Zoë Kluiters

'We hold the earth'

Wainui Beach School, Gisborne.

​1st Place Winner, Illustration, Years 4-5.

​​​​Maia Bouras

Oliver Marsh

New Plymouth Boy’s High School, New Plymouth.

​1st Place Winner, Poetry, Years 9-10.

Minaa Wong

'Our Earth'

Remuera Intermediate, Auckland.

​1st Place Winner, Graphic Art, Years 6-8.

Flourish Kia Puāwai Choice Award

Bill Kelly

Homeschool, Brooklyn, Wellington.

​1st = Place Winner, Poetry, Years 6-8.


Launched on Mother's Day 2022, this inaugural and meaningful competition was inspired by the UK Our Other Mother campaign by Parent Climate Groups and professional artists. Here in Aotearoa, we wanted to hear from our kiwi kids, both their love and their concerns for Our Papatūānuku, Mother Earth.

Although unfunded we had a couple of passionate volunteers and ten amazing judges who care about our young people and the environment. We had entries from North of Auckland to Stewart Island, from Homeschoolers, Teen Parent, Primary, Intermediate and High schools. The organisers and judges were impressed by the wealth of knowledge and talent, but also feel the fear expressed by this generation in light of pollution and climate change.

We aim to hold these young people and their entries with care and integrity that they deserve, treasure them in a book. We didn't quite make it to COP 27 (United Nations Climate Change Conference), but the book will be shared wide and we hope to have an exhibition too.

​Flourish Kia Puāwai congratulate the amazing winners and entries, it was tough for the Judges! We also thank you for the effort gone into these entries and the support by teachers, schools and parents behind these incredible kids in the midst of a pandemic.

​​​Georgina Matapakia

"The Earth’s very first life form'

Ferguson Intermediate, Otara, Auckland.

​1st Place Winner, Mixed Media, Years 6-8.

The Earth from the Sky

Ranginui, Papatuanuku, a tight embrace

Holding each other in the solitude of space.

Between them only darkness;

Their children, deprived of light.

Suffocated, squashed, claustrophobically packed

The parents’ offspring start to cry,

For they wish to walk among the forests

And they long to see the sky.

Tūmatauenga was the first to say,

“We need more room to play,”

And so he put forth his suggestion

To kill his parents that day.

His other siblings, however,

Felt that violence would not do,

And decided the better option

Was to push apart the two.

So one by one, try after try

The children pushed, and attempted to pry

Ranginui from Papatuanuku: the earth from the sky,

But none were successful, and none could succeed.

Tāne Mahuta, the last of his kin,

Decided he had a chance, and a chance to win.

Placing his feet on his mother, and his hands on his father,

He p-u-s-h-e-d…

His parents resisted,

they put up a fight

But Tāne prevailed, using sheer might,

And from the darkness emerged a kingdom of light.

The siblings were ecstatic, overjoyed, impressed,

And declared the name, Te Ao Mārama, the place of the blessed.

Tāne revelled in the glow of the day

But just one brother felt pure dismay.

Tāwhirimātea, the god of the breeze,

Heard his father’s distant pleas.

He vowed to make his siblings pay

For pushing his mother so far away.

He whipped up storms and terrible wind,

To punish those who had sinned.

And even today, in times like these,

We can hear Tāwhirimātea causing gusts amongst trees

Artwork by Ezra Whittaker Powley, 

Lent to Our Papatūānuku by

Trees That Count

The Day Before Matariki

Ragainui was crying once again,
Matariki was in a few days.
All happy thoughts and feelings were dripping down the drain.
The sun was hiding, trying not to show even a couple of sun rays.
Sitting down I stare into the outer,
Wondering what it would be like if Rangi and Papa were never apart.
Then again I shouldn’t be a pouter,
Because then I would have never seen Papatuanuku’s art

The Animals, The Plants, The Trees and the Enchants,
Our world is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
I will never get sick of the birds morning chants,
New Zealand is the greatest community.

E kore koe e kite i te ao tino matomato maha,
No reira me mihi tatou
Nga Kararehe, nga Tipu, nga Rakau me Aotearoa.

Koinei te take he kiwi tatoule-bee.

2nd & 3rd Place Literature Winners

Evie Sellen


Green School, Taranaki.

​1st Place Winner, Graphic Art, Years 9-10.

Why We Need Bees

Across meadows of flax and mānuka drifts a speck of hope in the sea of indifference.

 Needing nurture, our protection,
and Papatūānuku’s warm embrace.

Faced with loss, death and destruction, the pī kuini, stops to mourn.

Seeking connection and co-operation,
the pī kaimahi join as one.

 They repair, restore and regenerate,
so forests heal and flowers flourish.

They pollinate, proliferate and propagate, so food’s produced and waste’s reduced.

 A champion of nature,
our endangered eco warriors.

The iti-pī, safe and strong.
The vital, humble, bumble-bee.

​​​Indigo Kluiters
Georgina Matapakia

With greatest thanks to our 2022 Judges & Supporters

2nd & 3rd Place Art Winners

​​​​Maia Bouras

​'Drip, Drip, Dripping Away'

St Catherine’s College, Wellington.

​1st Place Winner, Mixed Media, Years 11-13.

Sayla Ware

Halfmoon Bay School, Rakiura/Stewart Island 

​1st Place Winner, Poem, Years 4-5.

​​​Indigo Kluiters

Wainui Beach School, Gisborne.

​1st Place Winner, Mixed Media, Years 2-3.

Meet the 'Our Papatūānuku' Winners !

Dear Papatuanuku, 

If only there was a way to go back to the time when people and nature lived as one. In the world we live in today, humanity exploits nature as if it were its slave. This must stop. You have witnessed more than any human and you are the one who gives life to us all. Yet we show no respect at all.

In the last few centuries people have been constantly disrupting the delicate balance of nature. Tane Mahuta is crestfallen because people have introduced stoats and other exotic animals to Aotearoa, pushing native birds like the kākāpō, takahē, and kororā to the brink of extinction. We have also antagonised Tangaroa. He is being suffocated by all the pollution and feels anguish as many sea organisms are disturbed by the deafening noises and waves caused by boats and other motorised water crafts. The delicate peace Rangi maintains has been broken as planes, explosions, fires, rockets, factories, and power stations pollute the atmosphere. Rangi and his domain are poisoned.

In the distant past, the Maori only took what they needed from you to survive. Whereas today we are greedy and plunder you for more than we need, letting so much go to waste. This is what causes pollution. We need to stop trying to control all other life. We must change and start taking only what we need from you to survive, otherwise we will eventually perish.

From a Kiwi kid

Zoë Kluiters

Tiki Taane                           - Musician and Producer

Dr Mike Joy                        - Freshwater Ecologist and Environmental Activist

Dr Natalie Robinson         - Marine Physicist specialising in Polar Oceanography​

William Trubridge             - Double World Record Holding Freediver

Ezra Whittaker                   - Illustrator/Designer/Creative Generalist

Flox (Hayley King)             - Aerosol and Stencil Artist

​Dr Colin Meurk OMNZ      - Ecologist, Researcher and Grass-roots Environmentalist

Dr Catherine Knight          - Writer, Researcher and Environmental Historian

​Sarina Dickson                  - Children's Book Author

Richard Wisnesky            - Published Poet

Speaking 4 The Planet

All the 'Our Papatūānuku' Winners

Jeanne Gatimel

'Where the Wind Grows'

Pukekohe Intermediate School, Auckland.

​1st Place Winner, Illustration, Years 6-8.

Angelica Zhang


KingsWay School, Auckland.

​1st Place Winner, Illustration, Years 9-10.

Tristan Jayasuriya

Remuera Intermediate, Auckland.

​1st Place Winner, Letter, Years 6-8.

Utterly incredible. Every single one of these entries made me stop and think. Although the artists are young enough that we tend to think of them as the ‘next’ generation, these contributions demonstrate that they are the ‘now’ generation – already thinking deeply about, and taking ownership of, the issues that will dominate their lifetimes.

​Dr Natalie Robinson, Judge

Speaking 4 The Planet
Minaa Wong
Karla de Wet

Wanisha Besharati

Remuera Intermediate, Auckland.

​1st = Place Winner, Poetry, Years 6-8.


Once, forest high as the sky, wide as the earth, green as grass
Now, buildings higher than mountains, large as the planet, dull as dust
Soon, fires scorching the bones of Mother Earth, barren land as inhabitable as the moon

Once, melodies filled the air from beaks of passing birds, backs of beetles brighter than jewels, air as fresh as fish from the the sea
Now, smoke filled air, cucumber wrapped in plastic, sounds of traffic invade our senses
Soon, fires crackling and spitting up smoke, logs catching fire ‘till there’s nothing left 

Maybe, green bush, buzzing bees, flapping wings, insects crawling
Maybe, eco cities, colorful gardens, bikes gliding and people walking, pollution abolished
Maybe, beauty forever more

If, we say NO to fossil fuels, greed, plastic

If, we say YES to bikes, feet, mindfulness

Then. Maybe

Angelica Zhang

​​Nina Roorda Vianna


Green School, Taranaki.

​1st Place Winner, Mixed Media, Years 9-10.

Evie Sellen

Karla de Wet


KingsWay School, Auckland.

​1st Place Winner, Illustration, Years 11-13.

Book Orders

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Email us connect@flourish.org.nz 

Karla de Wet

Kyan Hoskin

'Papatūānuku, through the eyes of the children of earth'

Green School, Taranaki.

​1st Place Winner, Illustration, Years 1-2.

Aotearoa National 'Our Papatūānuku' Competition 2022