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 4 March 2021




For a roundup of what has been happening across our regions click below.




Our latest news:









Nau mai ki tenei wiki Kōrero.  


Thanks to everyone for your flexible and considerate approach to the fluctuating Covid 19 environment.  It is great that together we can do the best for our tamariki, our communities and each other.


He waka eke noa,

We're all in this together.




New 2021 Leaderful Practice Cluster


We are pleased to offer another PLD opportunity for teachers who are interested in growing their leaderful practice.


Learning to be educational leaders who are equipped to support high quality and equitable education in New Zealand is a multi-faceted and complex process.

In recent years, there has been an increasing emphasis on developing all teachers’ capabilities as leaders.


In 2019 we provided PLD around building leaderful practice, using a cluster approach. We intended to establish a new cluster group in 2020 but because of COVID 19 restrictions we were unable to do so.  We are excited to let you know that we are going ahead again with these plans in 2021.  We will also be continuing cluster sessions with the 2019 cohort, if those participants wish to continue meeting.


Being involved in the cluster means:

  • Attending three workshops over the year, that are framed around the nine capabilities identified in the Educational Leadership Capability Framework.
  • Inquiring into your own leaderful practice over the course of the PLD.


PLEASE NOTE: This PLD is not specifically focused on being a positional leader (e.g. Head Teacher).  You can attend this PLD if you are interested in leaderful practice, regardless of whether or not you aspire to be a positional leader.


The three workshops will run consecutively over three term breaks: with workshop 1 on Wednesday 21st April. This PLD will be available Association-wide on this date, as it is delivered using zoom in a local kindergarten.  


The 2019 cohort will meet in the morning from 9.30am to 12 noon, and the new 2021 cohort will meet in the afternoon from 1pm to 3.30pm.


We plan to have zoom sites at: Waikanae Kindergarten, Carterton Kindergarten, WMK Head Office Porirua, and St Johns Club, Whanganui. 

In each kindergarten there will be at least one Senior Teacher providing face-to-face facilitation. 


You will not find this PLD on HRNet.  Please email fiona.twaddle@wmkindergartens.org.nz to enrol in the cluster by Friday 9 April if (a) you are a 2019 participant wanting to return or (b) you are a new participant wanting to enrol in the 2021 cohort.  Fiona is also very happy to receive phone calls if you want to talk about this PLD.


Remember, this PLD is open to anyone who is interested in growing their leaderful practice, not just teachers in leadership positions.


Fraedom Credit Card Training


Thanks to all of those HTs that have attended the successful Fraedom training sessions that have been happening. 


Outlook calendar invitations (and instructions) for the next training sessions in late March/early April will be emailed to remaining HTs next week. 


Please accept these invites so we can track and manage attendance at each training session. 


If you are unavailable for the training session you are allocated, or have any questions, then please get in touch with Karyn Lewis or Fiona Bray:


Karyn Lewis        Karyn.Lewis@wmkindergartens.org.nz                  06 345 6729

Fiona Bray          Fiona.Bray@wmkindergartens.org.nz                     04 232 1650  


Distribution of your new credit cards will also take place next week.


Welcome to Mollie     


Chanelle Huia-Rutten, Whānau Manaaki’s Marketing and Promotions Co-ordinator has started teacher training, so is now working part-time in the Porirua office.


Mollie Coulton has joined the team to help fill the gap for the next few months.  Mollie will be responsible, in the first instance, for kindergarten Facebook pages to increase community engagement.


Mollie says "over the next few weeks I will be updating each of the kindergartens individual Facebook pages, e.g., you may notice a few changes to your pages such as new profile pictures and information.


As an Association we want to use Facebook as a promotional platform to boost our visibility within the community, more so than an informational space to contact parents.


Therefore, the aim is for each kindergarten to post at least one to two times a week about the teaching and learning that is taking place in the kindergarten, along with relevant photo/s.


I will be reaching out to some kindergartens over the coming weeks to offer a helping hand e.g., help with adding in additional administrators to the Facebook page to share the role of posting.


However, if you need any support or have any questions before I reach out to you, please feel free to contact me on mollie.coulton@wmkindergartens.org.nz  or call me on 04 232 3069."


Welcome Mollie!


If you need support with promotions, please email Jenny.davies@wmkindergartens.org.nz in the first instance.




We have heard that a number of you are having problems accessing HR.Net and that this is something new for you.  Apologies and please bare with us as we move to our new HR and PLD platform Tûhonohono.


Some tips to help you in the meantime:

  • ensure you are accessing HR.Net via Internet Explorer only
  • Once you have arrived at the log in screen click on the cog wheel in the top right hand corner of your screen.  Then choose Compatibility View Settings and click on Add to add the blportal.conz 

If you are still having issues please contact Kaz at karen.craig@wmkindergartens.org.nz and she will help you enrol on a course.


Markers Wanted


Are you a teacher and are you interested in marking ECE assignments for Kuratini Tuwhera Open Polytech?


Open Polytech are looking for more markers for their Certificate level ECE papers.

For more information about this work please contact Sonja Rosewarne by email, Sonja.Rosewarne@openpolytechnic.ac.nz


TONI Graduates Celebrate


Last week Whānau Manaaki hosted a graduation for 13 Etu Ao home based educators who will be work for our Porirua network.


Mana MP Barbara Edmonds handed out the certificates at the celebration.


The educators are known as TONIs, which stands for teach, observe, nurture, in-home.


Two of the new graduates had babies during the course, and each took one week off their studies then returned to the course with their babies.


Pictured below are Roseden Toon, Ata Takeieta and Tinauraki Tenamo.



Archive Project – Your Treasures Are Wanted


Kindergartens in the Wellington and Kapiti areas are invited to contact Helen May about any archival material they have.


Helen, a well-known early childhood researcher and historian, and Emeritus Professor has agreed to manage our archival project, which got underway last year, with six kindergarten collections now catalogued and stored at Whānau Manaaki offices.


Any kindergarten ready to box their material - or wanting to discuss this, contact Helen May (helen.may@otago.ac.nz). Helen will arrange a visit to either collect, and/or help sort and/or advise.


At this stage the focus is on the Wellington - Kapiti area.  There are discussions underway with local libraries/archive regarding kindergarten archives in Upper Hutt, Whanganui region and the Wairarapa.


Here is a document outlining this phase further including the kinds of material to be archived. Helen might also contact individual kindergartens directly - in particular those kindergartens for which we already hold archival material.                                


Kindergartens Granted Money For Covid Response


Around 70 of our kindergartens have been granted Urgent Response Fund money to help families re-engage in early learning after experiencing issues relating to the Covid pandemic.

Extra staff have been hired to work in many of our communities as teacher aides, to support teaching teams, so they can better support families with issues.


The extra staff allow time for teachers to phone families who have not returned to kindergarten, to talk to families who are experiencing issues related to Covid, to support families with transitions and just generally to have more time.


Some kindergartens are supporting families to get involved in positive initiatives such as Enviroschools, which helps deal with anxiety relating to the pandemic, and with enriching the curriculum with outings.


In some of our communities the extra funding allows teachers to spend more time with new

Board News - Emma McGregor

Emma McGregor stood for the Whānau Manaaki board because she was worried that her local kindergarten might lose its community feel when the Rimutaka Association became part of a much bigger entity, when Whānau Manaaki was formed.


That didn’t happen, and she now has an understanding of how a strong organisation behind the scenes helps support kindergartens to remain close to their local communities.


She also says the size of the organisation has meant the resources to be more responsive – for example in the current Covid crisis, we have been able to help our families in many ways because our organisation has the capacity to do this. 


Emma lives on a sheep and beef farm in the Wairarapa, and is deputy chair of the board.


Two of her children, now at Gladstone School, attended South End Kindergarten. Nieces and nephews have also attended South End. Her son Grayson, now 19 months, will start at kindergarten in a year or so.


Emma is committed to the proposal for Kindergartens Aotearoa, which is currently a collective of eight associations who are working together to consider joining as one association formally over the next couple of years.  Kindergartens Aotearoa will become a stronger voice for the whole kindergarten movement, with greater economies of scale than having lots of separate kindergarten associations.


“I am looking forward to the future – it’s exciting” she says. “It will make life easier if we are able to lobby, to have strength, and to bring it all back to the children."


Emma says it has been a “really positive experience” sitting round the table with educated and considered people, and she appreciates the flexibility of Whānau Manaaki which has meant she could bring her son to a couple of board meetings.


She pays tribute to the staff of Whānau Manaaki at all levels, and she says that’s what makes kindergarten special for children.


“I can’t emphasise enough what amazing staff we have. Every single person is valuable.”


Emma hopes to stay on the board to see Whānau Manaaki through the Kindergartens Aotearoa process. “I’m grateful that people keep nominating me. “

Emma with her boys.
Teacher Pay Inequities Highlighted

The Ministry of Education has carried out some research into teacher pay rates across the sector which has highlighted the fact that other early childhood teachers are paid around 30 per cent less on average than kindergarten teachers.


Nelson Kindergarten teacher Virginia Oakley, who represents the early learning sector on the NZEI Te Riu Roa executive, spoke of the urgent need to value all early childhood teachers.


Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens supports fair pay for all teachers, and a national collective agreement for the early childhood sector. Here’s a news story highlighting the issues. 


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