Marty is the founder of Papa Taiao Earthcare, which enables young people to lead social, cultural and environmental projects while gaining NCEA qualifications and industry-related skills. He was driven to re-engage the disenfranchised back into education, with a firm belief that if you care for a place, the place cares for the people.
Papa Taiao Earthcare has a vision of a more sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand through innovation and enterprise. Students learn about sustainability and develop a product or service that helps their local community. They gain skills and qualifications and restore water, coastal and land ecosystems at the same time. The motivating experience of working together for a better world helps students stay engaged in school.
Since 2012 around a thousand young people have gone through the Papa Taiao Earthcare programme. There are 130 small student-led environmental enterprises in six regions. The success of the programme has convinced business owners, community groups, whanau and hapu, principals, teachers and young people to engage in biodiversity restoration and sustainable enterprise.