of tamariki

Barnardos and Life Education Trust are joining efforts to support the mental wellbeing of tamariki across the country. School-aged children attending the Healthy Harold programme on health and wellbeing will now be able to learn about the free counselling helpline, 0800 What’s Up, and understand how to get help from trained counsellors, either via chat or over the phone. Read more

SMASHED "showed us ways to deal with peer pressure.”

Life Education Trust regularly evaluates its programmes, most recently NZ Council for Educational Research (NZCER) provided a review report on SMASHED: a Theatre in Education programme we run in secondary schools to support alcohol and health education. Read more


Workshop helps teachers address anxiety in schools

Life Education Trust has launched Nurturing Healthy Minds, a series of practical workshops for primary and secondary school teachers and support staff. Read more

Life Education tackles vaping the new teen addiction with theatre education programme

Life Education Trust has launched a theatre-in-education programme Behind the Scenes which deals with impacts of vaping. Read more

A day with Harold

Educator Laura Campbell tells us what it's really like to spend each day on a safari with our favourite giraffe. Read more

Body knowledge equips kids for healthy choices

Dr Lynn McBain, head of the Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice at the University of Otago, recently shared her insights on body knowledge for young people. She explained the strong link between physical health and mental wellbeing, especially when it comes to dealing with alcohol, substances, appearance and identity. Read more

Harold on nutrition

Educator Carleen Craig is passionate about equipping tamariki with the knowledge to make informed choices about their health and nutrition. She took some time out to tell us about how she and Harold design and deliver sessions that both kids and schools love. Read more

Lessons from lockdown

As Omicron ripples through our communities and many need to stay home, educators may need to reprise their online teaching skills. Fortunately, we all learned a lot from lockdowns, and we’re pleased to share some fresh ideas for being effective in a virtual classroom. Read more

Drug education is vital to help our young people make positive choices

Equipping our rangatahi to make informed decisions about drug use can help them stay safe. That’s why we invited Detective Inspector Blair MacDonald to share insights on drugs in our communities at our Educators Conference. More here

Education, support and policy change to address vaping

Concern is growing among schools and health professionals about the increase in children and young people vaping – and Life Education Trust is one of many organisations taking measures to address the issue. More here

Two Raw Sisters and a Giraffe

Life Education Trust is teaming up with Two Raw Sisters and the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust to inspire, motivate and educate tamariki and mātua (parents) about the benefits of eating vegetables and fruit as part of a balanced diet. More here

NZCER research shows a bright future for Life Education

In an independent evaluation, NZCER experts confirmed  our value to schools and in supporting the positive choices of our young people. More here


Happening with Harold

Find out the latest from Life Education in our November Happening with Harold newsletter... More here.

We need a wholesome new approach to food security

Dr Geoff Kira PhD is a senior lecturer and public health scientist. His research focuses on interventions to positively impact unfair differences in health. Geoff has recently joined the Life Education Trust board and sees an opportunity for our work to play a vital role in creating critical change for Kiwi kids. More here.

Teaching teens how to avoid getting into a 'truckload of debt'

Teachers play an important role in shaping young people’s attitudes, so it’s important to equip them with knowledge and skills to support students to become smart with money. More here.

Driving force for Life Education Trust

In his 36 years as a primary school principal, Ken Miller always made time for Life Education Trust to visit his schools. More here.

Vaping: the new teen addiction

Exposure to nicotine could become a significant health risk for New Zealand teenagers if measures are not taken to reduce the uptake of vaping. More here.


Opening classrooms is only the first step at solving the bigger problem of kids missing school

School absenteeism is at a crisis point and will create a wave of consequences if we don’t start working together on a solution. More here.

Fighting for fair in the Far North

For Diane Henderson, making sure kids in the Far North get the same opportunities as other New Zealand children is a constant motivation. More here.

Our partnership with Family Planning helps us support young people in understanding identity

A strong sense of identity is an important part of a young person’s social and emotional development. It gives them a framework to view themselves and others. More here.

Research shows growing need for vaping education

Findings from the Youth 19 vaping survey show 10% of young people aged 13-18 are regular vapers. Half of these rangatahi had not smoked before vaping. More here.

Have young people been the pawn in delivering Smoke Free 2025?

One could say it’s been a short time coming … that is the legislation to protect young people from the addictive properties of vaping. A mere three years, and yet in that time I’ve had ongoing discussions with principals and teachers about the number of young people who would never have smoked and now vape. More here.

Food for thought with Nikki Hart

Well-known New Zealand-registered nutritionist Nikki Hart recently donated her time to share the latest nutrition guidelines with  Life Education Trust’s health teachers, debunking some food myths  so they could shape their classes accordingly. More here.

Life Education Trust delivers workshop to support local teachers to navigate anxiety in young people

Life Education Trust monthly outcomes report continues to identify anxiety as a major concern for young people in schools. According to the reports 89% of school leaders see anxiety as an issue for school children with 40% reporting it is a significant issue. More here.

View the Stuff article here.

Chinese language week is a powerful learning opportunity

Why should Kiwi’s embrace Chinese Language Week? Life Education Trust's Programme and Development Manager, Jo Mortimer, explains the benefits for our tamariki are vast. New languages help children build empathy, boost their brains, and strengthen identity. More here.

Keeping tamariki safe and empowering decisions

In an ever changing world, its important tamariki feel safe, especially when they are making choices and decisions. One of the roles of Healthy Harold and Educators at Life Education Trust is to ensure students have an understanding of identity and resilience, relationships and communities, and how these can impact on the choices and decisions they make. More here.

PMG Funds is supporting SMART$ because its impact on the future is critical

PMG Charitable Trust supports Life Education’s SMART$ programme because it is gaining vital momentum in schools nationwide, providing basic and essential, money management skills. More here.

The magic of mindset from David Downs

It's normal to feel your stomach drop when someone says they're going to talk about their experience with cancer. But it was more a matter of clutching your stomach in laughter when David Downs shared his journey with the Life Education team. More here.

How are you seeing anxiety show up among our young people?

How are you seeing anxiety show up among our young people? Most days I hear it’s on the rise among today’s students. It’s concerning us as health educators, and as parents. The drivers are complex and the consequences are significant. More here.

Support from Baker Tilly Staples Rodway counts 

Life Education Trust is delighted to have the support of Baker Tilly Staples Rodway, a network of Accounting and Advisory Firms providing core business advice services to Kiwi businesses across New Zealand. They became a national sponsor in April 2020. Since then, they’ve brightened things up with a Downlights pop up store, and stepped up to tango with Trusts Dancing. More here. 

Supporting financial literacy at home

Financial decisions have a significant impact on health and wellbeing, and young people need the knowledge and skills to make positive financial choices.

It’s money week. Parents and caregivers provide for young people their primary source of learning about money, so use this week to make a positive change. More here.

Unpacking Anxiety at School - Teachers PD Workshop

Teachers play an important role in supporting students with anxiety but many teachers want to better understand anxiety in order to feel equipped to help their students feel safe and comfortable.

To support tamariki and teachers Life Education Trust are holding a series of free PD workshops for primary and intermediate school teachers across the country. More here.

Anxiety the biggest issue in New Zealand schools, survey finds

Our Research NZ survey of 2500 primary intermediate schools principals, deputies and teachers found anxiety was the biggest issue in New Zealand schools, with 90 per cent saying it was a concern, up from 86 per cent in 2020. Read the article from Lee Kenny, Education Reporter, Stuff. More here.

Navigating the digital landscape

Today we often hear children being referred to as ‘digital natives’. Many of them were born into a world where a click or a swipe on a tablet or phone, is as common as breakfast, lunch and dinner. But how do we continue to ensure children are growing up with a healthy dose of online each day? Anjela Webster is the founder of Generation Online, recently shared some insights to help young people navigate the online environment. More here.

What can we learn from the neuroscience of resilience?

The pace and unpredictability of our world mean resilience is more important than ever. Yet, as parents and teachers, we’re seeing more kids struggle with emotion and increasingly disruptive behaviour in classrooms. We invited neuroscientist Kathryn Berkett to share her insights. More here.

Volunteers make all the difference at Life Education

From starry ceilings, and Christmas parades to truly transformative experiences, our volunteers collect incredible memories with Life Education. But they give even more. Volunteers donate more than 23,000 hours each year to support our work. We’re grateful to our volunteer Trustees and here we highlight the stories of three. More here.

Support Life Ed through Z Energy's Good in the Hood campaign

In June Z Energy are giving away $700,000 to 10 charities across Aotearoa. Help Life Education receive a share of the funds by voting for us at your local station. More here.

Happening with Harold

Find out the latest from Life Education in our April Happening with Harold newsletter... More here.

Eleven-day cycle voyage raises funds to support Life Education

On 13 March a team of 25 cyclists and their support crew started their journey from Marlborough Sounds to Milford Sound, pedalling close to 1400 km to raise funds for Life Education Trust.

Joes Garage Charity Cycle Riders - from Taranaki, are a group of passionate individuals dedicated to riding to support the health and wellbeing of kiwi kids. More here.

Partnering to support children as mental health statistics decline

Life Education Trust NZ and Anxiety NZ have come together to support young people’s mental health and wellbeing to thrive. Launching new initiative Healthy Minds, they aim to empower young people to grow their hauora and meet challenges with resilience. More here.

Collaborating to increase financial literacy

Through our collaboration with Banqer, we've launched a new initiative to further support financial literacy post our SMART$ Education-in-Theatre performances. More here.

Anxiety and mental health issues rife among young people

School leaders are reporting anxiety is the single biggest issue effecting children today. More here.

Supporting schools to bounce back

The exposure to emotional stress during lockdown may have put a strain on the mental health and wellbeing of many families. Now it is more important than ever to strengthen students’ resilience and their understanding of ways to achieve good mental health. More here.