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 4 February 2021


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Nau mai ki tenei wiki Kōrero.  


Waitangi Day on Saturday, 6 February, 2021 marks the 181-year anniversary since the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.  Monday, 8 February is the public holiday to observe Waitangi Day.  


However you choose to celebrate this significant day I hope you have a great one.


Piki atu ki te taumata o tōku maunga,

ka kite au i te mana,

i te ihi o te whenua nei nō ōku tūpuna.   

I climb to see the summit of my mountain to see the land of my ancestors.  




Important - Early Cut Off - Wellington Anniversary Day



As it is Waitangi Day observance on Monday 8 February can all relievers please make sure you have your hours correctly recorded in Staff Sync by 3pm on Fri 5 Feb so we can process your pay for this week 1 - 5 Feb 2021.


Head Teachers

All end of week returns etc need to be in by 12 noon Friday 5 Feb, please.


Also, a couple of reminders regarding Staff Sync:

  • Please book your relievers through the Coordinators – this is really important as the Relievers need to be entered into Staff Sync for their pay.
  • Head Teachers/Teachers - Please make sure you tell the Reliever Coordinator if you book a short term reliever in advance yourself, or if the hours you asked for a reliever have changed. 
  • Short Term Relievers - Please make sure you let the Reliever Coordinators know if you accept an advance booking from a kindergarten, so they can be loaded into StaffSync. 
  • If you have been asked to work in a Long Term Relieving position longer than 6 weeks or more please make sure you make yourself unavailable in the Staff Sync calendar, and advise the reliever coordinators.
  • If you cannot make a job, after accepting it, please make sure you let Nicki or Dhanaye know so that they can remove you from that job in Staff Sync and find a replacement.

Thanks everyone. If you have any questions you can email Karen at

karen.skett@wmkindergartens.org.nz or phone 021 857826.


StaffSync – Changes Ahead For All Teams And Staff


We will be sending an email to all kindergartens this afternoon with information about significant developments using StaffSync.  There will also be a schedule of training workshops attached to that.  Please look out for it as it contains really important information.  Please make sure all Teachers and Administrators in your team get to see it.   


Contact Karen Skett if you have questions. 


Update On Fraedom And Credit Card Rollout


As you will be aware the use of cheques is being phased out by the major Banks so we will not be able to accept cheques as payment and/or issue petty cash cheques from May.


We have started the process of rolling out credit cards and a new online/phone app called “Fraedom” for Head Teachers to record and code their transactions and receipts.  This will replace the current petty cash cheque system.


Whanganui and Central Plateau Head Teachers are successfully up and running on Fraedom and over the coming weeks the rollout and user training for other Head Teachers will be continuing.


Upper Hutt and Wairarapa Head Teachers are scheduled for training in mid-February and training for remaining Head Teachers is planned for late March, early April. 


We will contact you via email soon with details of the upcoming training sessions.


For any questions about this process and/or our current banking arrangements please email julie.muller@wmkindergartens.org.nz or karyn.lewis@wmkindergartens.org.nz


Senior Teacher Update


Kia ora koutou katoa,


The Senior Teacher team are continuing our work on the key projects such as the Te Manawa Review, developing the HWM Professional Cycle and planning for PLD for this year.


Please have a read through all of the information below, and contact your ST or Sharon Coulton if you have any additional queries, questions or suggestions!


Kindergarten Year Planners 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 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 are just finalising venues around the regions for the clusters, and will let you all know asap where your closest cluster will be held. The seminars will be from 9.00am – 1.00pm with a Senior Teacher at each venue to facilitate discussion.  


We will share more details over the next couple of weeks, and in the meantime please make sure you add 6 March to your calendar and talk with your Senior Teacher if you have any questions, or contact Lynette.


Professional Growth Cycle

The Teaching Council are looking to implement The Professional Growth Cycle In February 2021 (alongside the implementation of the Annual Certification Cycle).


As you know we are working on developing a HWM Professional Growth Cycle with a group of teachers, and this mahi is in its final stages now - watch this space!


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 we will share more information about this going forward  - again watch this space!


Social Competency Review

The Senior Teachers are also in the final stages of completing this review. Thank you to those of you who sent through feedback, suggestions, and ideas – much appreciated! We will keep you informed going forward in Term 1 2021.


New Sick Leave Law                         


Whānau Manaaki teacher Jo Young spoke at parliament last week about proposed changes to sick leave provisions.


The Education and Workforce Select committee is considering a bill that would amend sick leave provisions, so everyone is entitled to 10 days sick leave rather than five.


Jo, who teaches at Awatea Kindergarten, spoke about community wellbeing, particularly with a global pandemic where people are encouraged to stay home if sick, but in some cases cannot afford to.


She also said kaiako encourage whānau to keep sick children at home, and need to follow the same advice.


Jo showed a Ministry of Health guide about infectious diseases to the committee (which has minimum times off for chicken pox, conjunctivitis etc.)


While the Kindergarten Teachers Collective Agreement has nine days sick leave, most early childhood teachers are not covered by a collective agreement, and so only get the statutory five days leave at the moment.  Jo says early childhood teachers are exposed to a wide range of infections, and also to injuries.  


The bill is expected to be reported back to parliament in April, and passed by the middle of the year.


Bills can change as a result of Select committee deliberations, but if it passes in its current form it would take effect two months after it becomes law, which would be later this year.  If that happens it would be good news for those kindergarten teachers who are currently getting to use only five days paid sick leave a year, under a translation exercise that applies to the current collective agreement. This relates to the previous arrangements where sick leave was allocated in five year blocks. For more on this, see below.


Sick Leave Provisions


Now that you can see your Sick Leave entitlements on your payslip, we know that this has caused a bit of confusion for some of you about how your entitlement works. 


The Collective Agreement in 2017 changed the whole provision for Sick Leave – it removed the Additional Entitlement (the ‘lumps’ of Sick Leave every few years) and increased the entitlement to 9 days per year.  However, that agreement also contained Transition Provisions for those already employed, who had previously received entitlements under the old provisions. 


The Ministry of Education and NZEI, at negotiations, agreed that Transition Provisions would apply.  Then they and Kindergarten Associations, went through a process to agree how the Transition would work and how the sick leave would be calculated.  We then wrote to all teachers in December 2017 showing their individual calculations and what this would mean for them in terms of how many days they would have available to use. Basically we had to look at your years of service and calculate how much you would have received under the new sick leave of 9 days per year, then compare that to what you had actually received under the old provisions.


What this means for some teachers is that while you get 9 days per year, if you have received the Additional Entitlements in the past – technically in advance – then, depending on your individual circumstances, it may be that you only get to use 5 new days per year as the other days are ‘paying back’ what you have already had or used. 


We know this is perhaps confusing and also tricky because the new Collective Agreement makes no mention of the Transition Provisions that were agreed at Negotiations and consultation.  For more information about this we recommend that you have another look at the letter you received in December 2017 and then you can contact NZEI or us and we can see if we can answer your questions. 


Of course, if the law changes this year to give everyone ten days sick leave (see the article above) then these arrangements may no longer apply. We are watching the progress of the legislation and we will keep you up to date with any changes.


Art In Early Childhood


If you are passionate about the visual arts in early childhood you will want to hook up to this symposium.  You will learn about and discuss a range of theories, practices problems and inspirations to impact pedagogy and practice. The cost is $40 per person or $80 for a team!


Click here to find out more information about this symposium as well as how to register.  


Click here to find out a bit more information about the speakers at this symposium.






Last week Mandy talked about Covid-19.  She mentioned checking to see that your signage and QR code posters were up to date, or needing reprinted.


Here is the link for all of the posters that can be downloaded and printed to display at your kindergarten.


If you need to reprint your QR code poster you will need to contact Tania.


Vaccination Questions Answered


With a vaccination programme available for Covid 19 rolling out in a few month’s time,  it’s good for us to have some solid knowledge about vaccine safety and effectiveness. 


Here are some answers from Auckland University scientist Joel Rindelaub about how the vaccine was developed so quickly.  This information was first published in the news website, The Spinoff.  

  1. Money - Heaps and heaps of money. Without worrying about funding, scientists could start clinical trials as soon as they were ready, while also doing parts of them simultaneously. This saved a huge amount of time. 
  2. Recruitment 
    There was no shortage of volunteers for the clinical trials, and there was plenty of money around to compensate them appropriately. In studies that rely on using people, finding enough of those people is often one of the major difficulties in getting a project started.
  3. Technology
    We have learned a significant amount from the previous SARS and MERS outbreaks, to the point where Moderna was able to have the blueprint for their vaccine just two days after learning the virus genome. This, along with mRNA technology, has been decades in the making; the science behind this wasn’t just thrown together in less than a year.
  4. Phase 3 trials happened fast 
    Like, really fast. This is the step where you either vaccinate or give the placebo to a large number of people. You then sit back and wait for enough people to get Covid-19 naturally so you can judge how well the vaccine worked. Ordinarily, this can take years. But this wasn’t an ordinary year. A raging global pandemic gave us sufficient case numbers in record time. 

So there you have it. A perfect storm of events came together, and scientists used them to come out on top. All the same safety testing was still carefully completed, it was just able to be conducted faster without restrictions.  It’s really quite an amazing feat, a “landing on the moon” moment of our generation if you will. And it goes to show that if we seriously invest in science, we might actually be able to save the world after all. 


Writing For Children


Following our successful publishing initiative last year, there’s a workshop on writing for children running this year at Wellington High School if anyone is interested. It’s on a Saturday, and runs three times during the year if there is enough interest.


Here’s the link to more information. 


New Laws On Rental Housing


New laws take effect next week to give more protection to tenants. Landlords will no longer be able to evict people with 90 days notice without giving a reason.   


Tenants will be able to make minor changes to properties with permission (eg picture hooks, earthquake measures to secure furniture etc) Landlords will not be able to refuse permission if the request is reasonable.


Rental bidding will be outlawed, where landlords play prospective tenants off against each other to increase the rent. All advertised properties must have a rental price listed.


Landlords must provide a written tenancy agreement, and the Tenancy Tribunal will be able to award sums of up to $100,000 against those who flout the law.


Here’s a link to the new law.


New School History Curriculum


The Ministry is developing a new history curriculum for schools, as New Zealand history becomes compulsory.  The Prime Minister announced last year that from 2022 New Zealand’s history would be taught in all schools and kura.


The Ministry wants to hear from as many people as possible about the draft curriculum. There are summaries available in ten languages. As the Ministry document says: This content is about you. The histories of Aotearoa are the histories of all people who live here.


Here’s the link to the community consultation materials. There’s a short video clip and a short survey for feedback, which should take about five minutes to complete once you have read the material.   The survey is also available in several languages.



Consultation is open until 31 May.


Sad Loss 


Rachel Hessell - 12.09.66 - 29.12.20 - St Johns Hill Kindergarten


We wish to honour our Kaiako, Rachel Hessell who passed away at the end of last year after a short battle with cancer.  Rachel started as a full time teacher at St Johns Hill Kindergarten in Whanganui on 1 July 2013.  We send our heartfelt condolences to her family and the team at St Johns Hill. Catherine, Sabine, Shelley, Tracey wrote of Rachel “she was a deeply loved team member and a wonderful part of our kindergarten community.  She was an amazing, dedicated teacher and loved the tamariki she taught.  Hold your children close and give them big hugs from us”.  We also wish to thank Viv and Rebecca (long term relievers) for supporting the team through this challenging journey. 


Rachel had a love for books that she shared with the tamariki. She was also interested in an environment that was nurturing and sustainable and was overjoyed to be able to see and be part of the recent playground developments at the kindergarten. 


Rachel was able to celebrate the marriage of her daughter, Grace, (pictured above) last year.  She leaves behind 3 grandchildren, her daughter Grace, sons Tom and Max, and husband Steve.


Her funeral was a very vibrant celebration of her life and was held on 2 January 2021 in Whanganui, attended by many of the Whanganui kaiako and members of He Whānau Manaaki management team. Rachel’s favourite phrase was “catch the happy”, and this truly epitomised her life and how she lived it.


 "Fly with the fantails now Rachel"

Appointments And Resignations


Congratulations to the following on their recent appointment:


Brigitte Hellberg.6 Teacher Miramar Central
Katrina FowlerHead TeacherRaumati Beach


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


Emma Hilleard.6 TeacherSilverstream

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