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 25 November 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.


Vaccination Mandate – 2nd Dose


Now that the first deadline of 15 November has passed, we need to start thinking about the next one of 1 January 2022.  All people who are working or volunteering in ECE services must be fully vaccinated by then, i.e. have had two doses of the vaccine.   


In practical terms, for us that really means we need to have collected all the vaccination evidence we can by Wednesday 22 December as this is the last working day of the year for our services and our office.


The vast majority of you have already had two doses and have sent in your proof – thank you.  If you have recently had your second dose, or receive it over the next few weeks, please send it in to covidvac@wmkindergartens.org.nz .


We will be starting to contact people we haven’t heard from over the next few weeks. 


Volunteer - Vaccination List


Please remember that Volunteer Lists will come out later today. If you don’t receive a list it is because there were no new volunteers attested this week for your kindergarten. If you got one last week but not this week you can assume the one you have is still current.                                   

Profiling Our Senior Teachers


Andy Cairns

Andy grew up in Oamaru and after she left school, moved to Dunedin for study and work. She remains very much a South Islander, despite moving to Wellington more than ten years ago.


Andy began studying for a social work degree before realising young children were her passion. She completed a degree in early childhood teaching at the College of Education and went on to work at several community-based services in Dunedin.


While working as a supervisor at Otago University Childcare Association, she was asked to lecture at the Dunedin College of Education and found that she loved it.  She then worked full time delivering professional development through the College, to ECE services in the wider Otago region, focusing on Te Whāriki and Kei Tua O Te Pae. 


Through this work, Andy formed strong relationships with Pacific centres in the Otago Southland region, and became familiar with the difficulties they encountered in a system which did not cater for Pacific needs.  She had strong Pacific mentors in both the College of Education and within the community, that nurtured her learning in the Pacific space. During this time Andy completed her Masters in Education, with a focus on Pacific Leadership in ECE.


After a change of government, funding for professional development was cut and Andy came to Wellington for greater opportunities.


She relieved in kindergartens before gaining a Senior Teacher position which enabled her to continue working to deliver professional development and to further her interest in Pacific oriented services.


Andy has been involved in the Teaching Council sitting on a number of committees and has been on the Ministerial advisory group for Tapasā. She has worked with the wider early childhood sector to offer PD on Pacific education, feeling a responsibility to share her expertise. She has also lobbied for systemic changes to support Pacific teachers to get registered.  In the past few years Andy has been working with Pacific teachers to get learning support qualifications, to provide more culturally appropriate support to Pacific families.


Andy is married to Whānau Manaaki Chief Executive Mandy Coulston and lives in Lower Hutt with extended family including three-year-old Kōwhai and their very pampered dog Bruce.  

While work, family and dogs keep Andy busy, she also loves keeping up with the ever-changing culinary culture of Wellington.




Catha Ritchie

Catha worked in retail including selling shoes at Hannah’s after leaving school, but always knew she would end up working with children.


Catha had younger sisters who she loved looking after, and everyone told her she should be a teacher.  After her own daughter was born she was involved in the Plunket Society’s Karitane family centre, running a playgroup and workshops as well as fundraising.


Later she was involved in Playcentre and at a local playgroup in Upper Hutt.  She had the opportunity to study for a teaching qualification through a programme called Te Ara Hou, which involved studying at night, initially in Lower Hutt and later in Karori through the College of Education. 


While training, Catha worked at the William Booth Centre in Upper Hutt, a Salvation Army centre, and began relieving for the then Upper Hutt Kindergarten Association.


In 2001 she taught at Heretaunga Kindergarten before becoming head teacher at Doris Nicholson.  She later worked at Palm Cottage Centre (now Matariki Kindergarten). 


After time off for travel and a stint of relieving, Catha moved to the Wairarapa, which was by then part of the Remutaka Association.


She worked at Greytown Kindergarten where she was able to use her love of music and sustainability to contribute to the programme and begin Ngahere – the bush kindergarten experience.  


Catha comes from a musical family, and plays the guitar, ukulele and keyboard. She has been involved in choirs and productions, and she uses music to connect with children whenever she visits a kindergarten.  She is interested in the role of music in brain development and emotional regulation.  


She loves being a senior teacher because every day is different – its never boring.


Outside of kindergarten, as well as music she loves motorbike riding. She’s on her third bike now, an Indian chief vintage.


Her granddaughter Freya, 9, lives nearby as well as other family in the Wairarapa.


Catha lives on a lifestyle block with Highlander cattle, Wiltshire sheep, a goat and a dog and plenty of veges.  



Senior Teacher Update 


Kia ora koutou katoa,  


Regional Staff Meetings 

Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to enrol on Tūhonohono prior to attending your regional staff meeting.  Due to Covid Level 2 restrictions we have needed to keep our numbers fairly tight and have appreciated your support with this.


A few people have expressed difficulties in finding the Regional Meeting to enrol on.  The first box on your dashboard has meetings or courses on which you are already enrolled.  You have to scroll down to see the box that offers all courses that are available.  Then you have to search there.  Our search convention is Year then course/meeting, so for example 2021 Regional  will bring up the entire list of Regional Meetings that are open for enrolment and you choose the one you want.  If you still can't see the course to enrol into it will mean the course is full.  


If you are still to enrol for your regional meeting next week and need some support, please contact Kaz, she will be able to help you.


Remember that each venue needs us to scan in, hand-sanitize and wear masks when entering and moving around the venue.


The venue will be set out with a space for each teaching team so we can support social distancing and some 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 Whāriki.
WHRegional Staff MeetingTuesday, 30 November 20214.00pm to 6.00pmKingsgate Hotel
CPRegional Staff MeetingWednesday, 1 December 20214.00pm to 6.00pmVENUE Change: Waiouru Community Hall
CNRegional Staff MeetingThursday, 2 December 20213.30pm to 5.30pmPorirua Club



Parihaka: 29 November 3.30pm in Te Puna Porirua Office - 4 Places Left!

Take the opportunity to enrol and learn about a significant event in our history.  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.




2021 Waste Minimisation: 1 December 3.30pm at Plimmerton Kindergarten

Postponed until 2022 - watch out for a new date in the new year. 


End Of Month Infocare Cut-Off


A reminder that next week is financial month end (Tuesday 30 November) and we will be working on Board and Kindergarten reports for the month of November shortly.


Can you please complete your Infocare administration for November by 3pm on Wednesday 1 December.  This means we would like you to complete the following tasks in Infocare, up to and including Monday 30 November, as follows:


  • Sign in sheets marked in Infocare (actual attendance)
  • Fee invoices created and committed (for the week ending Friday 26 November)
  • Staff timetables (“staff hour count”) completed
  • Online sign off of your monthly roll return.


Any ratio, attendance or roll issues should be communicated to the Wellington Association Office (please call Tania on 04 232 3069 or 0800 546 337).  Tania will also follow up with you if she has any questions related to your records.


Thanks again for your assistance with this.


Head Teacher Release Days/Professional Time


In last week’s Kōrero we had a message about being able to carry over any unused HT Days into next year.  This may have been confusing and we apologise. 


Your entitlements are, and what we are saying is:

  • The Collective Agreement gives all HTs four days per year;
  • Whānau Manaaki gives one additional day, to support work on the Professional Growth Cycle for your team;
  • Therefore you get five HT Days per year.
  • If you haven’t used your five days this year, and don’t want to, you can carry over any unused days to Term 1 2022. 

Again, apologies for any confusion.  Do get in touch with your Senior Teacher, or one of the People Team at the office, if you have further questions.  


First Aid Course


Whānau Manaaki is offering a combined on-line/hands-on Comprehensive First Aid course (facilitated by NZ Red Cross).  The hands-on component is being run on Friday 10 December, 8.30am to 5.30pm, in Te Puna at the Porirua office.  The on-line component must be completed before that date (this will take roughly 8 hours).


This course is not open on Tūhonohono - the only way to enrol is through Kaz.  Numbers are limited. 


Please note the following criteria for enrolment:

  • If Friday is a normal day of work for you, then you will need to book the day as Leave Without Pay
  • With few exceptions, this course will cost you $189 minus the usual $65 cost for a Refresher/Renewal First Aid (so $124)
  • All people who have contact with children are eligible for this course
  • Whānau Manaaki intends for all teachers to have their First Aid.

If you are unable to attend this course, but wish to attend one in the new year, then please contact Kaz and let her know.  She will work with you on finding a course on a convenient date in your area.




We are aware that there is an issue with some of the entries on your “To Do” list on GOSH, please don’t panic!  We are working with the team at GOSH to address this issue.


When you are completing the termly Hazard Checklist form, please note that the form requires you to scroll across if you have added anything that requires an action at the bottom of the form.

So in the Issues Identified area you need to scroll across to complete the other boxes – we are working with GOSH to get this sorted for Term 1 2022.


If you have any questions regarding GOSH, please don’t hesitate to contact Lorraine.   


IT - Printers And Computers


From Friday GoCloud will be ringing each of the Kindergartens to configure the printers and undertake a brief stocktake of computers.


Please ensure that you have to hand the serial numbers of the laptops/computers you have in the kindergarten so they can be sure to accurately capture what is where when they call. 


Maisie Chilton Features On TV               


Watch this inspiring story from Tai Tamariki Kindergarten Kaiako and artist Maisie Chilton. 


Kindergarten Collective Agreement – Have Your Say


The Kindergarten Teachers’ Collective Agreement expires next year, and NZEI Te Riu Roa is holding online hui for worksite representatives in the next few weeks.


Teachers should discuss their issues for the collective agreement negotiations, and make sure their worksite representatives take part in the hui.


More information is available here.


Leadership Study Opportunities


Te Rito Maioha offers an educational leadership programme for those interested in further study.


Te Rito Maioha is a not-for-profit early childhood organisation that has been operating nearly 60 years. It provides undergraduate and post graduate qualifications and advocates for the early childhood sector.


The leadership programme covers practical skills for teachers, supports them to feel more confident in leadership roles, and engage in social justice work and advocacy.  


The programme is designed for working kaiako and leaders.  


If you want to ask questions or find out more, there is an online session tonight and another next week where you can meet lecturers.


Thursday 25 November, 7.00 pm or Thursday December 9, 7.00 pm.


Here’s the link.


Porirua Pacific Vaccination Event


After a recent weather-related postponement, the Pacific Covid 19 Vaccination event #Doitfortheeast Vax Fest went ahead over the weekend in Waitangirua, Porirua.


Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens Community Services Senior Lead Caroline Mareko said the event was a great success with 310 vaccinations administered to community in Porirua East on the day, over half of them first doses.


Caroline would like to thank all staff who promoted the event, organized volunteers for the vax transport service and kept kids entertained with bubble wands, sidewalk chalk and over one hundred packets of playdough made for the day!


The #Doit4theeast Vax Fest was co-ordinated with help from the Pacific Community, the Porirua City Council and the Capital and Coast District Health board.



Lesley Rameka Wins Award


Well-known early childhood expert Lesley Rameka has won a prestigious award for her contribution to Māori education. It’s the Te Tohu Pae Tawhiti Award from the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE), and it recognises high quality research over a significant period.


Dr Rameka works at the University of Waikato and has been involved in early childhood education for over 35 years, beginning her journey began in kohanga reo.  She has presented at Whānau Manaaki and Wellington Kindergarten Association conferences several times and her presentations have changed practices to benefit Māori children and all children.   


Dr Rameka has been National President of Te Rito Maioha since 2016, and has researched, published, and contributed to dozens of publications related to Māori education and early childhood education over the past two decades. 


Appointments and Resignations


Congratulations to the following on their recent appointments:



Timothy Ma


Owhiro Bay

Michelle Penn

Head Teacher

Betty Montford

Liz Heap

Head Teacher

Harriette Vine

Paula Kirby

.6 Teacher


Michelle Vestal

.6 Teacher


Michelle Haigh



Louise Davies

.65 Teacher until Oct 2022


Eileen Rackham

Teacher until Oct 2022



We wish all the best to the following who have resigned:



Helen Renwick



Frances Robinson

.5 Teacher


Kathryn Shaw



Amber Burke



Damien Toms


Maxwell & Districts and Totara Puku


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