Going water-only, a school leads community change


Brooklyn School is a full primary school (Years 0-8) situated up on the hill in the heart of Wellington. There are 462 children at the school. The school’s mission statement captures their approach to learning: Mauria Te Taki - Take Up the Challenge.

What they did

They took up the challenge of becoming a water-only school as part of their commitment to providing a safe and supportive learning environment and this has been achieved in a very positive way.

The first step was the school working with Healthy Futures Trust to turn the school gala water-only. They switched sugary drinks for ‘dressed up’ water. Beautiful jugs of water with fresh fruit and ice: strawberry and borage, orange and tangelo and lemon and mint. The water was free, refreshing, looked attractive, and the kids and adults loved it! The success led to setting up a ‘water kit’ that consists of large glass water dispensers on stands. Very quickly water became the new norm at school sport’s prize giving’s, discos and family events such as Matariki. The school’s lead quickly influenced the wider community with the local junior sports community and neighbouring schools borrowing the ‘water kit’.

The school principal and board of trustees were approached by a group of parents asking if they would consider adopting a water-only policy. They endorsed this as it “made official what we were already doing”.

The school have also installed new water fountains, purchased a ‘water kit’ and send gentle reminders out in newsletters prior to family events; "Note: We are a water-only school therefore no sugary drinks please."


The ‘water kit’ has been a key tool in the school’s approach to consistently and positively promoting water-only. To purchase your own ‘water kit’ contact water@healthyfutures.org.nz or visit www.healthyfutures.org.nz/resources.

Last updated 14 September 2017.