Countdown Awards $75,000 of Grants

Hundreds of Aotearoa’s youngest environmentalists, gardeners and conservation heroes will be kicking off sustainability projects this term thanks to $75,000 of Countdown Growing for Good grants, awarded to 71 schools and early childhood centres across the country.

Countdown’s Growing for Good grants aim to help foster New Zealand’s next generation of budding environmentalists, and inspire Kiwi kids to learn about and preserve the environment.

A full list of recipients is below. Successful projects include weka-safe chicken coops for rescue chickens at the Hira Rural Kindergarten in Nelson, vegetable garden restoration following extensive flooding at the Sunny Days Early Childhood Centre in Napier and an old swimming pool being turned into a community maara kai at St Joseph's Primary in Wairoa.

General Manager Sustainability, Kiri Hannifin, said they were delighted to receive a record number of applications for the grants with more than 500 early childhood centres, primary and intermediate schools throwing their hat in the ring.

“It was no easy feat making our final choices this year and in the end we decided to award an extra $25,000 of grants to meet the incredible passion we’ve seen from schools and ECEs in their applications” said Hannifin.

“It’s been inspiring to see so many projects flourish over the first two years of our Growing for Good grants and we’re excited to watch another round of schools and ECEs lead the way in sustainability.

“As a food-focussed business, Countdown knows what a critical role our environment plays in Aotearoa’s long-term sustainable future and we’re really pleased to have ended up with a variety of projects from berry farms to insect havens and sensory gardens that all have a strong focus on protecting our precious environment for generations to come."

Growing for Good 2021 recipients:

  • Blomfield Special Education and Resource Centre
  • Montessori Children’s House
  • Te Kohanga Reo o Manaakitia
  • Poroti School
  • Giggles Learning Centre
  • Totara Grove


  • Manurewa Intermediate School
  • Kaurilands School
  • Totaravale Playcentre
  • Waikowhai Intermediate School
  • Otahuhu Kindergarten
  • Aranga Early Childhood Centre
  • Nga Taonga Early Childhood Centre
  • Blockhouse Bay Playcentre
  • Kelston Primary School
  • Massey Playcentre
  • Papakura Playcentre
  • St Johns Kindreds


  • Central Kids Dinsdale Early Learning Centre
  • Antarctica Early Learning School
  • Central Kids Whaihanga Early Learning Centre
  • Laughton Kindergarten
  • Tendershoots Kindergarten Waitoa
  • Turua School
  • Moanataiari School
  • Bishop Edward Gaines Catholic School
  • Waihi Kindergarten

Bay of Plenty:

  • Little Orchard Preschool
  • Karamuramu Kindergarten
  • Reporoa Playcentre
  • Koutu Playcentre
  • Brookfield Kindergarten
  • Welcome Bay Playcentre
  • Nga Poutoko A Mua
  • Little Moments Childcare


  • Whataupoko Playcentre
Hawke’s Bay:

  • Sunny Days Early Childhood Centre
  • St Joseph’s Primary School


  • Oakura School
  • Tikorangi Playcentre


  • West End School
  • St Mary’s School


  • Birchville School
  • Days Bay Playcentre
  • St Claudine Thevenet
  • Titahi Bay School
  • Totara Park School
  • Little Adventurers’ Early Learning Centre
  • Educare Kapiti
  • Gladstone School


  • St Mary’s School
  • Nelson/Tasman:
  • Stoke Kindergarten
  • Hira Rural Kindergarten
  • Oasis Education Centre


  • Te Hohepa Kōhanga Reo
  • Hornby Pasifika Early Learning Centre
  • Building Blocks Community Kindergarten
  • Southbrook School
  • North New Brighton Playcentre
  • Southbrook School
  • Mosgiel Playcentre
  • Amberley Playcentre
  • Waimataitai Kindergarten
  • Bella Montessori Preschool


  • Mornington Playcentre
  • Otago University Childcare Centre
  • Fairfield Play and Learn
  • Queenstown Playcentre


  • Surrey Park Early Learning Centre