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 17 June 2021




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




Our latest news:









Nau mai ki tenei wiki Kōrero.   


The rise of Matariki in the winter skies above Aotearoa is an important time in the Māori calendar, as it signifies the start of the Māori new year.  Historically, new year celebrations provided the opportunity for whānau to come together to acknowledge the year gone by, prepare and plan for the year ahead; to celebrate with kai, kōrero, ceremony and entertainment. 


In this week's edition of the Kōrero we start talking about Matariki and giving links to helpful resources.


Tukua kia tūtkitahi ngā whetū o te rangi.

Let each star in the sky shine its own light.




2022 Term Dates


The term dates, dates for opening and closing, have been set for 2022.  You can see them here. 


There are 4 different calendars for our different groups of people.  Just click on the tab at the bottom of the page to go to the dates relevant to you:

  • Teachers in full year services;
  • Teachers in part year services;
  • Support Staff in full year services, who work full year; and
  • Support Staff who work part year/are annualised.


If you have any questions you can call or email Karen Skett.                                        


Senior Teacher Update 


Kia ora koutou katoa, 


Professional Growth Cycle (PGC)

As the year is ticking by, it is timely to pause….. and think, where am I at with my Professional Growth Cycle focus.  Engaging in the Professional Growth Cycle is about learning and growing your practice as a kaiako.  This engagement, is also a requirement as part of the Licencing Criteria-GMA7, as well as a requirement from the Teachers Council to engage with Our Code Our Standards, a key element of your practising certification.



Quality Practice Templates (QPT)

Remember to continue to add to these.  The QPT are also a great tool and a key source of evidence that can support your Professional Growth Cycle.


Te Manawa Team Discussions-continue

These are well under way.  Remember to let your Senior Teacher know, if you need any support or have any questions, or alternatively contact the Te Manawa team.


Te Manawa 3rd Edition-Teachers Toolbox

A plan has now been created and can be accessed on Storypark through the Teachers Toolbox. Apologies for the delay, we were hoping to have the hyperlinks go ‘live’ in the Toolbox, but unfortunately, there is a glitch with this. Once they are ‘live’ we will let you know 😊



New Head Teachers Meeting Term 2

Monday 28th June at Te Puna, WMK offices 10am to 3pm.  

Please ensure you have enrolled through Tūhonohono and include any dietary requirements.


Lockdown Drills With Children To Cease


Following advice from the Ministry of Education about the effects of lockdown drills on school pupils, Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens has decided to stop violent offender lockdown drills with children.


Other emergency drills such as fire and earthquake and, where relevant, tsunami drills should continue as they have for many years.


In addition, teaching teams should hold a team meeting session each term to discuss and review lockdown procedures.   


The Ministry has been developing guidance and legal information for schools since the mosque massacre in 2019.


Whānau Manaaki’s emergency procedures policy is being updated to reflect this guidance.

If you have any questions, please talk to your Senior Teacher in the first instance.


Te Reo Māori Online PLD Opportunity For Kaiako - He Pātaka Reo


We continue to work in partnership with Te Rito Maioha, Early Childhood New Zealand to be able to offer an online Te Reo Māori course (He Pātaka Reo) for kaiako in 2021.  If you have not already enrolled in this course and want to please contact Kaz.


He Pātaka Reo | Te Reo Pantry is an online professional learning and development course made up of three stages consisting of 6 akoranga in each. Each stage covers topics you can use both in your kindergarten and in daily conversations.


They are designed to encourage and support you to build confidence in speaking te reo Māori, and will be a perfect PLD opportunity to support your progress in the Te Tiriti o Waitangi Partnership Standard for the Teaching Profession elaboration ‘’practise and develop the use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori’’.


Stage 1 starts with the basics including the Māori alphabet and correct pronunciation, how to greet someone and introduce yourself in a traditional way, and how to praise someone in te reo Māori.

Stage 2 introduces more activity-based language to use with outdoor play, physical activity, shapes, painting and more.

Stage 3 continues to grow kaiako use of te reo Māori with puzzles, reading, locating objects, and different words and phrases used in outdoor activities, animals and buildings.


Each akoranga will take approximately 45 minutes.  Kaiako can access and review any time throughout the year.

Exciting times!


Ko taku reo taku ohooho, ko taku reo taku mapihi mauria 

My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul




This year Matariki will be celebrated from 2 July to 10 July.


Matariki is a time to gather with family and friends to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and plan for the future.


Some iwi celebrate Puanga, the star Rigel, which rises around 12 June.  In our Association area Whanganui and Central Plateau celebrate Puanga.


Here are the names of the Matariki stars and what their significance is: 

  • Matariki - the star that signifies reflection, hope, our connection to the environment, and the gathering of people.
  • Waitī - associated with all fresh water bodies and the food sources that are sustained by those waters.
  • Waitā - associated with the ocean, and food sources within it.
  • Waipuna-ā-rangi  - associated with the rain.
  • Tupuānuku - the star associated with everything that grows within the soil to be harvested or gathered for food.
  • Tupuārangi - associated with everything that grows up in the trees: fruits, berries, and birds.
  • Ururangi - the star associated with the winds.
  • Pōhutukawa - the star associated with those that have passed on.
  • Hiwa-i-te-rangi - the star associated with granting our wishes, and realising our aspirations for the coming year.

The Te Papa website have some amazing resources to celebrate this time of year.  You can check them out here.


A number of events do start from 19 June.  One of these events is being facilitated by NZEI.  It is a free webinar focussed on Matariki and kaupapa Māori. The speakers include Stacey Morrison, Rereata Makiha, Dr Rongo Ngata, Qiane Matata-Sipu and Paraone Gloyne.  To register for this webinar or other events that are being facilitated by NZEI click here.


What do you have planned for Matariki?  Let us know by emailing Kōrero. 



Education Support Workers Network Meeting


There will be a network meeting for all Education Support Workers, facilitated by the MOE, on  30 June from 9.30am to 2.00pm.  An invitation to attend this meeting is extended to all Support Staff and Untrained Relievers who work in the Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Wellington and Porirua areas.


Click here to view the agenda, a map of the venue and areas for carparking.    


Sad News


It is with great sadness that we let you know of the death of our colleague Lorraine McKinnon, and also Epifania Higgs a former colleague.


Lorraine was the administrator at Matariki Kindergarten in Upper Hutt and died suddenly after a short illness.  Lorraine was a qualified teacher and had relieved at various kindergartens for several years.  She was also part of the Whānau Manaaki kapa haka group.


Head Teacher Justine Carthew says Lorraine was an extremely giving person. “She was always putting others first, with a huge smile on her face.”


Justine says since her passing, the overwhelming message from kindergarten whānau has been appreciation for someone who would always go the extra mile, and was always cheerful.  Her death has been a big shock and has caused great sadness to the

 Matariki Kindergarten community.


Justine says everyone at the kindergarten is supporting each other, and the kindergarten has offered their families resources and help to talk to the children.  Our thoughts are with Lorraine’s family at this time.


In sharing the news with families, Matariki shared the following whakatauki:  


"Kia hora te marino, Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana, Kia tere te Karohirohi i mua i tou huarahi."
“May the calm be widespread, May the ocean glisten as greenstone, May the shimmer of light ever dance across your pathway."



Epi’s death In Melbourne


Our former colleague and friend to many, Epifania Higgs passed away while in 

Melbourne earlier this month.


She will be brought back to New Zealand by her husband to be in her final resting place near their home in Paraparaumu when circumstances allow. Epi had been working in our kindergartens in Porirua, Kapiti Coast and Horowhenua, including at Moira Gallagher, at Fanau Pasifika, and Te Timatanga Hou.  She also worked as an Itinerant Reliever. She is described as a very caring, wise and supportive colleague.


Whānau Manaaki’s Senior Manager Caroline Mareko recalls Epi’s contribution when Whānau  Manaaki ran a three day conference in Samoa a few years ago.“She was in her element with her literacy workshop and having lots of fun and laughter with our team.



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