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Our story

Our Beginnings

L-R: Richard Storey, Peter Harris (co-founder of A Rocha), Kristel van Houte

In 2004 Richard Storey returned to New Zealand, inspired from two years working with A Rocha Lebanon. Eighteen months later, Kristel van Houte returned from three months with A Rocha Kenya. Richard, Kristel and ten others formed an initiative group in August 2006 that created the vision for a national organisation. A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand was formally accepted into the international A Rocha family in April 2007, and held its launching conference in June 2008. A Rocha was registered as a charitable trust in 2008 with Richard Storey, Peter Wilcox, Nicola Hoggard-Creegan and John Flenley as founding trustees.

The vision is born
Group of A Rocha initiative in 2006

A Rocha initiative group

First environmental education camps

The A Rocha initiative group partners with Scripture Union NZ to deliver outdoor / ecology focused camps to senior high school students in North & South Island.

A Rocha local groups formed

Local groups were formed in Christchurch, Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington and Dunedin.

Making it official

A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand was incorporated  and registered as a charitable trust - CC36274.

A Rocha Inaugural Conference.
Members of the A Rocha Inaugural Conference in 2008 pose

A Rocha founder, Peter Harris visited Aotearoa NZ for this inaugural conference.

Te Kaakano Community Garden project, Waikato

First community project in partnership with Desert Springs Community Centre in Hamilton.

Karioi Project began

The Karioi Project, a community biodiversity restoration project began on 10 hectares at the invitation of and in partnership with Te Whakaoranga O Karioi and local hapū.

Te Kaakano Youth and Kids, Hamilton

Environmental youth camps and after school environmental education programme with tamariki and whānau in Fairfield / Enderly, Hamilton.

A Rocha Aotearoa NZ turns 5!

Chris Naylor, A Rocha International's Executive Director joined the celebration!

Makarora Madness Camps
A Rocha's Makarora Madness youth camp in partnership with Scripture Union NZ

Annual Makarora Madness camp in partnership with Scripture Union NZ.


After school environmental education programme for kids begins in Whāingaroa Raglan.

Community, God and Ecology course

A Rocha designs and delivers an eco theology course at Laidlaw College.

Ecology & Hope conference

In partnership with Caritas and Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa / Sisters of Mercy at Carey Baptist College.

E3 Wilderness Journeys
Annual E3 Journeys for senior high school students in partnership with Scripture Union NZ and Adventure Specialties Trust.

Annual E3 Wilderness Journeys for senior high students in partnership with Scripture Union and Adventure Specialties Trust.

Peter and Miranda Harris, founders of A Rocha visits Aotearoa NZ
First year of ōi chicks fledging!

Seven ōi chicks were recorded as fledged from the Karioi Project.

A Rocha Aotearoa NZ turns 10!
'Beyond Blame: Christianity and the Future of Creation' conference, Wellington

In partnership with NZ Christians in Science (NZCIS) and Centre for Theology and Public Issues (CTPI).

Rich Living series

Rich Living small group study booklets produced covering topics - Climate Change, Water, Food, Waste and Transport.

The Karioi story told in 'Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand'

Editors: Geoff Troughton and Philip Fountain, 2018

'Creation and Hope: Reflections on Ecological Anticipation and Action from Aotearoa New Zealand' published

Editors: Nicola Hoggard Creegan and Andrew Shepherd, 2018

Rich Living conference, Christchurch

In partnership with Cashmere Presbyterian Church, Grace Vineyard Church, and South West Baptist Church.

Lausanne-WEA Oceania Creation Care Consultation - Tahlee, Australia

ARANZ leads six NZ young leaders

Hope Seminar, Christchurch

An annual conference in partnership with local Christchurch churches.

The Karioi Project celebrates 10 years!
Manaaki Ao Earthcare programme launched

In partnerships with Te Wananga o Papa Taiao Earthcare and Raglan Area School.

Eco Church NZ launched

First four churches joined the journey in July 2020. First denominational partner joined in Dec 2020.

First SUSTAIN Camp in Raglan

SUSTAIN eco camp developed in Whāingaroa Raglan (for Year 7-10) in partnership with Scripture Union NZ.

Zero Waste Programme for Churches

Established partnership with Para Kore Marae Inc to deliver and support the zero waste programme for churches.

40th Eco Church

Welcome 40th Eco Church to the whānau! Five denominational partners have joined the journey.

360°carbon Aotearoa launched

Begin trialling 360°carbon Aotearoa with a number of churches.

He Māhuri Tōtara launched

Pilot of He Māhuri Tōtara programme, an environmental leadership development programme in partnership with Wilberforce Foundation.

New Eco Church team
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