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 25 February 2021


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Nau mai ki tenei wiki Kōrero.  


Our new HR and PLD system, which we have been working on for the past 18 months, is nearing go live date.  We are excited to introduce you to this below and will talk more about it at the upcoming Regional Staff meetings.  A big thanks to those staff and kindergarten teams that have been part of the user testing.


Poipoia te kakano, Kia puawai

Nurture the seed and it will blossom.




Senior Teacher Announcement: Simone Leaupepe and Ottalie Holmes


Senior Teacher Simone Leaupepe has been offered, and has taken up an awesome secondment opportunity to act in the role of Education Service Manager at Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira.  A key part of her role will be managing a team of educational experts to deliver learning support to ensure the best outcomes for iwi whānau in their work every day.


This is a fabulous opportunity for Simone, and we know that Ngati Toa Iwi will benefit enormously from her experience and passion for te ao Māori and lifelong learning.


We wish her well in her new role, and know that our paths will cross regularly.


Tū honohono tāngata  tuituia kaupapa I runga I te tika, te pono me te aroha…ka eke

If you get the connection right, if you get the kaupapa together, you do it in the right way winning with the people you are working with.


We are pleased to be able to share that Ottalie Holmes, will be stepping into the role of Senior Teacher whilst Simone is on secondment.


Ottalie brings with her a wealth of experience in leadership, has a focus on sustainability and maintains a beautiful calm and nurturing presence.


Ottalie has had a number of leadership positions in the Association, and was the Head Teacher of Arohanui, and Betty Montford Kindergartens in Levin. Ottalie also held the position of Across Sector Lead for the Horowhenua Kāhui Ako.


We know that you will all wish her well, and welcome her warmly into this new role.



Mōhio tonu te rangatira – kei whea a mua

Leadership is leading form the front, but also knowing where the back is


Sharon and the Senior Teachers


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 

Remember it’s that time of year again to create your Year Planner 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 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 (today) 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 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 have finalised venues for regional clusters. The seminars will be from 9.00am – 1.00pm with a senior teacher at each venue to facilitate discussion.  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 it is currently with the editor.


End of Month Infocare Cut-Off


A reminder that this week is the last working week of the month and we will be working on Board and Kindergarten reports for the month of February.


Your Infocare records for February need to be completed tomorrow.  This means we would like you to complete the following tasks in Infocare, up to and including Friday 26 February, as appropriate:


  • Sign in sheets marked in Infocare (actual attendance)
  • Fee invoices created and committed
  • Staff timetables (“staff hour count”) completed
  • Online sign off of your monthly roll return
  • Any ratio, attendance or roll issues are communicated to the Porirua Office (please call Tania on 04 232 3069 or 0800 546 337)


Tania will follow up with you if she has any questions related to your records.




Here are the updated StaffSync training schedules.  We made a few changes in response to some requests and those should be shown on here now. 

There have a been a couple of questions:

  1. What about people, like Administrators, who work in more than one kindergarten? 
    1. They need to go to at least one training.  We suggest they go to their first one on the schedule with their Head Teacher.  If they want to go to more, with each team, that’s totally fine.  We will pay administrators for any training they attend if it’s outside their normal paid hours.
  2. What about other support staff, such as KBSs and Teacher Aides, should they come to the team training session?
    1. We would love them to if they can.  All staff need to learn how to use the app for applying for leave etc so if they can come to the training with the team that would be great.  If they can’t they will need to be given some tutoring and support from the team.  If they are able to come we will pay them if it’s outside their normal paid hours. 
  3. What do we do to book a reliever?
    1. If you need a reliever/relievers just do what you would normally do.  It’s great if you can let your Reliever Coordinator know that it is for the StaffSync training as they will try, where they can, to coordinate the relievers and book them for the whole day (a morning at one kindergarten and an afternoon at another).

Just a wee reminder the Head Teacher and Administrator training is for two hours.


If you have any other questions just get in touch. 


Storypark Update


As mentioned last week Storypark have sent the following information through about some changes that they have made this week. Please let Lynette know if you have any questions at lynette.wray@wmkindergartens.org.nz.


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




Tūhonohono - A New System For HR and Professional Development


As part of Whānau Manaaki’s operational review we will be introducing a new HR and PLD system, Tūhonohono, which will replace HR.Net for professional development opportunities and for HR activities in the office.


Tūhonohono means connecting or weaving, and it will make it easier for staff to find courses and book them, and then to make any changes to bookings.  For office staff, it will streamline HR and PLD processes.  Tūhonohono will also connect with other systems we have or are introducing including Staffsync and Jobadder.


We have been working on this new system for a while now and it is exciting that we are nearly at go live. Tūhonohono has been trialled by four of our kindergartens after user testing around the region.


There have been issues with HR.Net for several years, particularly that it wasn’t compatible with the most commonly used browsers, so it is great to have a replacement system that is user friendly and will not cause so many issues for staff.  


WM email addresses will be used to access this system so this is a great time to check that your email has been activated.


There will be more information about Tūhonohono at the Regional meetings.




As you may know there is no annual conference or whole staff meeting this year because of the constraints and uncertainty imposed by Covid 19.


Normally our conference is organised up to a year in advance, with costs incurred as a result. Last year we had to spend money despite eventually cancelling the conference.  This year we are taking a cautious approach to all our professional development, with smaller numbers and venues to allow social distancing.


Watch out for additional professional development opportunities during the year, including some on-line offerings. 


Promoting Our Kindergartens


At this time of the year many kindergartens are holding promotional stalls at festivals and other community events.  Remember, there are promotional materials stored at a various kindergartens to support you in this.  We are in the process of getting materials for a Whanganui based kindergarten. 


Each kindergarten has a gazebo, a banner, two flags and several flyers.  Here are the kindergartens to contact if you need these materials:


Toru Fetū  Kindergarten, Porirua, 

Una Williams and South End Kindergartens, Wairarapa

Silverstream Kindergarten, Upper Hutt

Newtown Kindergarten, Wellington

Raumati Beach Kindergarten, Kapiti Coast

Taitoko and Timatanga Hou Kindergartens, Horowhenua

Tawa Central Kindergarten, Wellington North 


Who Runs Whānau Manaaki – Meet Our Board


Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens is run by a board that consists mainly of community representatives.  Over the coming weeks we will introduce you to each of our board members.


Our board chair is Amy Weightman, who has been on the board for eight years. Amy works for the New Zealand Police and she says while the police are often the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff she wanted to get involved to help improve outcomes for kids a bit earlier in their lives.


Amy has two children, Lenny and Ash, now both at school in Johnsonville.  She says although her children are finished at kindergarten she is strongly motivated to stay involved at kindergarten because of its values.


Amy says it's difficult with the current funding settings to keep Whānau Manaaki’s values of affordability and accessibility, but it is important that we live up to the things that set us apart.


Amy has been involved in the transition of our association, from Wellington and Rimutaka Associations to form Whānau Manaaki, and with the Whanganui and Central Plateau Kindergartens coming on board. She is also keen to stay involved as we move to Kindergartens Aotearoa – which is about building a future for the whole kindergarten movement.


“We have to keep focused on the future, to maintain our philosophy and values which are the foundation stone of our commitment to children, their whānau and our communities.”                                                                     


Statistics Show Child Poverty Persists, While Strong Public Support For Benefit Increases


Latest figures show a slight improvement in child poverty before the Covid 19 pandemic took effect in New Zealand.  The statistics were released as part of the child poverty monitoring programme, but only covered the period until March last year.


Since Covid-19 there is an expectation that poverty has got worse for many children. Māori and Pacific children and those with disabilities are significantly more likely to live in material hardship, meaning there is not enough money for essentials like fresh fruit and vegetables and shoes.


The figures were described as shocking and disappointing by the Child Poverty Action Group, which called for the government to raise benefits and take urgent action on housing.


"We’ve long said that poverty for children is a huge problem and doing just a little bit will not be enough," says Child Poverty Action Group spokesperson Professor Innes Asher.  "We urgently need the government to raise income support significantly for our children in families receiving benefits, and the government needs to use a multi-pronged approach to tackling the housing crisis."


"Discrimination is the reason why children who are disabled, or who have a disabled caregiver or sibling, are more likely to go without," says Professor Asher. "It doesn’t have to be this way - other countries such as the UK acknowledge families with disabilities have greater expenses, and they support those families."


Hardship rates for Māori and especially Pacific children are still far above national rates overall: nearly one in five Māori children (19%) live in material hardship (around 54,000 children), and more than 1 in four Pacific children (25.4% or around 37,000 children) compared to just over 1 in ten children overall (11% or 125,000 children).


Overall, 168,000 children are still in the severest income poverty, below the 40% income poverty line.


The statistics were released in the same week as an opinion poll showing nearly seventy per cent of New Zealanders want the Government to increase income support for those on lower incomes. Young people, lower paid people and renters were more likely to support an increase in income support payments.


Here’s a link to a story from RNZ.                                              


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