What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people, it is people, it is people.
Whānau Manaaki is the not-for-profit organisation behind 101 kindergartens in the Central Plateau, Whanganui, Horowhenua, the Kapiti Coast, Wairarapa, Upper Hutt, Eastbourne, Petone, Porirua and Wellington.
We also offer a home-based service in Porirua.
We are an incorporated society governed by our board - an elected group of parents and staff representatives - which sets policy and strategic direction. Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens operates within the policies and guidelines the board sets, with the support of a senior management team.
We offer high quality teaching and learning with our 100% qualified and registered kindergarten teachers and our highly skilled and trained educators.
Whānau Manaaki provides administrative, management and property management support to kindergartens and educational leadership and professional development for up to 800 teaching staff and home based educators. An ongoing focus on innovation and educational excellence supports our teachers and educators to provide to the needs of children and families.
The organisation also coordinates local committees and provides training and support to parents/whānau.
More than 6,000 children now attend one of Whānau Manaaki’s 101 kindergartens and around 150 children are enrolled with our Pasifika-focused Etu Ao home based service.
Whānau Manaaki children get a great start to their formal education in a caring community setting.
|In 2014, two established kindergarten organisations came together to become one, creating He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens) - one of the largest providers in the New Zealand early childhood sector.|
Our name translates as "the caring family of Tararua" and recognises the value of the kindergarten movement and the Tararua range that defines the region. The name was developed in association with Sir Tamati and Lady Tilly Reedy, who both have a long association with early childhood education, including involvement in the development of the early childhood curriculum , Te Whāriki.
Since then Whanganui Kindergarten Association have also joined He Whānau Manaaki and together we provide affordable, quality education and care for children in the Central Plateau and Whanganui area.
We’re working hard to meet the changing needs of families, with options of longer hours and greater flexibility, while preserving the things that make the kindergarten approach so special.
To be a respected leader in early childhood education and a strong advocate for children and whānau.
Our vision for He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua is firstly derived from our belief in the importance of quality early childhood education for the children themselves, their whānau, their community and for Aotearoa New Zealand.
It also stems from the knowledge that many
Therefore, we seek to be a leader in the provision of high quality early childhood education, and by demonstrating what can be achieved, be seen as advocates for children and whānau and help to improve quality early childhood education throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.
NGĀ UARA – OUR VALUES
Nurturing the mana of the child
The aspiration statement in Te Whāriki, the national early childhood education curriculum, states:
(for all children) … to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make
This statement is underpinned by the concept of Mana – that the child is empowered in many ways and which are represented in five domains of mana:
Therefore, the mana of the child underpins the values that He Whānau Manaaki uses to guide our decisions and to govern how we work with others.
Kounga - Quality
International research and the depth and breadth of our own teaching and learning experiences over the last 100 years have confirmed that ‘quality’ in early childhood education makes a critical difference to the long-term outcomes for children.
There is nothing more important than us continuing to demonstrate the truth of this and exemplify how it is best delivered.
Mahi Tahi - Partnership
We are not alone in desiring and contributing to what is best for children. It is important that we act inclusively with others who are motivated like us
We will seek to develop strong partnerships with parents and whānau, schools, other government agencies, community groups and all who are
Pono - Integrity
Our effectiveness in nurturing the mana of children, in convincing others of the critical importance of quality, and in building strong partnerships ultimately depends on our credibility.
We must maintain integrity in all we do and say, so that our voice is listened to when we advocate for what is best for the developing child.
Our Strategic Intentions:
• Improve access for children, their parents and whānau to increasingly relevant services
• Improve the quality and effectiveness of our relationships with our communities
• Innovate and continuously improve teaching and learning
• Strengthen our financial and market positions
• Strengthen our bicultural capacity
Ko wai matou?
Mai Horowhenua, ki Kapiti
Piki ake ki te Upoko o te Ika e
Mai Rimutaka heke iho ki te Wairarapa
Ki te whānau manaaki o Tararua e
Who are we?
From Horowhenua to Kapiti
Climb up the head of the fish (Wellington)
From Rimutaka, descend down to Wairarapa
To the caring family of Tararua.
He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Board:
The overall governance of the Association is the responsibility of the Board which is accountable to the Association kindergarten community.
The Board is elected by the membership at the annual general meeting each year. The Board is comprised of elected members (who are either parents/caregivers of children), staff representatives and the Chief Executive. The Board also has the ability to appoint additional members who have specific skills.
The Board delegates day to day management of the Association to the Chief Executive.
Our board has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the delivery of quality early childhood education across Whānau Manaaki.
This group provides strategic direction, sets our policy framework and makes the "big decisions" that affect all our services.
Here is our current board...
Amy Weightman (Chair)
Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens has had a proud history of providing high quality early childhood education to generations of children in the wider Wellington region. We continue to do this through our culture of continuous improvement and this is largely achieved through professional support, research, and innovation. This section highlights some of the innovative projects and practices our services are involved in – all in our constant drive to provide the best possible education and care for the babies, toddlers, and young children who attend our services.
Arohanui Kindergarten opened in 2014 as part of He Whare Manaaki Tāngata – the teen parent unit based at Levin’s Waiopehu College.
Planning for the kindergarten considered the learning needs of both the children and the teenaged parents with a central hub where everyone can gather together. While continuing with secondary education is a priority for the parents, their parenting role is equally valuable.
Being part of He Whare Manaaki Tāngata fits well with the Whanau Manāaki Kindergartens’ approach of providing a variety of ways for young children to experience high quality education.
“We know that a “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work for all families” says Whānau Manaaki chief executive Amanda Coulston.
“We have a home-based service, playgroups, full day kindergartens, infant to school age kindergartens and several that have a multi-lingual approach” says Amanda.
Arohanui is one of six kindergartens in Levin. All have features which support their specific communities, for example Taitoko, Te Timatanga Hou, and Fanau Pasifika Kindergartens offer places for infants through to school-age children to learn together. Te Timatanga Hou is open for longer hours to suit working parents, and Fanau Pasifika has a Pacific language and culture focus. Betty Montford and Parsons Ave Kindergartens are adjacent to schools and offer school hours to school to suit parents with children in both settings.
Katoa Kindergarten is next to Takapuwahia Marae in Elsdon, Porirua. It serves a predominantly Māori community, drawing significantly from whānau affiliated to Ngāti Toa, the recognised Tangata Whenua of the area.
The kindergarten has a kitchen and whānau area to encourage whānau to spend time at kindergarten and get involved. The kindergarten also runs playgroups and parent workshops for the Elsdon/Takapuwahia community.
Many activities offered draw from Te Ao Māori –kapa haka, natural remedies and medicines, and te reo Māori. There are regular visits to Takapuwahia Marae, with teachers having family links which strengthen relationships.
Raumati South Kindergarten and Waikanae Kindergartenhave been working with the Enviroschools not-for-profit trust to help children plan, design and implement sustainable projects. The children are also becoming catalysts for change in their families and the wider community.
Each year Enviroschools releases a snapshot of all the centres and schools involved to showcase their projects.
For more information about Enviroschools visit the website
Tai Tamariki Kindergarten
Toru Fetū KindergartenToru Fetū Kindergarten, is the first purpose-built Pasifika kindergarten in the world.
Toru Fetū won a Prime Ministers' award for educational excellence in 2018 because of its strong community links.
The kindergarten came about because of the vision of the Tuvalu, Niue and Cook Island communities in Porirua. Wellington Kindergartens (now Whānau Manaaki kindergartens) supported the community vision after three playgroups wanted to extend what they offered to families, while keeping their language and culture alive.
Niue Aoga Tama Ikiiki, Cook Islands Te Punanga Reo Kuki Airani Porirua and Tuvale Akoga playgroups were all operating in Porirua East.
The Ministry of Education provided some of the funds for the building, and the kindergarten opened in 2010, with separate classrooms for each of the cultures, and a shared playground. There’s also a large communal kitchen with free healthy lunches provided for all children attending Toru Fetu.
It offers a space for the whole community to get together for celebrations, cultural events, family events, seminars, displays or other activities. This helps families stay involved in their children’s education.
The idea of Toru Fetu was to increase the participation of Pasifika children in high quality early childhood education. This has been achieved with the close relationships with teachers and the families.
Toru Fetu space is also used for playgroups and for professional development.
More than 260 Pasifika families are achieving goals relating to health, finances, education, leadership and cultural knowledge thanks to Whānau Manaaki's work.
As part of a Whānau Ora programme funded through Pasifika Futures, Whānau Manaaki kindergartens has been working with families to help decide on their priorities for a successful future.
Whānau Manaaki manager Danny Mareko says "it's long term work, and the ideas come from the families themselves. They can see the progress that is happening."
“The YMen Project” is an initiative developed by Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens in conjunction with the Ministry for Social Development, and with the support of the Todd Foundation. The project was first developed in 2008 to address the chronic shortages of men working in early childhood education and high rates of unemployment among men under the age of 25 years.However the programme is less about getting people off benefits and more about empowering young men and giving them the confidence to realise their potential.
The YMen project proved highly successful, but sadly ongoing funding has not been available. However, YMen have increased the profile of men in early childhood education, and young men continue to train as teachers, inspired by the YMen example.
Below is a Video from Close Up
- a programme on TV1 from 2 August 2012, talking about this project.
Meet the people who make Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergartens...
He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata
What is the most important thing in the world?
Deputy Chief Executive
Communities and Participation
DDI: 04 232 1651
DDI: 04 232 1659
DDI: 04 232 1741
|Human Resources Team|
Human Resources Administrator
DDI: 04 232 1652
HR and Payroll Assistant
DDI: 04 232 1656
Admin Officer (Main Reception)
DDI: 04 232 3069
DDI: 04 232 1650
Chanelle Huia - Rutten
Marketing and Promotions Coordinator
DDI: 04 232 1744
DDI: 04 232 1653
Visiting Teacher Team Leader
Study Group Tutor
Whanau Ora Administrator
Manager, Communities and Participation
|As a member of New Zealand Kindergartens, Whānau Manaaki is committed to keeping alive the kindergarten principles that have made it a New Zealand treasure for more than 100 years: we are community based, not-for-profit, and children learn at their own pace. Our services are locally responsive, promoting excellence and innovation, involving parents, and in the kindergarten tradition, are closely connected to local schools.|