Nelson’s Whenua Iti Outdoors Trust

Whenua Iti Outdoors delivers single day and multi-day programmes that focus on personal and social development across Te Tau Ihu (Top of the South Island) and Te Tai o Poutini (West Coast). Through experiential learning, connection to our inspiring natural environment and by offering a variety of challenges, programmes create opportunities for long term, positive change in participants' everyday lives.

Despite the challenges of Covid-19, demand in programmes continues to grow. The NZCT grant goes a long way towards the purchase of new equipment including water safety helmets and a new utility trailer.

“We work hard to eliminate barriers to participation for young people, such as rural isolation and socio-economic factors. A large proportion of our programmes are delivered beyond our centre base, across Nelson, Tasman, West Coast and Marlborough"
General Manager Mark Bruce-Miller

Bruce-Miller says, “ The grant from NZCT enables us to meet increasing demand without handing that cost on to the communities and schools we engage with, increasing programme accessibility and affordability right at a time when young people could do with the extra boost that our programmes can provide.”

Whenua Iti Outdoors is a leading provider of outdoor experiential education programmes in Aotearoa. The organisation was established in 1986 and last year celebrated thirty-five years of operation. Programmes interweave adventurous, environmental, wellbeing, and cultural learning, and in 2021 Whenua Iti Outdoors provided 12,854 participant days (their highest yet) through 257 programmes.

“Our programmes focus on achieving personal & social developmental outcomes. Participants build resilience and confidence, whether through a Manaaki Tāpoi kaupapa Māori programme in Marlborough, a Water Safety Day at our local Kaiteretere beach, or an Adventure Tourism Leadership course on the West Coast,” says Bruce-Miller. “We are able to meet community need through the diversity of our programmes, which requires us to be flexible and responsive with our delivery, especially in the Covid-19 landscape. We couldn’t achieve that without excellent staff and equipment on hand.”

“This grant from NZCT will greatly contribute to programmes for youth of all backgrounds to experience the outdoors and increase their sense of wellbeing, and assist us to provide opportunities outside of the classroom for their improved educational and employment outcomes.”