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 2 December 2021




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.


Covid-19 – Shift To The New Framework


With the move to the Covid Protection System (also known as the traffic lights system) tomorrow, there are some changes for our kindergartens.


This afternoon we are sending out packs for you to help with the changes.


Some of our kindergartens are in the “red” region while some are in “orange” so there are two packs.


They both contain some of the same information – this is so you can find everything in one place.


We have received some questions about the use of Vaccine Pass, you will find a guideline in the pack about when to use this pass and when we will need to use the My Covid Record, Manage My Health, Vaccination card or a letter from a GP.


Thanks to everyone as we continue to adjust to the pandemic.


Don’t forget to send in questions if you have them to your Senior Teacher or to the covid vax email address: covidvac@wmkindergartens.org.nz.     


Update To Gosh iPad


The NZ Pass Verifier App has been installed on all the GOSH iPads for use under the Covid Protection Framework.  It is completely ready to use for any events you have planned from tomorrow onwards.


To use it you simply tap on the App icon, acknowledge the Privacy and Terms notice and tap Scan to activate the camera.


If you are experiencing any issues with the app you can use a personal device in the short term and contact Tania Braybrook to troubleshoot the issue.



Profiling Our Senior Teachers


Katie Fry

Katie grew up in Whanganui, attending Harriette Vine Kindergarten, where she later gained her first position as a graduate teacher.  She studied through an off-campus option at Palmerston North College of Education and later completed her degree through Massey University.


After working at Harriette Vine Kindergarten Katie moved to Durie Hill Kindergarten and then Pūtiki before gaining her first Head Teacher role at Gonville Kindergarten where she worked for over 12 years.


In 2019 Katie became the Senior Head Teacher of the “hub” Kindergartens, consisting of Gonville, Barsanti and Marie McFarland, which was a new concept for Whanganui Kindergarten Association.  She worked across the three Kindergartens over the year supporting building community and leadership capability with the three new head teachers.  In 2020, Katie worked as a .5 Senior Head Teacher and Senior Teacher before moving into a full time senior teacher role in July 2020. 


She enjoys working closely with teams and colleagues, “I’ve worked with lots of fantastic people who share their knowledge.  I love working with people and in communities, celebrating with other kaiako and families and watching children grow”.


Katie lives on the outskirts of Whanganui with her partner, and enjoys spending time with many of her family and friends.  She has two adult daughters who currently live in Whanganui.



Simone Leaupepe

Simone was born in Whanganui. As an infant she was whāngai to the Arthur Whānau based in Takapūwāhia, Porirua.


Simone and her brother joined the Arthur whānau who had 7 children. She was raised and emersed in her whangai iwi Ngāti Toa and in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints faith.


“I live and breathe with my whānau.”


She has lived her whole life in Porirua, attending kōhanga reo, Katoa Kindergarten, Ngāti Toa school, Titahi Bay Intermediate, Mana College and Whitireia Polytech.


Simone met her husband John while at intermediate school as friends, her twins – Kristian and Christina, now aged 13 - attended Nuanua Kindergarten and Etu Ao homebased service.


As the youngest of nine children, there were always nieces and nephews for Simone to care for, it was normal to support the whānau and being flexible to care for nieces and nephews. This was seen as immediate and external.  After leaving college she worked as an untrained teacher at an aunties community early childhood service, and realised if she wanted to have a voice, she needed to get qualified.


After completing teacher training at Whitireia, Simone worked at Katoa Kindergarten, running a Playgroup as part of the integrated service offered there.


She then went to be head teach at Waiwhetu and Pencarrow Kindergartens before returning to Porirua to provide a pathway in tutoring Early Childhood programme level 4 certificate at New Zealand Management Academy (NZMA), a private training institute.


After working as a senior teacher for a period, Simone was seconded to Ngāti Toa iwi to work as the Education Services Manager and has returned with the learnt experience of the iwi moemoea.


Kia tu ai a Ngāti Toa Rangatira; Hei iwi Toa, hei iwi Rangatira.


“Ngāti Toa is a strong, vibrant and influential iwi, firmly grounded in our cultural identity and leading change to enable whānau wellbeing and prosperity”


Now based at Whānau Manaaki again, Simone continues to work on partnership between the kindergarten association and the iwi to enable an authentic relationship, “to enhance the capability of a strong Te Tiriti organisation, centred around employing Māori across the association to lead Māori initiatives alongside colleagues.”


She also works with eight kindergartens and teaching teams in the Wellington north area.


Simone has enjoyed learning about the different communities that make up Whānau Manaaki kindergartens, as well as different leadership styles and teaching teams.


Mauri ora



First Aid


The first aid courses for 2022 are now up on Tūhonohono for booking.  You will get reminder emails to say when your certification is expiring, however you can pre-empt these and book now!


Pays Over Christmas and New Year


The next pay is on Tuesday 14 December.  The following pay on Tuesday 28 December is a Public Holiday, therefore your pay will be deposited into your account on the evening of Friday 24 December.


The Payroll Team won’t have long to process this pay, as the office will be closed from 22 December, so we need kindergartens to send in their returns a little early and ensure all leave has been applied for.

  • On Friday 17 December send in Returns/Confirm Staff Sync Roster:
    • Week of 13-17 Dec as usual
  • On Monday 20 December send your prediction for:
    • Week of 20-22 Dec; and
    • if you have any changes to your prediction, on your last day 22 Dec, send in an amended Return/Staff Sync Confirmation by 9am.


If you have any questions please email Payroll here and someone in the team can help you.  Or you can email Karen.     


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


Ke tei pēhea koe? We are pleased to share that you can continue to access Te Rito Maioha member benefits in 2022, including He Pātaka Reo | Te Reo Pantry!


He Pātaka Reo is an online course designed to support you to build confidence in speaking te reo Māori. There are 3 stages, starting with pronunciation and greetings introduces, and leading into more activity-based language.


If you haven’t begun the He Pātaka Reo | Te Reo Pantry online course, or are not sure where to start, please email members@ecnz.ac.nz or call us on 0800 322 384. The most important thing to remember when you go to sign in, is that your username is your full @wmkindergartens.org.nz email address.


If you are part way through, keep it up | kia kaha koe! 


If you have completed stage 1, 2 & 3, good for you | tau ke koe!  We are looking forward to launching stage 4 early in 2022!


In the meantime, remember to check out the other range of member resources available to you. These include downloadable posters with te reo Māori and English translations, the Waiata Resource | Rauemi Waiata which offers a collection of formal and informal waiata for you to learn and share with your tamariki, and other free to member PLD such as the Terrific Two-year olds! | Ka mau te wehi! webinar. 


MP Visit Increases Awareness Of Kindergarten  


Newtown Kindergarten welcomed Labour list MP Ibrahim Omer to kindergarten this week.


Here’s what Ibrahim said on his Facebook page about Newtown Kindergarten:

“I got to meet the incredibly skilled and experienced teachers that work hard to ensure that every child has equal opportunities to the experiences connections, resources and services that support their development and learning. “


“Thank you for inviting me over, the kids were wonderful and I had so much fun. Big thanks to Erin and the team for everything you do.”


“We will continue to listen and engage around how we can better support our teachers.”


The focus of the visit was to talk about the campaign, Ngā Aukaha All in for Tamariki, which is about the underfunding of Learning Support services. The NZEI Te Riu Roa – led campaign aims for all tamariki to access the support they need to thrive.


The teaching team, children and families appreciated the visit.


“Thank you, Ibrahim, for being so open, and receptive to hearing our stories and experiences.”

Ibrahim is a former refugee from Eritrea, and Newtown’s kindergarten community includes refugee families and Eritrean families.


All kindergartens are encouraged to invite MPs to their kindergarten, including from all political parties.


It’s important that governments and politicians understand the vital role of early education, and hosting visits can have a lasting impact on MP’s understanding. This in turn helps us ensure that our services continue to be funded so we can maintain and improve what we offer children and families.


Politicians remember the visits to kindergarten far more than reading a submission about quality ECE.


If you need support to invite your MP along to kindergarten, or want to know who is a suitable MP to invite to your service, or what messages to give when they come, please email Jenny.  We’d love to hear from you!




Government Funding for Rheumatic Fever Vaccine


The Government is supporting the development of a vaccine to help prevent rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.


“Rheumatic fever can have a devastating impact, especially for Māori and Pacific children and young people,” associate health minister Ayesha Verrall said.


“As an infectious diseases doctor, I cared for rangatahi who experienced some of the worst outcomes from this illness. Several had heart valve replacements that became infected, and some suffered strokes. I remember one young woman who needed a heart transplant, and later tragically died.”


The University of Auckland will lead research next year into the vaccine development, which will complement existing work underway in Australia.


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