Discover and Learn at the 

Manawahe Eco Trust


Based locally, at the Manawahe Ecological Community Centre we offer a hands-on curriculum based Environmental Education programme. We are located in old Manawahe school grounds, which have an inside teaching space, an outside kai area and a rugby field to play on. The grounds are safe and well fenced.  Come and enjoy a wide range of activities that inspire students to make a difference to their environment.

·        Getting to know the bush

o   Activities range from: identification of trees, birds and invertebrates; understanding of ecosystems and adaptations; and nature’s own recycle systems. 


·        Pest and predators

o   What are introduced pests; how do we know they are here and more importantly, how do we control them?

o   Learn how to set traps and help us check our traps

o   Monitor our tracking tunnels


All programmes incorporate age appropriate outdoor activities and challenges where team work and problem solving skills are fostered and encouraged.

We welcome:

·         pre schools

·         primary schools (years 0-6)

·         Intermediate schools  

·         Junior high schools (7-10)

·         NCEA level 1 and 2.

We will work with you to customise our programme to the learning needs of your students. Most activities can be completed in the one day visit. Our Bush Camp allows you to enjoy an overnight stay with a custom made multi-day programme. 


For more information, costings and/or bookings please contact

MET’s Environmental Educator:


Liddy Bakker

on email:

or Mobile: 0275699022  


    Liddy Bakker, Environmental Educator,   MET. 

I am married to Geerten and have 3 teenage children who all go to school in the Whakatane area. I am originally from The Netherlands and moved to the Eastern Bay in 2001, after having previously lived in the Waikato and Manawatu.
I am a scientist by training and have a degree in Soil, Water and Atmospheric Science from Wageningen Agricultural University in The Netherlands as well as a PhD in Earth Science from Waikato University. However, besides research I have always been interested in teaching and ended up being involved in education in various settings and capacities such as early childhood, university lecturing and adult education. In 2009, I decided to make teaching my career and trained as a secondary teacher. I have since worked at Tarawera high school, Kawerau College and Trident, teaching science and mathematics.
I have always had passion for the environment, being a long-time member of NZ Forest and Bird.  I consider myself extremely lucky to live in the Eastern Bay, where we have such beautiful and rich natural ecosystems of bush and ocean and I am humbled to live so close near a population of a rare New Zealand bird, the Kokako.
I believe that this is the type of role where I can combine my love for the environment with my love of learning. I am looking forward to contributing towards the development and implementation of quality environmental education at the Manawahe Eco Trust.
I can be contacted through this website using the ‘contacts’ section on the Home Page.

Description of Manawahe and the Manawahe Ecological Corridor

Manawahe is a rural area approximately 5–15 kilometres inland from the central Bay of Plenty coastline. The community is bound to the north by the coast and Matata township, to the south by Lake Rotoma and large DOC reserves, to the west by forested areas which separate the community from Lake Rotoehu, and to the east by an escarpment which drops onto the Rangitaiki Plains.  It is the way that the native forest is connected in a long strip running from Lake Rotoma to the coast that has given this feature the name of the Manawahe Ecological Corridor.
The Manawahe Ecological Corridor is the only forested ecological corridor that exists between the Rotorua Lakes and the sea. Contained within the Manawahe Ecological Corridor are populations of threatened species which includes the iconic species of Kokako. The important landscape features within the Manawahe Ecological Corridor have been recognised as an outstanding regional ecological asset. 


Manawahe Eco Trust  (MET)

The Manawahe Eco Trust was formed to manage the Manawahe community’s interest in improving biodiversity in native forest on private land at Manawahe. It is a registered charitable trust and currently has five trustees partnered with significant voluntary support from local community members.
The Manawahe Eco Trust and its volunteers are committed to managing and enhancing the biodiversity of the area. The conservation of our native flora and fauna is carried out by way of pest control and providing advice and information to local landowners.  Our commitment also extends to the environmental education of local students and the nurturing of their continued involvement with regards to conservation. The Trust works with local schools to ensure environmental education opportunities can be maximised locally.  Specific modules are tailored to give a local context which increases the relevance of the material for students.
The Manawahe Eco Trust  employs an Environmental Educator, Liddy Bakker, who is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge, experience and expertise.  She has a broad knowledge and skill base, which will cater for students through to high school and will be able to meet their curriculum requirements up to unit & achievement standards for NZQA.  One of the Manawahe Eco Trust's most recent projects has been coordinating the restoration of Karaponga Reserve using this project as a way to inspire an interest in conservation with local high school students.

Manawahe Ecological Community Centre (MECC)

The Manawahe Eco Trust was successful in securing the Manawahe School premises where a local Ecology Centre is being established.  The school is adjacent to over 800 hectares of covenanted native bush which houses some of New Zealand’s rarest birds, including the Kokako, and is within 15 minutes of Lake Rotoma and the coastal centre of Matata.

It is our aim to use the Ecology Centre to provide the pupils of all the neighbouring and schools from other regions, with a facility for outdoor education and environmental learning.  Schools have expressed their interest in the use of this facility having recognised the educational opportunities that such a centre presents.

Other groups are also encouraged to make use of this facility.  It is able to meet a wide variety of needs for industry, community and educational groups.

The Trust has strong working relationships and established links to members of several other environmental organisations whose expertise can be drawn upon if required, thus enhancing the quality of the programmes to be delivered.