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 18 February 2021


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Nau mai ki tenei wiki Kōrero.  


Wow what a roller coaster of a week it has been with the change in Covid lockdown levels across the country.  It has been awesome to see the adaptability and resilience of our teams and people in general. Keep up the great work! 


He waka eke noa

We’re all in this together




COVID-19 - Being Prepared For A Possible Resurgence


Given the recent COVID-19 move to Level 2, it is important to think about the likelihood of further possible resurgences. A key part of this is planning and being prepared. Just as we did last year, we need to ensure we have strategies in place for teaching and learning to continue in the event we must close kindergartens.

To support this planning and preparedness it is time to revisit the following questions:

  • Do I have access to an up-to-date contact list for whānau and the team?
  • Do I have remote access to my kindergarten email address?
  • Do I have remote access to my personal HWM email address?
  • Do I have remote access to Storypark and the devices to work in this space?
  • Do I have a plan for communicating with my leader and team, i.e. a Messenger group?
  • Do we have additional resources at Kindergarten for making ‘packs’ for tamariki at home?
  • What additional resources do I need to be able to engage in teaching and learning remotely?
  • How will I/we ensure wairoa/wellbeing is enhanced and nurtured for tamariki/whānau/kaiako?


Senior Teachers will be reviewing Te Whāriki Akoranga - Distance Learning Programme to ensure this continues to guide the delivery of our curriculum Te Whāriki and WMK document Te Manawa in your kindergartens and in your whānau home environments.


So let’s use this time to get prepared. We’ve done really well, let’s keep it up.


Me mahi tahi tatou mo te oranga o te katoa

We will work together for the wellbeing of everyone.


Senior Teacher Update

Kia ora koutou katoa,

The Senior Teacher team are continuing our work on the key projects as below, please read through all of the information, and contact your ST or Sharon Coulton if you have any additional queries, questions or suggestions!

Kindergarten Year Planners for 2021

Each year we develop a planner that teams use to schedule key aspects of their mahi so that this is spread across the year. An updated year planner for this year is now available on Storypark as a template in your kindergarten’s planning templates. You can also use a Word version if you prefer and these are available here


Induction and Mentoring Programme for Teachers 2021

A very warm welcome to you if you have just joined He Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens as a newly certificated teacher (with a Tōmua or Provisional Practising Certificate) or if you are a new mentor. We suggest you make time to watch our Introduction to the WMK Induction and Mentoring programme, which is available here in the first cell under “Kits and Resources’. You can also download a copy of our WMK Induction and Mentoring kit from there too.


If you would like to attend a ZOOM question and answer session on 25 February at 3.30 after watching this webinar, please email Lynette at lynette.wray@wmkiindergartens.org.nz for zoom invitation, this will be an important opportunity to clarify the questions you have as a new teacher or mentor, prior to our first seminar.


Induction and Mentoring Seminar for Teachers 6 March

We are looking forward to catching up with all PCT’s and Mentors at our first seminar for 2021 – remember attendance at our seminars is an important requirement of your Induction and Mentoring progamme.


We are making some changes to the way we hold our seminars this year. As we have over thirty teachers who hold a Tōmua or Provisional Practising certificate and their mentors engaging in our Induction and Mentoring Programme, we are running our seminars in clusters in your region so that we meet the group size requirements for HWM PLD.


We are finalising venues for regional clusters, and will let you all know where your closest cluster will be held. The seminars will be from 9.00am – 1.00pm with a senior teacher at each venue to facilitate discussion. We will share more details over the next few weeks,. Please add 6 March to your calendar and talk with your Senior Teacher if you have any questions, or contact Lynette.


Professional Growth Cycle

We are in the final stages of completing the HWM Professional Growth Cycle, in the meantime, you need to continue to develop an Appraisal Goal, as per our policy, but you are not required to gather evidence or keep an appraisal folder. Instead, undertake kōrero around your goal and keep records of this kōrero - focus on professional growth, not on collecting evidence!

The Teaching Council are also holding more live zoom webinars in the coming weeks as well as giving access to recorded webinars, you can access both here.

Te Manawa Review

The Senior Teaching team are in the final stage of the review of Te Manawa, and we will share more information about this going forward  - watch this space! 


Study Assistance Grant


Are you studying this year to enhance your qualifications?  Whānau Manaaki will consider supporting you with a contribution towards your fees. 


Have a look at the policy here and if you think you’re eligible send in the application form and make sure you attach a receipt or proof of the fees, by 28 February 2021.  We will let you know as soon as we can, after that date, if you’ve been successful. 


If you have any questions you can email karen.skett@wmkindergartens.org.nz or phone her on 021 857 826. 


Food And Drink Policy


Thanks to those who have provided feedback over the past few weeks regarding the Food and Drink Policy.  You can view the updated policy here.


Here are some Frequently Asked Questions which will also help.


Maintenance Requests


When requesting any maintenance at your kindergarten you are to do so using the GOSH online system.


You will need to follow the Maintenance Flow Chart in the Key Document section in GOSH.  The flow chart details the process for requesting maintenance and includes the names and contact details of the preferred contractors in your area. You can also find the chart on the Whānau Manaaki website www.wmkindergartens.org.nz/staff.


Please note that with all urgent and essential maintenance the kindergarten must contact the contractor directly and then complete the Kindergarten Maintenance Request form in GOSH.  This form can be found in the What would you like to report? section.


If you have any questions, please contact Lupeni.Aitogi@wmkindergartens.org.nz


Storypark Update


Storypark have sent the following information through about some changes that they are making next week (from 22 Feb). Please let Lynette (lynette@wmkindergarten.org.nz ) know if you have any questions.


Storypark is updating a few of the core parts of Storypark to make things faster and pave the way for some exciting new features. We’ve just rebuilt the story view, ie. when you're looking at and responding to a published story.   So what’s changed?


Look and feel

Minor changes to the look and feel - we’ve removed the blue from the top nav bar to draw the focus to the content of the story rather than the interface. And we’ve made some elements easier to view/read – story headings, profile images and response text are all slightly bigger.


Other improvements

  • The story content, and specifically the text doesn’t now span the whole width of the page. Fewer words on a line makes it easier to read the story on larger screens.
  • Vertical images/videos now fit on the page so you don’t have to scroll off the page to view them.
  • To prompt more engagement, the responses panel is always visible - it sticks to the bottom of the page (where it used to scroll off the bottom).
  • You can now see how many people have viewed a story directly from within the story.
  • The ‘Comment on behalf of a child' is more visible.
  • It’s more mobile friendly – viewing a story in a mobile browser is now similar to the iOS educator app experience.


Child notes linking and version switcher

In the old story view you could create one child note after publishing. It wasn’t a well-used feature and so we’ve removed this while we rebuild a new and improved way of linking (which will come later). Because we’ve left out this piece of functionality for now, we’ve introduced a temporary version switcher so anyone who was linking child notes from a learning story  can switch back to the old view.


Your feedback

We’d love your feedback on the changes, especially if there’s anything you think could be improved.  Email help@storypark.com





As you may know the Whānau Manaaki office is reviewing all its systems and processes to make sure we are operating efficiently, and to update some of our IT systems.


One of the first changes has been JobAdder, which has been in use since late last year, which facilitates online recruitment for all jobs.


Staff will notice this when applying for jobs – which now happens online. This is quicker and more convenient for job applicants, and it also streamlines things for office staff.


With paper-based applications sometimes applications got lost in the mail, or there were delays which meant deadlines for applications could be missed. There was a lot of photocopying so that Senior Teachers could read CVs.


The new system allows good records of applicants and allows for recruitment statistics to be reviewed easily.


In future Head Teachers will be able to view applications for jobs at their kindergarten on JobAdder.


JobAdder is an application which is widely used throughout Australasia.


Another Fantastic Nomination


Another ECE Voice Hero and this time the whole team at Brown Owl were nominated.  This is what they received:


Kia ora Brown Owl kindergarten,


Congratulations, Teresa Salter has nominated you as an ECE Voice hero - hautipua kōhungahunga! 


Over the past few weeks, people across Aotearoa have been nominating inspiring and heroic individuals and teams working in ECE to recognise and celebrate our early childhood kaiako and kaimahi who have gone above and beyond in the last year to meet the needs of their tamariki, whānau and communities.


To find out more, check out ecevoice.org/heroes.


Here's why Teresa has nominated you as a hero: 

This team is 100 percent there for the kids. They have such a welcoming space and are non judgmental which is super important when you are frazzled and tired. My big girls got the best start through them and my last baby is currently there now. Amazing team who are adaptable and all about the kids!.


The three words they used to describe you were:

Loving accepting manawanui.


They also shared this memory that captures why they nominated you:

The greeting when we walk in. Hugs, kindness and genuine care every time we walk in over the 7 years we've been part of the whanau.


Ngā mihi nui, 
The ECE Voice campaign 


On The Cover Of The Weekly!


Otaki Kindergarten teacher Linda Milne has featured on the cover of the New Zealand Women’s Weekly, in a story that profiles her husband, television personality Kevin Milne, and their family.


The four page spread features lots of family photos and details about how Linda and Kevin met more than 40 years ago. Kevin, now semi-retired, worked on the consumer television programme Fair Go for a number of years. He’s been volunteering at a hospice, and he speaks about his own cancer diagnosis, and the importance of family.


Linda says she’s had quite a bit of reaction from people who have seen the magazine story.


Linda, a mother of four, came to early childhood teaching through her children, who went to Playcentre. She has taught at Otaki Kindergarten for ten years, and she has also taught at Raumati South Kindergarten.


She’s currently on holiday in the South Island, taking a road trip while the couple drive their daughter back to Otago University.


Linda with her husband Kevin


Salvation Army Report Highlights Concerns


The Salvation Army’s annual State of the Nation report paints a bleak picture for New Zealand households, with the housing shortage the worst it has ever been and more households than ever reliant on food parcels. This annual report provides some of the most comprehensive data about family wellbeing in New Zealand.


The report uses the proverb ‘Ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi’ - translated as the old net is cast aside whilst the new net goes fishing. It urges the government to use a new net to address social issues and poverty.


The report says the social housing waiting list is at a record of 22,400 with nearly half being Māori and 10 per cent Pacifica. In the September quarter last year 44,581 emergency housing special needs grants were given for motels and campsites and similar accommodation. These grants added up to over $83 million in that quarter alone.


During and after the Covid-19 lockdowns around 10,000 people used the Salvation Army’s services for the first time.


The Salvation Army budgeting service had 3500 new customers in six months last year, and their debts amounted to over $54 million. Debts showed an increase to non-bank lenders, including short term loan providers and loan sharks. Debts to non-bank providers reached an estimated $6.2 billion in the year ending September. An increasing number of KiwiSaver members withdrew their savings for hardship reasons.


Last year the Salvation Army distributed more than 110,000 food parcels – double the number in 2019 and the highest in the 14 years of this report. There was no reduction in the number of children living in material hardship and the number of children in benefit dependent households increased to more than 23,000.


The number of convictions for methamphetamine offences rose by ten per cent.


There were some positives in the report, with the number of children entering state care falling significantly, and reports to Oranga Tamariki also dropping. Other positive signs include a reduction in youth offending and a drop in cannabis related offences. There were also fewer youth suicide, teenage pregnancy and abortions.



Report co-author Paul Barber called for faster implementation of the recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group Report from 2019, which included lifting benefits substantially.

“This would help reduce child poverty and … reduce financial pressure on people and communities that contributes to violence, addiction and mental health issues.”


On housing, Barber said solutions needed to focus on the homeless, those needing emergency and social housing and vulnerable renters. The government needs to partner with NGOs working to house people, and it needs specific policies that work for Māori to deal with longstanding social issues. 


Pacific Economy Research           


Noa'ia, Mauri, Ni Sa Bula Vinaka, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Tālofa, Kia orana, Mālō e lelei, Mālō nī, Talofa lava, Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings to you all,


The Ministry for Pacific Peoples would like to invite you to take part in research about the Pacific informal economy, looking at unpaid productive work and volunteering among Pacific peoples. Your participation in this study helps the Ministry for Pacific Peoples better support Pacific peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand. This project has received ethics approval from the New Zealand Ethics Committee: NZEC20-43. This survey will take around 15-20 minutes to complete. Please follow the link below to access the survey:


MPP Pacific Economy Research Survey Link


Please pass along this link to your family, aiga, and friends! The survey will be open until 28 February at 8pm.


Fakafetai lahi lele, Vinaka vakalevu, Fa'afetai lava, Metitaki 'ua au, Mālō, Fakafetai, Faiakse'ea, Fakaaue lahi, Ngā mihi nui and thank you for taking part in the survey. 


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