Summary Details

Do you care about the environment and want to make a difference?

Join us for a week long leadership development adventure for 55 secondary school students passionate about the environment. You will have the opportunity to address topical environmental issues facing our country, and develop strategies to address them. YELF 2019 will be in Auckland, Waikato and Rotorua and will focus on different environmental issues related to climate change, our oceans, freshwater and biodiversity. By working with other up and coming youth environmental leaders, you will leave YELF fired up, with improved leadership capabilities, inspired and ready to create change.

  • This fully funded programme will allow students to learn more about the environmental issues related to climate change, our oceans, freshwater and biodiversity.
  • Develop leadership skills while participating in outdoor activities.
  • Meet and engage with inspiring and informative speakers, including experts from the Ministry for the Environment, Sir Peter Blake Trust alumni, local and national politicians, business and community leaders, and like-minded peers.
  • Delegates to YELF are eligible to join future Young Blake Expeditions as student voyagers. 

Calling all year 11-13 secondary school students! Apply for YELF now!

Applications are Closed

Applications will open for YELF 2019 by December 2018.

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What will I be doing?

Our exciting programme is hands-on and student driven.We want you to feel inspired, involved, heard, and supported to learn and grow in the area of environmental leadership.You’ll go on field trips and workshops, get out on the water, develop leadership skills, and do all this alongside peers who are passionate about the same things as you. You’ll spend time with experts, politicians, business and community leaders, staff from the Ministry for the Environment, and inspirational Sir Peter Blake Trust Alumni. Check out the video below to see what YELF is all about. 

Watch to find out what YELF 2017 was all about!

YELF was amazing! It connected me back to my whenua, my turangawaewae & made me realise the true beauty of Aotearoa with some of the most important people I'll ever meet because they feel the exact same way. It was an experience that I'll never forget. ”

Whakāwa Kakau - YELF 2016 Delegate

Want to apply?

Are you a Sir Peter Blake EnviroLeader? To be eligible to attend the forum, you’ll need to be:

  • A NZ student in Year 11 - 13
  • Passionate about the environment
  • Someone with leadership potential

You will apply through our online portal, and will be asked to upload the following items:

  • A CV
  • A character reference from your Teacher, or Principal
  • A recent photograph


What is expected of me, if I am selected for YELF?

We want everyone to have a memorable, enriching experience. So you’ll need to behave in ways that acknowledge you’re representing your family, your school, and the Trust at all times. We want you to participate fully in all activities and make contributions that add value to everyone’s experience, including yours. And you’ll need to attend the entire forum, from beginning to end.

Hannah Prior Image
Hannah Prior

Head of Programmes

Is there any cost to attend the forum?

No. We pay for all transport, accommodation, field trips and food. You might need to buy appropriate gear if you don’t already have it - we’ll send you a checklist.

Jacob Anderson Image
Jacob Anderson

Programme Manager - Environment

What about after the forum?

Once you’ve participated in YELF, we expect you will be brimming over with knowledge, and will have made new life-long friendships. We expect you will be ready to go back to your communities, ready to tell everyone you meet about your experience. The other thing is - you’re now eligible to apply for future Young Blake Expeditions as a student voyager.

Bhakti Patel Image
Bhakti Patel

Programme Manager - Environment

If you have any queries about the YELF application process/portal - please contact Bhakti Patel on (09) 307 8875 or