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




Our latest news:









Nau mai ki te pānui tênei ko te Kōrero.




Thanks to everyone for your support as we work with the vaccine mandate that took effect this week. We know it has been a stressful time for many.  


The good news is all of our services have been able to be staffed to continue to provide our high-quality experiences for children and whānau.


Reliever pressure

Some of our relievers have determined not to get vaccinated and so are no longer available, while others have taken on long term relieving commitments.  We know that some of you are concerned that this has reduced the supply of relievers.  For Head Teachers who haven’t yet taken their Head Teacher release, if you wish to defer it till next term, please contact the Payroll Team.   


Thanks to all those relievers who have been flexible to help in different situations as we adapt to comply with the public health order.  Please encourage anyone you know to join our reliever pool. 


Untrained relievers

Any new untrained relievers need to have provided their vaccination details (along with the other normal documentation) before being approved to work. Please don’t use any old forms for this, just email here about the new forms.


New staff

We have adapted our recruiting systems and documents to ensure that all new staff have already had vaccinations as appropriate.



As you know, all our contractors who work at kindergarten at the same time as children are present need to have fully vaccinated staff.   Each week, we will email an updated list of approved contractors to you at the same time as the Kōrero.



We are receiving lots of vaccination records for parents and volunteers to your kindergartens so thank you for encouraging your communities to send these through.


If you are sending these records through on behalf of your parents/volunteers, or asking the parents/volunteer to email their own, we do need the following information included in the email:

  • parent/volunteer's full name
  • parent/volunteer's individual email address (if more than one parent then an email address for both)
  • parent/volunteer child name
  • kindergarten the parent/volunteer is connected to

To make this process easier on yourselves you could have your parents/volunteers complete this form which can then be emailed to the covidvac email address along with their vaccination records.


We will email you the list of approved volunteers each Thursday.


Office Staff

All staff who work out of the Whānau Manaaki offices, who are, or may be, in kindergartens and in contact with children, are vaccinated.


Profiling Our Senior Teachers


Leanne Nelson

Leanne Nelson has strong memories of her own time at kindergarten, and she knew early on that she wanted to work with children.  Leanne trained as a nanny after leaving school and then went to Teachers College.


She has spent most of her life in Upper Hutt, sending her children to the same kindergarten that she went to, and teaching there herself for several years.


Leanne relieved at various kindergartens in Upper Hutt, gaining a permanent position at Silverstream Kindergarten.


After a stint overseas, working at nursery schools in London, Leanne returned to New Zealand and had her own children, now 16 and 21.


She worked at Silverstream, Cottle and Upper Hutt Kindergartens, with 15 plus years as head teacher at Upper Hutt Kindergarten.


She has been a senior teacher for two years now and enjoys working with a wider group of kindergartens and supporting them.  She has relished the challenges the new job has brought.


Outside of work, Leanne and her husband Steve have a place near the Wairarapa coast, where they spend a lot of time outdoors, fishing, diving, riding quad bikes and planting native trees.



Lynette Wray

Lynette grew up in the Hutt and went to Teachers College after leaving school, studying for a kindergarten diploma.


She taught in Wainuiomata and Stokes Valley, before having her own children and getting involved in Playcentre.  After returning to relieving, Lynette taught at Maungaraki, Silverstream and Trentham Kindergartens, where she became head teacher.   


When she became a senior teacher 20 years ago there were just four senior teachers based in Tawa.


At that time there were no computers, everything was written by hand, and digital cameras were rare, so Lynette has seen a massive change in the way learning is documented. She has embraced technology, as changes keep coming, which appeals to her problem-solving nature.


Another big change has been the focus on language, culture and identity, which was previously not necessarily considered as part of the curriculum in any depth. 


Lynette regards the changes she has seen as positive, including the move from sessional to school day services.  Until quite recently teachers would try to relate to up to 90 children and families each week  With children not getting into kindergarten until nearly 4 in some communities, there was a constant turnover as they left for school. The relationships did not have the same depth as happens now.


Lynette had a six-month stint at ERO which she found interesting, but she was pleased to return to the world of kindergarten because she loves working with teams and seeing developments over time.


Outside of kindergarten Lynette has kept busy with house renovations, gardening and dog walking. She has two daughters, both in Titahi Bay. One, Lauren, is head teacher at Newlands Kindergarten.


Lynette and her husband and black labrador Ebby are moving to Otaki Beach next year.  They are also looking forward to becoming grandparents.   



Senior Teacher Update


Kia ora koutou katoa,  


Regional Staff Meetings

Please remember to enrol into the Regional Staff Meetings through Tūhonohono.  If you are having problems enrolling please contact Kaz, she will be able to help you. 


Due to Covid Level 2 restrictions our venue numbers are fairly tight and we will not be able to have walk ins on the day.


Some venues have changed, so please also check Tūhonohono to see if there is a change. CS Region due to COVID restrictions we have now secured Te Papa as the venue for 24 November.


Also it's important to remember each venue needs us to scan in, hand sanitize and wear masks when entering and moving around the venue.


We suggest sitting in your teaching teams to support social distancing and the group work. You are welcome to wear your mask throughout the meeting.



These meetings involve some group work, so can each team please bring with them:

  • A supply of drawing tools – coloured pencils, markers, crayons – just to keep sharing to a minimum while we are in level 2.   
  • Your team Quality Practices Templates (in whatever state of completion). As part of our new Annual Review roll out you will be using these during a shared exercise, so please make sure that one team member takes responsibility for bringing them with you.  
  • It would also be helpful for each teacher to bring their own copy of Te Whariki.



Monday, 22 November 

3.30pm to 5.30pm

Porirua Club


Tuesday, 23 November 2

3.30pm to 5.30pm

Porirua Club



24 November 

3.30pm to 5.30pm

UPDATED VENUE Change to Te Papa (please consider car-pooling)


Tuesday, 30 November 2

4.00pm to 6.00pm

Kingsgate Hotel


Wednesday, 1 December 

4.00pm to 6.00pm

VENUE CHANGED to Waiouru Community Hall


Thursday, 2 December 

3.30pm to 5.30pm

Porirua Club



Parihaka PLD 

Remember to enrol through Tūhonohono for the second Parihaka workshop on 29 November at 3.30pm in Te Puna Porirua Office.


This PLD is an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi Partnership (Ngā Paerewa) and is supported by our WMK Te Rautakina Strategic Plan and our strategic intention to strengthen our bicultural capacity.



Upcoming PLD


A new course has been added into Tūhonohono - 2021 Waste Minimisation.


This course is being held at Plimmerton Kindergarten on Wednesday 1 December from 3.30pm to 5.00pm - registration is essential as the numbers are restricted to just 15. 


Sophie Flanagan will be sharing her experience and passion for the subject, along with the Waste Minimisation Councillor from Porirua City Council (who is also an ex-kindergarten mum).


Using information from The Sustainable Schools waste minimization course run by The Sustainability Trust, Sophie will share information about why waste minimisation is important and how to set up a waste minimisation program.  


It will be a relaxed course for people interested in implementing a waste minimisation program in their kindergartens.


Name Badges


Do you need a name badge?  If so, please let Kaz know as soon as possible!      


Teacher Wins Scholarship to Develop Mindfulness Programme   


Totara Park Kindergarten teacher Kimi Thomson has been awarded a scholarship to continue her work in the use of mindfulness to support children’s emotions.


The early childhood teachers’ union NZEI Te Riu Roa offers four $6,000 scholarships each year to early childhood teachers nationwide, so it’s a real achievement for Kimi to win it.


The scholarships aim to advance leadership in the sector.


The Totara Park teaching team has already been working on mindfulness for young children.

“My project extends on the learning the wonderful team here at TPK has done” says Kimi.  


She says the children have been incredibly responsive, learning about breathing, nature, how to describe their emotions, and to feel their bodies as they take part in yoga poses.


“I’ve seen amazing interest in it” says Kimi.


The project includes setting up a calm space in the kindergarten, so that children can go somewhere for quiet time, if they want to escape the busyness or just want some peace.


It also involves connecting families to the work at kindergarten, so that they know what children are learning.


 “I'm really excited and so is the incredibly supportive team here.”


 The first part of the project is for Kimi to become certified as a children's yoga teacher. 


Totara Park team celebrating with Kimi.


Giveaway Day


Our first Wellington City giveaway day was held last Saturday at Newtown Kindergarten and was a great success , with families receiving clothes, linen, toys and kitchen equipment.  Thanks to all those who helped either on Friday or Saturday.


This Saturday we are holding another giveaway day at Nuanua Kindergarten in Porirua.

Helpers are needed, to set up at the kindergarten from 3pm on Friday, and to help on Saturday morning from 8 am.


Because the Giveaway day coincides with a vaccination festival in Waitangirua which Whānau Manaaki is also part of, more helpers are needed than usual.


The Giveaway day will look a little different than usual, to coincide with Level Two practices.



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