While 2021-22 has been a very challenging year for POET on many fronts, we remain not only committed to supporting our schools through these times but also to improving and expanding our outcomes in this changing world.

Each year we acknowledge our amazing sponsors and supporters in a section at the end of our annual report. This year we changed it up a bit, and have featured them here, front and centre. We couldn’t have got through 2021 without the unwavering commitment from these community minded businesses and organisations.

Thank you for being there and continuing to stick by us at a time that would have been equally challenging for you!


We know becoming more sustainable can lead to hard conversations and uncomfortable changes.

Sport Waikato Awards

We are so proud to be winners of the Commitment to Youth Engagement category at the 2021 Waikato Sport & Active Recreation Awards.


From a te ao Māori perspective, tūrangawaewae connects young people to whenua (land) and whakapapa (genealogy).

Research shows that being exposed to the natural environment has direct positive effects on physical and mental wellbeing. The sense of identity we experience when we connect to local natural places has positive effects.

Blaschke, P (2013) Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Conservation in New Zealand

“I was able to feel more connected to my Puna Ako group when I saw how hard everyone was working and the fun everyone was having.”

“Since I’m not a big talker doing the ABLs made me more talkative around my peers and staff and do more teamwork and problem solving with other people.”

“On the walk in there was a bit of complaining in our group, the walk out was really slippery, it was challenging that there was no service but that turned out to be positive because we got off our phones and were able to get closer as a year group”

“My belief is that shared experiences of camps that POET provides is such a rich learning experience that ignites real passion and opportunity for further learning across the whole curriculum, it should just not stop at a one off trip.”  – Teacher, Huntly College

“I love seeing the faces of some of the students when they see Maratoto and retell the story and start discussing the relief of the land and how challenging it would have been to climb as well as why the iwi chose to jump off rather than be captured – so much Social Science learning!” – Teacher, Matamata College

“I think the best thing (and this is helped by the location not having reception), is getting to spend time with the students in a relaxed atmosphere and get to know them better before year 11. And also spending time with each other as staff outside of the school setting is really important and adds a lot to the collegiality around school.” – Teacher, Matamata College

Almost every young person in the world has had to adjust to dramatic changes in their education or employment, routine, home and social life. Young people need opportunities to reconnect with others and feel positive, it’s essential to restoring their confidence, getting their lives back on track and giving them the skills and behaviours needed in order to thrive in the future.

For many young people, life is on hold. Routines have been upended, restrictions have been placed on seeing family and friends, exams have been cancelled and job prospects have been erased. And whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone in society, young people have been disproportionately affected, both socially and economically, and risk becoming a ‘lost generation’

The Guardian, 20 October 2020

Year 12 Leadership

The tukana/teina model can work well on camps so we encourage senior students to take leadership roles on junior camps.


In 2016, the POET Head Start Scholarships were introduced, to support students attending schools in which the Perry Outdoor Education programme is run.

Going Forward

With 2022 looking likely to be as, or possibly even more disruptive than 2020 and 2021 there are many advantages to being a small and nimble organisation.

The benefits of outdoor education aren’t accessible to all, so POET exists to address this problem and ensure all students in our partner schools have access to meaningful outdoor education opportunities. We work with low decile secondary schools across the Waikato region.

This is our post COVID 19 challenge: to ensure that outdoor and environmental education is not relegated to the virtual world, disconnected from mountains and forests, the natural tangible places where palpable learning can occur, where the mountains can speak for themselves.

Sandy Allen-Craig Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education 23 (2020)

POET is led by a very experienced board of trustees who, as stewards of our resources, are committed to long-term, risk-managed spending practices that align with our values while managing our long-term financial stability to address the ever-changing needs that will arise in the future.

Below is a the percentage breakdown of our annual expenditure.


POET Administration


Direct to Schools


Programme Coordination


Programme Management

We like to share our report in an online format, but if you would prefer to view or share this report in a printable format, please download below!

If you would like to discuss this report, possibilities for collaboration or sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch – we would love to hear from you!

If you would you would like to donate to our work with schools please click the button below – all donations will go towards our outdoor education programmes.

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