The Big Picture

The Big Picture arrow and earth.
The Big Picture - you are here

You are here

Have you ever written your address as. . . Earth, the Solar System, the Milky Way, the Universe?

There are between 30 and 50 trillion stars out there in somewhere between 80 to 140 billion galaxies but Earth is the only place we call home. It’s all we have (that is, until we catch up with Star Trek).

For life to survive and thrive here we need to get that we are all part of one natural world.

Without our fresh air, water, seas, fertile soils, forests, animals and plants we humans couldn't survive. Every thing, even the tiniest of bugs, has a role to play, including us.

Everything is connected - from deepest ocean to outer space - and what we do does make a difference.

Big Picture Award

Show us you get the Big Picture by entering The Outlook for Someday sustainability film challenge.

DOC is sponsoring the Big Picture Award which is given to a winning film focusing on one or more of DOC's Big Picture Ideas and Values.

How to get started

Watch past winning films

Watch videos about The Big Picture. Ruud ‘Bugman’ Kleinpaste and renowned story teller Joe Harawira explain how we depend upon nature in our day to day lives.

The Outlook For Someday banner.  Make a short film on any camera you like. Any genre you like. Any length up to 5 minutes. Anyone up to the age of 24 can enter.

What are the Big Picture Ideas and Values?

The Big Picture logo.
The Big Picture logo

Here are the Big Ideas and Values to get your minds whirring.

The Big Ideas

Overarching all of these ideas, like a rainbow, is that idea that: People are part of the natural diversity of our planet. What we do does make a difference.

Everything is connected

Ko au ko te taiao, ko te taiao ko au
I am the environment, the environment is me

The planet’s diversity is critical to our survival

Toitū te marae a Tāne, Toitū te marae a Tangaroa, Toitū te Tangata
If we care for the resources of the land and the sea, we, the people, will survive

People are part of the natural world

He nohonga ngātahitanga ahau me te taiāo
We live as one with our natural world

Aotearoa/New Zealand is a special place because of its many unique species and ecosystems

Kāore he wāhi i kō atu i a Aotearoa me ōna koiora, me ona waahi ahurei
There is no place in the world like Aotearoa with its special biodiversity and unique ecosystems


These are drawn from the Māori perspective of the natural world and are described here by wonderful storyteller and DOC staff member Joe Harawira. Use these as a starting point to explore your own values about the natural world.

  • Aroha
  • Manaaki
  • Wairua
  • Tapu
  • Mauri
  • Mana

Related link

Download The Big Picture factsheet (PDF, 826K)

back to top


Find out more

Learn more

Enviroschools Education for sustainability

LEARNZ Virtual field trips

Natural Heritage Collection images of native species for schools

Wildtrack children's nature series


For more information contact your local DOC office or email