BLAKE celebrates 20 years inspiring environmental leadership and honouring the legacy of Sir Peter Blake
March 26, 2024

On it’s 20th anniversary, BLAKE (formerly the Sir Peter Blake Trust) is celebrating two decades of work dedicated to empowering New Zealanders to commit to a sustainable future for Aotearoa and continuing the environmental leadership legacy of one of the world’s most accomplished yachtsman, Sir Peter Blake.

To mark this significant milestone, BLAKE has published its BLAKE 20th Anniversary Impact Report to demonstrate the enduring and positive influence its immersive environmental programmes have on young Kiwis by inspiring and educating them to become environmental leaders and conservation kaitiaki.

Since 2004, more than 108,000 students and 640 schools have participated in BLAKE’s current programmes – NZ-VR, Explorers, Inspire, Expeditions, and Ambassadors – with many students interacting with the natural marine environment for the first time, and often having life-changing experiences.

According to BLAKE CEO James Gibson, the organisation’s programmes are achieving Sir Peter’s vision to inspire people to care for the environment through adventure, participation, education and enjoyment.

“BLAKE’s mission to motivate New Zealanders to care for our environment has seen us expand our programmes to hundreds of thousands of students in schools across Aotearoa. We provide environmental education and immersion, build leadership skills, enable real-world research opportunities and once-in-a-lifetime expeditions to significant environmental areas, such as the Sub-Antarctic Islands.

“Our planet is facing escalating challenges such as climate change, pervasive pollution and biodiversity loss. With twenty years of experience and Sir Peter’s legacy behind us, we are committed to nurturing the environmental leaders of tomorrow who will become a force for the enduring change our world urgently requires, now more than ever before,” said Gibson.

Sir Peter, who tragically lost his life on 6 December 2001, dedicated much of his time and energy to environmental protection. Following his passing, the Labour Government, led by Former Prime Minister Helen Clark, supported the establishment of the Sir Peter Blake Trust, which later became BLAKE, along with foundation partner Westpac.

“In the twenty years since my government supported the establishment of the Sir Peter Blake Trust, our vision and Peter’s aspirations have been realised through dedicated programmes in which BLAKE can take real pride. In a world grappling with climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, and biodiversity loss, it is critical we nurture the environmental leaders our world urgently needs,” shared Clark.

BLAKE Patron and wife of the late Sir Peter, Pippa, Lady Blake, believes the Trust is bringing Peter’s dreams to life.

“It’s been remarkable to see BLAKE empower teachers with the tools to educate students about environmental causes, support aspiring researchers exploring environmental pulse points, and encourage more of our children to connect with and care for the environment.

“The impact of BLAKE over the last two decades is a testament to the enduring legacy of Peter’s vision and the collective efforts of all those dedicated to preserving and cherishing our precious planet.”

“At BLAKE, we remain committed to expanding the reach of our programmes, engaging with more schools, and connecting as many of our rangatahi with the wonders of our natural world as possible over the next 20 years,” adds Gibson.