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Fern frond image by Jaakko Kemppainen

We are passionate believers in equity at the school gate for all children in Aotearoa. To realise our vision, we work with our schools and their communities to reduce the barriers to engagement and learning for all students. We are very small but our connections are mighty! So, we call on our friends, supporters, volunteers, and those with a heart for our work to help us and together we create innovative ways to reduce these barriers.
With the barriers reduced, our schools have increased time and resource to focus on building the potential and discovering the talents that sit in the hearts and minds of all young students. Central to our mahi is the belief that the earlier a child is engaged in education, the more likely they are to remain confident learners, so we are unapologetically passionate about supporting primary and intermediate schools.


Painga simply means ‘well-being’. Painga Project is are focused on the health and wellbeing of students, families and their communities in low decile South Auckland primary and intermediate schools. While there are many interventions and programmes available within secondary schools, we were drawn to the stark realisation that for many primary and intermediate aged students there are very few enabling opportunities available to them. Without a glimpse into what their future can be, there is a real risk that some of these students completely disengage with education and are lost to themselves, their families and our communities.

So nurturing school wellbeing sits at the heart of the Painga Project. We provide additional resource to drive innovation, engage with supporters and secure funding for a wide variety of programmes and projects within a school. Building school resilience, improving teacher and student health and wellbeing, and creating pathways for students throughout their educational journey.

Students in a South Auckland school by Saffron Laurence-Bade


Painga Project APS van by Saffron Laurence-Bade

Painga Project Wheels

To enable our schools to more easily participate in sports and cultural events, as well as have the freedom to adventure far beyond the school gate.


We have two 10 seater vans that are free for our schools to use.

Lunch made for students by Painga Project

Ka Ora Ka Ako Lunch Programme

As a charity we previously provided free lunches into Papakura Intermediate and Kereru Park Campus. When the Ka Ora Ka Ako national lunch programme was rolled out, we became the lunch provider for Papakura Intermediate. We make around 280 delicious nutritious lunches every day of the school year.


Mahi Mara

This is our gardening and growing project designed to engage students outside of the classroom through providing skilled gardening resources and access to equipment and tools.


This mahi also fuels our kitchen and the school community.

Schools to Skies photo of students with plane at Whenuapai Air Base by Painga Project

Schools to Skies

Schools to Skies is our partnership with the RNZAF offering STEM learning both in school and onsite at the Whenuapai Air Base.

Students at Hunua Ranges for Kohukohunui project by Saffron Laurence-Bade


Kohukohunui was our outdoor learning project in the Hunua Ranges. This project has been impacted by Covid so is currently on hold.

Food/Kai donations by Painga Project

School Community Support

Our work also includes receiving and donating Kai Boxes, winter PJ’s and clothing  to families identified by our schools as being in need. Christmas deliveries of donated meat vouchers, Christmas presents and over 100 boxes of home baking are a highlight of our year.

In school we provide sports shoes and equipment to  support teams going to competitions, stationery items and toiletries, togs and swimming gear is an important part of the school offering as a child cannot take up free swimming lessons if they don’t own a pair of togs. 

Vision bus for Hearing and Vision Pilot by Painga Project

Hearing and Vision Pilot

Working with an amazing group of supporters in the Auckland University Optometry and Vision Science and Audiology Schools, the Hearing House, Ko Taku Reo (Deaf Education NZ), Te Whatu Ora, Quota Papakura and some passionate volunteers we have completed testing in one Papakura primary school. 34% of the school needed vision support and so far thanks to the Auckland University Vision Bus (and the amazing generosity of the Fehl family) 21 students are now wearing glasses. With other students and sometimes their siblings now also being supported for other vision impairments. 


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Kelvin Road School


Our supporters come in many shapes and sizes from individual donors and volunteers to charitable trusts. We don’t have offices and infrastructure, so the resource that we require funding for, is people to carry out our work. Existing programmes and projects can be introduced into schools as we build resource, while others are built from scratch to meet a schools need. A supporter may have a special interest project or idea that is close to their heart, or they may want to connect to their old school and be able to give back.​ Gardening, art, sport, technology, maths, science etc. can all have projects built around them to recognise both the schools learning objectives and outcomes, as well as the interest of the supporter.​

To achieve equity at the school gate we need role models to come though the school gates and tell their stories. We believe you need to be able to see what you can be and in-school visiting role models are a great start.

Business support for practical adventures outside of the school gates create connectivity into resources that our students may not have accessed. A visit to a truck yard creates may learning opportunities but costs nothing more than time and transport. Transport is the single largest challenge for any of our schools. How can you see what you can be when you can’t afford a bus to take you there? Painga Project works to knock down this barrier through funding the transport costs for our schools.

We would like to acknowledge and thank our incredibly generous supporters:
APS - Andrews Property Services Zealandia Horticulture  Hugh Green Foundation  Michael Synnott Charitable Trust  Quota Papakura  The Hearing House  Auckland University - Optometry and Vision Science  Auckland University - Audiology  St Cuthberts College  Clevedon Presbyterian Church  Cate Creemers Architect  Lesley-Anne Moore  Louise and Conrad Surynt  Louise Belcher  Sonia and Adam Clark  Sarah Stewart  Upright Access Systems Ltd  Synergy Flooring Ltd  Equus Industries Ltd  Demack Engineering Ltd  Resene Paints Ltd  Allproof Industries Ltd  IDG Life Ltd  Andrew and Sharyn Crocker  South Pacific Scaffolding Ltd  High Glass Cleaning Ltd  One Stop Cutting Ltd • Watershed • Smart IT • Idega • Deane Consultants  Autex • Sandy Callister • Martin Baker • Fletcher Steel • Tui Loveday

Along with the following:

Clevedon School  Curious Croppers  Conway and Karen from NZ Growers  TAPAC  All the incredible donors (of baking, food, shoes, clothing, togs, books, money and more)  Our stream of wonderful volunteers

Students at Hunua Falls for Kohukohunui project by Saffron Laurence-Bade



We always appreciate the generosity and involvement of people like you, with every contribution going towards making what Painga Project offers even better than what we currently do. We want to provide you with the correct and appropriate information pertaining to your mode of support, so don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions.


This is one of the simplest ways to help out our cause. We believe the best way for our initiatives to be successful is for the community to actively get involved. This is an easy and efficient way of contributing to the great work we do at Painga Project. Get in touch with any questions about how you can partner with us today.


Want to join our efforts but not sure where to start? Volunteer Your Time and take advantage of this incredible opportunity to lend your support. It’s a great way to contribute to our cause, and every little bit counts towards paving the path for a better tomorrow. Get in touch with us today for more details about how you can help.


Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa

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