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Papa Taiao Earthcare

A Guide to completing you Duke of Edinburgh's Award with Papa Taiao Earthcare


What is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award and why should I get involved?

The concept of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award (the Award) is simple – anyone aged 14 to 24 can do a programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award.

The Award is internationally recognised. Operating i over 130 countries, today more than 1.3 million young people are taking part. Since its launch over 60 years ago, the Award has inspired millions of young people to transform their lives.

Because Award programmes are all about getting out there, having fun and self-development, everyone can achieve something. You’ll find yourself helping people or the community, getting fitter, developing skills, going on an adventurous journey and at Gold level only, taking part in a residential activity.

What do I need to do to achieve my Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award?

The programme is made up of four sections (five at Gold). Over the required time you’ll need to do each activity for an average of an hour a week. You can count a maximum of 4 hours every 28 days towards your Award. You’ll need to show persistence, commitment and personal development.

Bronze (14+ years old)

To achieve your Bronze Award, you need to complete the following sections:


Silver (15+ years old)

To achieve your Silver Award, you need to complete the following sections:


Gold (16+ years old)

To achieve your Gold Award, you need to complete the following sections:


Choosing activities:

There are a lot of activities you may already be doing that can count towards your Award. Here are a few examples to help get you started:

Voluntary Service:  help in an eco-sanctuary, predator trapping, volunteer at community gardens, beach clean-ups, 

Physical: do a sport such as soccer or netball, athletics, skiing, kayaking, kickboxing, horse riding, running, dancing

Skills: learn native plant or bird identification, research natural ecosystems/habitats, learn to make eco-products

Adventurous Journey: This is something that you will plan for, it involves being part of a team and completing an adventurous Journey for a set number of days. Journeys do not have to be done on foot, they can also be done on horseback, in a boat, on a bicycle – in fact anything without an engine!

Gold Residential Project (Gold Award only): attend a residential programme for five days and four nights with people you don't know and undertake purposeful activity - eg helping at a youth camp, conservation work, attend a youth event overseas.


How Papa Taiao Earthcare can help you gain your Award:

Papa Taiao Earthcare is a sustainability and ecological restoration training organisation that enables young people to lead enterprising social, cultural and environmental projects while gaining NCEA qualifications and earthcare skills.

With bases in Wellington and Northland, Papa Taiao Earthcare operates as an independent Award Unit. You can register under their umbrella to do the Award and work on all sections of the Award through Papa Taiao Earthcare programmes.  Once you've committed to doing the Award, you log all your progress online on our Online Record Book.


Getting started:

Step 1:   Decide which level of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award programme you would like to do – this will depend on your age, time commitments etc

Step 2:   Talk to the Award Leader and arrange to register to do your Award programme

Step 3:   Decide with your Award Leader what you are going to do for each section of your Award programme and find an appropriate Assessor who is not a family member

Step 4:   Get started! Don’t forget to log your progress on ORB, our online record book, and ask your Assessors to sign off each section as you complete them

Step 5:   Once your Award programme is complete, speak to your Award Leader who will arrange for you to receive your certificate or badge. They can also advise you about starting the next level of the Award if appropriate.


How long will it take?

The time it will take to complete your programme and achieve an Award is in many ways down to you. The shortest time in which you can complete your Bronze programme is 6 months; your Silver programme, 6 months; and your Gold programme, 12 months. During your programme you’ll need to do each activity for an average of an hour a week over this time. You can count a maximum of 4 hours every 28 days towards your Award.

Don’t forget – you have until your 25th birthday to complete any programme and achieve an Award!

Find out more…

To find out more, talk to the team at Papa Taiao -

Main contact person - Miriam Sherratt

Contact email -

Website address -

Facebook page -

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