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  25 March 2021




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




Our latest news:









Nau mai ki tenei wiki Kōrero.  


Well this time a year ago we headed into our COVID lockdown.  Who would  have thought then we would be where we are now.  So many things have stayed the same, yet so many things have changed.  Certainly how we work or think about work has changed for many of us. 


Embracing new technology, systems and process can be a stressful time for people, yet we can support each other through these changes.  Please continue to do that, to talk to each other, read through training material or watch training videos, and remember to get in touch if you are having problems.  We are here to help you.


Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi Engari, he toa takitini

My successes are not mine alone, they are ours - the greatest successes we will have are from working together.






So we have been up and running for over a week now for all permanent and long term relieving teachers, administrators and Association Office staff and it has been great to see so many of you booking your PLD and advising us of any changes to your HR profiles.  


Some of you may have been having problems accessing Tūhonohono and we apologise for this.  With any new systems there are always teething issues, and issues that are identified only in the live environment.  Please let us know if things are not working for you as they should be and we will get you up and running.


Just a reminder that training for Tūhonohono is via a video and a guide which can be found in the Teachers' Toolbox in Storypark.  If you have any questions after viewing the video or if you have any access difficulties please contact Jan Hannon


All other staff, including Relievers, will be notified some time in the future when Tūhonohono will be available to them.  In the meantime if you are wanting to attend any PLD please email Kaz Craig and she will book you in.


HR.Net is no longer available for booking PLD, please do not try to access it.




We had our last training for leaders and administrators today.  Thank you so much to you all for being so ready to learn new ways of doing things.  We know that there will be parts of it that are easier to remember and parts that we’ll need to support you with – that’s fine, we’re really happy to work alongside you as we all learn together.  We will be developing some simple, flow-chart instructions on some key aspects, and will organise some on-line sessions with our StaffSync Trainers to go over things – we’ll let you know once these are ready.


The next part of our transition is to train all our staff in using the app to request leave etc.  We have set up sessions during the Term Break for whole teams, and you can see the schedule here.  This is only a short session but we are running them one after the other so it’s appreciated if you can do your best to be there on time so we can keep the days running smoothly. 


Thanks again everyone, please let us know if you have any questions or if there’s anything you need at this stage.  Karen


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


We are pleased to announce that we have been given the wonderful opportunity 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.


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.


We have a large number of spaces available  - but these are limited so please get in quick!


If you are interested in this online learning please complete this form here.  And if you have any questions just contact Karen Craig.


Once your interest has been accepted, you will be enrolled into the online course and will then receive an email to your WM account with your individual sign in information and information on how to access He Pātaka Reo.


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


Sharon, Kaz and the Senior Teacher Team


Storypark Update for Apple Devices


In April last year Storypark released a new ‘Storypark for Educators’ iOS app for all Apple devices. Some of you have probably already downloaded this to your kindergarten Ipads or IPods/Iphones, but for those of you still using the old iOS app it will stop working on 30 April 2021.


What do you need to do?

If you have already installed the new app on your Apple device, then you don’t need to do anything – this is the icon for the new app  


If you still have the old version of the app (a white background with a blue duck), you need to get the new version installed on all your devices before April 30th. You can click here from your device to download the new version.  The old app will no longer work and can be deleted. This will not delete your work, just the app.


There’s more information on Storypark – just click here: or let Lynette know if you have any problems.  


NB does not include Android phones or tablets. 


Fraedom Training


Here are the dates for the upcoming Fraedom training.  You will know already if you have to attend these sessions.


Mon 29 March, Southwards Car Museum (2 sessions)

Tue 30 March, WMK - Te Puna (2 sessions)

Tue 6 April, WMK Te Puna (2 sessions)

Wed 7 April, ASB Sports Centre (2 sessions)

Thu 8 April, WMK Te Puna (2 sessions) 


Nicki Cook Is Leaving Us       


As mentioned in last week's Kōrero we are very sad to be losing our wonderful Relieving Coordinator, Nicki.  Nicki has been with us since 2007, first as a Kindergarten Administrator, then taking on the Coordinator role, which we know so many of you have greatly appreciated over the last 10 years.  Sadly for us, but exciting for Nicki, she has decided it’s time to move on to new adventures. 


We will have a farewell for Nicki on Wednesday 31st March, from 3.30 pm, at the Supply Room in Mana (Porirua), in the upstairs room.  You are all welcome come along to say a big thank you to Nicki, say goodbye and wish her well.   If you definitely know you’re coming, it would be great if you could let Karen Skett know, but otherwise please feel free to just pop in. 


Safer Communities/Family Fun Day


On Saturday Moliga Taylor, Katie Fry and Raewyn McKenna organised a stall at the Whanganui District Council-led Safer Communities/Family Fun Day. 


Marketing and Comms provided the flag, flyers and brochures and Barsanti Kindergarten provided the mats and toys. We had general Whānau Manaaki Kindergarten brochures but we also had flyers specific to Putiki and Durie Hill Kindergartens, who both would like to increase their rolls. 


It is estimated that over 700 people attended this event so great exposure for our kindergartens.


If you have an event coming up and want some marketing material or to borrow the gazebo please contact Karen Craig and she can assist. 



Ottalie Seconded To Senior Teaching Team


Ottalie who is acting Senior Teacher at Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens has had a variety of teaching roles in different kindergartens including at Waiouru, Arohanui and Betty Montford.


She enjoys building relationships in the senior teacher role as well as the chance to see all the amazing things that kindergartens are doing.


Here she is pictured at Ruapehu with her husband David and daughter Aiyana. 


Whānau Manaaki Teacher Speaks Up


Wadestown Kindergarten Head Teacher Elle Whiteoak featured on television news this week speaking up for fair pay in the early childhood sector.


Elle spoke in relation to a survey by the union NZEI Te Riu Roa which highlights the challenges the sector faces in maintaining high quality, with the current teacher shortage fuelled by low pay rates in the sector outside of kindergarten.


The pay difference is $17,000 on average. Elle says the professional pay and conditions benefit teachers, children and the community in kindergarten.


The union says the early childhood sector is at crisis-point and pay parity needs to be delivered by the Government now.


Education Minister Chris Hipkins acknowledged there is "growing pressure in the ECE space." He is expected to take further steps towards pay parity in the budget on May 20. 


Here’s a link to the item. 


Housing Package


The government has introduced a new housing package that is expected to make it easier for first home buyers to get a home, and to stop rampart house price inflation, which could be good news for some of our families struggling to buy a house.


However the effect on rents is not so clear, with investors threatening to get out of housing, and some warning rents could go higher.  One third of New Zealanders rent their homes.  The organisation Renters United has called for a rent freeze or rent control.


The measures are expected to encourage investment in new rather than existing homes, to ease the housing shortage. 


Some economists say house prices could fall by around 10 per cent, which would still leave them well ahead of this time last year.


The changes include:

  • Extending the brightline test from five to 10 years, meaning those who sell a house (except their family home) will have to pay tax on the capital gain.
  • Axing a tax break that allows investors to claim mortgage interest as a business expense.
  • A $3.8 billion scheme for councils which will help free up vacant land for new homes.
  • Allowing Kāinga Ora to borrow a further $2b to buy land for housing.
  • Changing the rules to make more people eligible for first home grants.

Teach NZ Scholarships Available 


People with Māori or Pacific language and cultural skills are encouraged to apply for Teach NZ scholarships to train as early childhood teachers.


The scholarships pay course fees and an allowance and the current round is open to  anyone enrolled or planning to enrol in a teacher education programme from the middle of the year.  


The third and final application round is from 22 March to 21 April.

If you have any questions email TeachNZ or call 0800 165 225 or find more information on our website TeachNZ Scholarship Programme.


Long Career In Kindergarten


Chris Booth who is retiring from Otaki Kindergarten after more than 12 years says she has so many opportunities during her career in early childhood.


It was Playcentre experience that got her interested in working with young children.  Chris had been a nurse, and used those skills when she worked with CCS in Hawkes Bay in the 1980s, supporting children with additional needs. 


From there she moved to Wellington and trained at the College of Education in Karori, before taking up a position at Raumati South.  She  became head teacher at Ngahina Kindergarten, before moving to Ōtaki in 2008.


At the time, Ōtaki  Kindergarten was part of a Centre of Innovation programme which was about children’s relationship with the environment, and developing  respect for the natural world. Although the Centre of Innovation programme was axed before the kindergarten could finish it, those values remain strong at Otaki today.


Chris has seen huge changes over her time in early childhood education, including the change from two sessions a day to six hour days, but she says the introduction of Te Whariki was one of the most  siignificant.  


In retirement, Chris will spend time with her grandchildren, mostly in Wellington, and with her elderly mother. She’ll also have more time to spend on activities such as walking and gardening. She is grateful to Whānau Manaaki for the opportunities and encouragement she has been given.



Board News – Kyran Smith


Kyran Smith took the chance to stand for the Whānau Manaaki board because she was impressed at how the organisation had helped her wider family during a difficult time.

She liked the way Whānau Manaaki supported the family with their needs, going a step further than everyday support at kindy. “They really understood the needs of the whole family.”

In addition Kyran likes the values of Whānau Manaaki of quality and taking away barriers to attendance for every family.  


Kyran is a school principal at Kahurangi School in the Wellington suburb of Strathmore, and she thought she could contribute to the board from her background. She says the board is really high functioning, and it’s a diverse group of people with a range of experience.


“I’ve been nothing but impressed. I’ve only grown in respect since I’ve been on the board.“

 Kyran says although she already knew about the early childhood sector, having worked in early childhood before she trained as primary teacher, her time on the board has deepened her knowledge and appreciation, and this has fed through to her staff and to her colleagues in the school sector.


Kyran says although she is looking to the future with Kindergartens Aotearoa, Whānau Manaaki is already a leader in early childhood education.       




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