Early Learning Regional News – February 2017

Regional News / General News / Other News updates for February 2017 from the Directors of Education for each Ministry of Education region.

Tai Tokerau regional news

Tēnā koutou katoa – Pōwhiri ki 2017

We welcome a new staff member to our team – Te Riini Henare – who is an education adviser who will be working alongside Des, Sacha and Shar. She will be working mostly with licensed services, including home-based.

This year the Ministry will continue to focus on participation in quality early learning services. We would like to see all 4 year olds having spent time in an early learning service prior to starting school. Take time to work with whānau in your communities to support them into your services and work with the schools you feed into to give support when they find children that haven’t had this prior experience.

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

The development of Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako will also continue. In Kāhui Ako, schools, early learning services and tertiary providers will work together in their community to improve pathways and outcomes for learners.

Congratulations to the following early learning services that have been formally recognised by Minister Parata as being part of a Kāhui Ako.

Far North: Doubtless Bay Kindergarten, Mission Place Kindergarten, Anne West Kindergarten, Nau Mai Mokopuna, Footprints Educare, Manaia – Early Childcare and Education (home-based), Ahi Ka Home-based Childcare, Mauri (home-based), Mauri: Whanau (home-based), Nga Wawata Bi-lingual Early Childhood Centre Ltd.

Te Arahura (Kaikohe): PAUA – Northland Tuatahi (home-based), Kowhai Corner, Whiz Kids, Hillcrest Kindergarten.

Peowhairangi (Bay of Islands): Te Waenganui Childcare Centre, Paihia-Waitangi Kindergarten, Oromahoe Kindergarten.

Twin Coast: Mangawhai Kindergarten, Wellsford Kindergarten, Wellsford Preschool Education Centre, Before Six Early Educational Childhood Centre.

You can find out more about Kāhui Ako at www.education.govt.nz.

Educator of the Year award from the NZ Home-based ECE Association

Jacquie Elsby, an educator with Totally Northland Home-based Childcare.

Congratulations to Jacquie Elsby, an educator with Totally Northland Home-based Childcare.

Jacquie recently won an Educator of the Year award from the NZ Home-based ECE Association. The award is given to educators who maintain professional relationships and values that promote and ensure the holistic well being of themselves, the teams they work in, families and whānau, and children.

Totally Northland Home-based Childcare see Jacquie as someone who has a great work ethic that shows she is conscientious, hard-working, and continues to build on her professional knowledge in practice through professional development. She has built strong relationships with families in her area and demonstrates a commitment to the bicultural partnership of Aotearoa through the use of Te Reo Māori, waiata and exploring individual pepeha with the children and whānau she works with. She also offers amazing role modelling and support to other educators working for Totally Northland Home-based Childcare.

Teacher-led Innovation Fund (TLIF)

The TLIF supports teams of qualified teachers from early childhood education services me ngā kōhanga reo (early learning services), schools and kura, to collaboratively develop innovative practices to improve learning outcomes.

Qualified teachers from early learning services can now apply directly to TLIF with their enquiry project. Applications close on 13 April 2017.

For further information, including how to apply, please see the Ministry of Education website.

Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards

The Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in early childhood education, primary and secondary schooling. The focus for the 2017 awards is on the design of a responsive local curriculum (delivered through the innovative use of digital technologies) that meets the aspirations of students, their whānau and communities and achieves improved outcomes for children and young people.

Congratulations to Raumanga Kindergarten who were finalists in 2016 for the Excellence in Governing – Awatea Award.

The awards are currently open, with entries closing at 4pm on Friday 17 March 2017.

Please see the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards website (external link) for information on how to enter.

Hira Gage
Director of Education Tai Tokerau
Phone: 09 436 8914
Email: hira.gage@education.govt.nz

Auckland regional news

Ngā mihi o te tau hou

Happy New Year and welcome back. I hope that over the summer break you were able to recharge your batteries, connect with family and friends, and that you all managed to find a little sunshine somewhere.

The volume of new services being licensed in Auckland continues to exceed expectations, with 81 new providers joining the Auckland ECE community over the last year. This is a significant factor in the increased participation rates we have achieved over the last year (see below) and certainly keeps our Auckland staff busy! Along with new early childhood providers, 3 new schools have opened in Auckland this term – 2 primary schools in Takanini and 1 junior high school in Flat Bush. It is really exciting for us at the Ministry to see so much growth and innovation happening in the sector and so many new opportunities for our tamariki.

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

On 5 December, the Minister of Education announced the next group of Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako. Congratulations to the 6 approved in Auckland – Otāhuhu, Tuakau, Mt Albert, Papakura Kōtuitui, Waiorea and Farm Cove. This brings the number of Kāhui Ako in the Auckland region to 43, including 326 schools and kura.

This year our Kāhui Ako lead advisors will be turning their attention towards the early childhood sector, and seeking to increase the number of early learning services involved in and sharing in the benefits of Kāhui Ako membership.

NZCER has recently published findings (external link) from its 2016 survey, including the views of principals, teachers, boards of trustee members and parents on their experience of Kāhui Ako. This may be a useful resource for those who are thinking about joining or establishing a Kāhui Ako.

Increasing participation

Our focus on increasing participation across our region continues to get results. At the end of September 2016, the total participation rate in early childhood was 96.2%, up from 95.5% in the previous year. We have made significant gains for children who identify as Māori, with an improvement of 2.1% to 94.5% over the year. For Pasifika children, the participation rate has improved by 1.1% to 91.7%.

The remaining non-participating children can be the most vulnerable and difficult to reach. However, they are often the ones who can benefit the most from quality ECE. Thank you all for your continued hard work supporting quality early learning opportunities.

New services

A big welcome to the new early childhood services which have been licensed or certified in Auckland from the beginning of December through to mid-January. These are set out below.

Services newly licensed since December:

  • Ok Nannies (Flat Bush)
  • Learning at Home (Whangaparaoa)
  • Neemo Childcare Centre (Hillcrest)
  • Discoveries Educare (Takanini)
  • New Shoots Children's Centre (Pakuranga)
  • The Rainbow Corner Early Learning Centre (Takanini).

Playgroups newly certificated since December:

  • Owairaka Plunket Playgroup
  • NZRL Suburbs Playgroup
  • Marist Saints Playgroup
  • YMCA Mt Albert Playgroup.

This month’s manager profiles

Last year we highlighted changes in our Auckland office structure and began introducing our new managers. This year we continue with 2 more of our education managers from the East and South-West teams.

Yvette Guttenbeil-Po’uhila – Education Manager, East Auckland

Yvette started at the Ministry in 2005, working in the early childhood team as a network coordinator, team leader and eventually became a manager for ECE and Pasifika Education in 2010. In August 2016, she became the Education Manager for East Auckland leading a team of 10.

Prior to joining the Ministry, Yvette worked at Child Youth and Family as a contract specialist, Auckland Public Health Services as a principal investigator leading a research team, and Auckland Health Promotion as the Pasifika health promotion adviser.

She hails from the islands of Tonga and has lived in Auckland for 42 years. She is privileged to share her life with her family and friends and to call Aotearoa home.

Yvette and her team are looking forward to working with all parts of the sector and co-designing collaborative practices that are inclusive of all our students, whānau, education sectors and partners.

Lena Orum – Education Manager, South-West Auckland

Lena started with the Ministry in 2002, a great career change to support schools and clusters of schools in their focus on improvement.

She started teaching mathematics at Tangaroa College and was also a third form dean. After 2 years lecturing at Secondary Teachers’ College, she was appointed head of mathematics at Auckland Girls’ Grammar School, a role she held for 10 years.

Lena was appointed principal of Southern Cross Senior School at a time of great change, as 3 schools merged to become the Southern Cross Campus. During these years of teaching she was involved in the mathematics association and supporting secondary education.

Lena is looking forward to working with the team to support a focus on all children and young people through Kāhui Ako and the other opportunities that are developing for collaboration.

Isabel Evans
Director of Education Auckland
Phone: 09 632 9333
Email: Isabel.Evans@education.govt.nz

Waikato regional news

E te iwi tēnā koutou katoa

Nei rā ngā mihi o te tau hou Pākehā ki a koutou katoa. Welcome to 2017 and I hope that this first Pānui Kōhungahunga finds you well and that you have each had a chance to have a short break and spend valuable time with family and friends.

Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards 2017

We are well back into the swing of things here at the Ministry of Education. I would like to draw your attention to the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards for 2017 (external link) and encourage you to look at the website and the finalists from 2016 (which include a significant number of early learning services) and seriously consider applying. If you need help with the application process let us know as we can help. The awards are truly inspirational and are a way of acknowledging the special work that happens within the early learning sector.

I hope to be able to visit with you in your communities this year. If you would like me to come and see you and your team with your children in action, please let me know. I can be contacted at paula.rawiri@education.govt.nz

Iwi in Coromandel ECE

Te Koohungahunga o Te Uumangawhaa-O-Ngaa Waka - Colville Bay Preschool translation signage.

There have been great things happening in Coromandel early learning education centres and the tamariki (children) are reaping the benefits. This is because Ngaati Whanaunga Incorporated (NWI) who were awarded a Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) contract have been working with teachers, parents, whānau and communities through open forum or wananga. This is to give early learning centres a better understanding of the unique place Ngaati Whanaunga hold in the education space and the importance of identity, language and culture as a critical ingredient to educational success for children.

Feedback from services has been extremely positive and reports from NWI show an increase in whānau involvement and engagement with staff, with some whānau becoming more active decision makers within services. One of the most exciting achievements has been the translation of the service name – Colville Bay Preschool to Te Koohungahunga o Te Uumangawhaa-O-Ngaa Waka. This has come about through ongoing meetings and consultation between the iwi and the early learning community. The name change has great historical significance to Colville Bay and the particular area where the centre is situated and reflects the partnership between Ngaati Whanaunga and education providers.

Paula Rawiri
Director of Education Waikato
Phone: 07 850 8924
Email: paula.rawiri@education.govt.nz

Bay of Plenty – Waiariki regional news

Kia ora and talofa lava

Ka nui nga mihi ki a koutou mo te tau hou.

Greetings for the New Year. I trust that you all had a wonderful Christmas and holiday break with friends and family.

Te Whāriki update

I am aware of how busy it got at the end of last year for everyone and want to thank you for the large turn-out at the various Te Whāriki update meetings. While I wasn’t able to be at every meeting I was impressed with the feedback being provided at the Taupo meeting. Cheryl reports that the feedback themes were very similar across our region. Within this Early Learning Bulletin there is an article with details about the update meetings and where to next.

ECE vacancies in Rotorua

I also want to tell you about 2 early childhood senior advisor vacancies based in our Rotorua Office. The 2 vacancies have come about because Chrissy Russell has resigned so she can pursue other interests such as looking after grandchildren and Jon Dimock has been appointed as a Principal Advisor working directly with me. The link to the position details and job description and how to apply for these positions is jobs.education.govt.nz/EDU-1258438 (external link) . Do feel free to pass this information onto your networks. These positions will cover the full range of work the Ministry does with the early childhood sector and includes working with certificated playgroups and licensed early childhood services, implementing ECE policy, and working toward ensuring that as many children get to go to an early childhood service as possible. They are exciting and interesting positions. If you would like to know more please make direct contact with Rebekah Wong, Senior Business Support Officer, at 07 343 1361. Her email address is rebekah.wong@education.govt.nz.

In the March 2017 Early Learning Bulletin I will let you know more about the position that Jon has taken up. In the meantime, we wish Chrissy all the very best as she enters a new chapter in her life and thank her for her eight-and-a-half years’ service in the Ministry of Education. A resounding theme that was used by people at her farewell was her passion and commitment to children and families. I know that the playgroup families will miss her valuable input.

Tauranga’s Ministry office has moved

Please be aware that the Tauranga office is no longer located in Elizabeth Street but is now at 132 First Avenue (corner of First Avenue and Cameron Road). The telephone numbers and email addresses for staff remain the same. This move means adjusting to mobile technology and new spaces that will ultimately improve how we engage with each other and the wider community – we are ready to embrace it and make it work.

This physical move follows the recent appointment of an education manager to Tauranga, Carol Ngawati, who is helping to connect further with the community and Tauranga Moana local iwi. Together these improvements will bring us closer to providing seamless learning support for Tauranga families as we all join up in a more integrated way.

If there is anything on this page you would like to discuss or an issue you want to talk about please email me or call my mobile (see below).

Ia Manuia

Ezra Schuster
Director of Education Bay of Plenty – Waiariki
Phone: 07 349 8309
Mobile: 027 296 8196
Email: ezra.schuster@education.govt.nz

Hawke’s Bay – Tairāwhiti regional news

Tēnā koutou

Welcome back for 2017. I hope you all had a well-earned rest with family and loved ones and made the most of the beautiful weather we had. The rest of the country are asking what happened to summer, but we all know it has spent all it’s time in Hawke’s Bay/Tairawhiti – the best place in Aotearoa to live and work! I have been back since early January preparing for the year ahead. There is so much going on the education space, both nationally and regionally, so we are looking forward to a productive and exciting year.

Your Ministry team

We have been looking at the way our Ministry teams are organised to ensure we provide the best possible system stewardship to reflect and support the ever-increasing numbers of Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako in the Hawke’s Bay – Tairawhiti region. This may mean there is a change to your key contact.

My team has been asked to get in touch to discuss the new structure with you all as early as possible this term. As you can imagine, with over 300 early childhood services and 175 schools to be contacted across our region the team are making huge efforts to communicate with each of you as soon as possible.

Centrally funded PLD

The last day for submitting PLD journals was 14 February 2017.

We are looking at running some centrally funded PLD application workshops for interested Kāhui Ako / (Kāhui Ako with ECE). Please contact your advisor if you are interested in participating in these.

Finally, we will be contacting the next round of PLD panel members for Term One panels. We have rolling panels of sector representatives. Many of the panel members from 2016 remarked that panel membership was great PLD. If this whets your appetite, please contact your advisor and we can send a PLD panel member Expression of Interest application to you. It would be great to have more ECE representation.

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

Congratulations to the following principals who have been appointed to Kāhui Ako lead roles:

Communities of Learning | Kāhui AkoLead
Flaxmere Kāhui Ako Louise Anaru-Tangira
Whirinaki Kāhui Ako Phil Jones
Wairoa Kāhui Ako Diana McCallum
Gisborne Taha Tinana Kāhui Ako Judy Nicol
Gisborne Taha Whānau Kāhui Ako David Langford

Robin Fabish (Ahuriri Kāhui Ako), Wendy Gray (Napier City Kāhui Ako) and Daniel Murfitt (Matariki Kāhui Ako) are continuing as Lead Principals of their respective Kāhui Ako for 2017.

We are keen to support ECE to engage with and join Kāhui Ako and are working on some strategies to get greater momentum. In the interim if you would like more information about forming or joining a Kāhui Ako in Hawke’s Bay please email barbara.bristow@education.govt.nz or phone 06 831 0647. In Gisborne/Tairawhiti please email rosina.shandley@education.govt.nz or phone 06 869 1539.

Congratulations to Georgina Kingi, QSO and Ross Brown

I wish to extend my sincerest congratulations to Georgina Kingi, QSO and Ross Brown for being recognised in the New Year’s Honours list. St Joseph's Maori Girls College Principal Georgina Kingi, QSO was made a Dame Companion to the Order of New Zealand for services to Māori and education. Ross Brown, former Napier Boys’ High School Principal, was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for service to education. It is fantastic to have 2 of our region’s education leaders recognised for their service.

Te Matatini 2017

This week Ngāti Kahungunu are hosting Te Matatini 2017! Te Matatini is a biannual National Kapa Haka Festival and this year it includes 47 of the best Kapa Haka teams in the world. The last time Ngāti Kahungunu hosted this event was in 1983 and we won’t have the opportunity to host again until 2041! The powhiri will be held at 11am on Wednesday 22nd February and the competition will run from Thursday 23rd February 2016 until Sunday 26th February 2016. Please see attached an overview of events [PDF, 942 KB]. I will be attending and hope to see you there.

Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards 2017

Entries for the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards 2017 are closing soon. These awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in early childhood education, primary and secondary schooling. We encourage you all to enter. Last year, Te Puna Reo o Puhi Kaiti in Gisborne won the Atatū Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs so if you know of a school or centre doing something awesome encourage them to apply. You can get more information and enter online (external link) . Entries close 17 March so you still have time to prepare an awesome application.

New staff

Our Ministry whānau is growing. We have welcomed 10 new staff in January. Tawehi Munro has joined us as Strategic Advisor Maori, Hawke’s Bay and his counterpart Victor Walker has joined us as Strategic Advisor Maori, Tairawhiti. Arohanui Beamsley has joined us as an ECE Advisor, Joanna Bebarfald and Ashley Rollason have joined us as Speech Language Therapists and Rebecca Campbell joins us as a Business Support Officer in Gisborne. We have also welcomed four new intern psychologists.

Roy Sye
Director of Education Hawke’s Bay – Tairāwhiti
Phone: 06 833 6898
Email: roy.sye@education.govt.nz

Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu regional news

Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa

Welcome back to the New Year. I hope you all had a good break and the children and families in your service are excited about the year ahead. Our team look forward to supporting you and your communities in 2017.

Looking forward to meeting you all

Last year we ran forums focusing on a range of topics including, Self Review, Understanding Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako and the Te Whāriki workshops. These were really successful and gave us the opportunity to meet many of you. We plan to run more forums this year and will keep you informed.

Ministry staff

Many of you will have had contact with our staff. We have had some changes over the latter part of 2016 and we are taking this opportunity to introduce our team and to ensure you have the latest contact details. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

Rae Karipa, Manager Education

Rae Karipa, Manager Education, Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu.

Rae has spent the past 11 years working in a variety of roles in the Ministry. The majority of her work has been in the Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu area, leading and managing teams to support schools and early learning services. Rae has also been focused on developing partnerships with key community groups and agencies.


Oversight of schooling work programmes across Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu

Supporting staff with the implementation of early learning and school work programmes in New Plymouth, Stratford, South Taranaki and Ruapehu Territorial local authorities.

Phone: 06 349 6308
Mobile: 027 296 2195
Email: rae.karipa@education.govt.nz

Marlene Clarkson, Manager Education

Marlene Clarkson, Manager Education, Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu.

Marlene began her career in early childhood in South Auckland as a kindergarten teacher. She has worked in a range of positions including a professional development facilitator, manager of a large multi-site early learning service and as a reviewer with the Education Review Office. She joined the Ministry in 2007 and during this time completed a Masters in Education Administration.

Marlene has worked in National Office in a range of initiatives to support the Better Public Service goal that 98% of all children participate in early learning prior to starting school.


Oversight of early learning work programmes across Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu
Supporting staff with the Implementation of early learning and school work programmes in Whanganui, Palmerston North, Rangitikei and Manawatu Territorial local authorities.

Phone: 06 349 6304
Mobile: 027 275 1450
Email: marlene.clarkson@education.govt.nz

Nicole Hobbs, Education Advisor

Nicole Hobbs, Education Advisor, Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu.

Nicole has had over 20 years’ experience in the education sector as an Early Childhood Teacher and Manager and Early Childhood Education Tutor. She is committed to the well-being of young children and their whānau through supporting early childhood educators, ECE services and kōhanga reo to provide quality teaching and learning.

Nicole is an Education Advisor based in the Whanganui office and will be responsible for supporting licensed ECE services and child participation in quality services across the region.

Phone: 06 349 6310
Mobile: 027 704 8993
Email: nicole.hobbs@education.govt.nz

Leigh Owen, Education Advisor

Leigh Owen, Education Advisor, Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu.

Leigh has held a number of leadership roles within ECE. Her most recent positions include professional learning facilitation with Massey University, lecturing with UCOL, and managing a large ECE service for Best Start. Leigh is and Education Advisor based in the Palmerston North office and is responsible for supporting licensed ECE services, Te Kohanga Reo and participation projects within the region.

Phone: 06 350 9884
Mobile: 027 839 3559
Email: leigh.owen@education.govt.nz

Ginge (Barbara) Potaka, Education Advisor

Ginge (Barbara) Potaka, Education Advisor, Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu.

Ginge has been involved in education for 15 years, 11 of those working out in the sector in ECE licensed services, and then she joined the early childhood team at the Ministry of Education in 2011.

Ginge supports the establishment of and monitors certificated Playgroups, assists with licensing support and liaises with ECE services and Playgroups occupying either Crown-owned land or buildings to ensure a current lease agreement is in place and is based in the Whanganui office.

Phone: 06 349 6303
Mobile: 027 886 0557
Email: barbara.potaka@education.govt.nz

Ann Cherie Phillips, Education Advisor

Ann Cherie Phillips, Education Advisor, Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu.

Ann Cherie’s responsibility as an Education Advisor is supporting Playgroups across our region.

2017 is a very exciting year for Ann Cherie and whānau, as they are expecting a new addition to their family at the end of February. She will take some time off on parental leave and we look forward to her return later in the year.


Deb Rewi, Education Advisor

Farewell to Deb Rewi, Education Advisor, Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu.

We are also going to say goodbye to Deb Rewi. Deb has only been with us a short while but she has made a huge contribution to our team. We wish her all the best in her new role. Deb will continue to be available to contact until 17 March 2017.

Phone: 06 757 6426
Mobile: 027 441 8836
Email: deb.rewi@education.govt.nz

Tania Anderson, Education Advisor

Farewell to Tania Anderson, Education Advisor, Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu.

It is with sadness that we farewell Tania Anderson who has been in the Ministry since 2007. She is leaving us in early March to take up the challenge of new opportunities and have more time to spend with her mokopuna.  We wish her all the best.

Jann Marshall
Director of Education Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu
Phone: 06 349 6352
Mobile: 021 229 7685
Email: jann.marshall@education.govt.nz

Wellington regional update

Ngā mihi o Te Tau Hou ki a koutou katoa. Welcome back everyone.

I hope you all had a great break and some time away. I had 10 fabulous days in Queenstown and while the weather was mixed I still managed to have a great family time.

Like you, I am looking forward to the year ahead. It’s going to be a big year for many of us, with a change of Minister(s) in May and a general election on 23 September from which a new government will be formed. This will bring us both opportunities and challenges as a region.

Like many of you, I like to focus on the opportunity. As Shakespeare said:

“There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and miseries.
On such a full sea we are now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves
Or lose out ventures.”

Julius Caesar, Act 4

Opportunities of particular interest for you in the coming year will include the Te Whāriki update. More information can be found on our website.

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

Many of you will also be interested in the Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako work across our region. Currently we have 18 established Kāhui Ako and we are in discussions with the sector regarding further Kāhui Ako that may form. The 18 that have formed to date represent 169 schools and 49,702 learners.

We are very mindful of how we support early learning services to engage with existing Kāhui Ako and how we might support early inclusion of services in further Kāhui Ako that form. We are committed to working with you to support better outcomes for children and Kāhui Ako are very much the mechanism by which we see this happening.

As you might imagine, established Kāhui Ako across the region are at different stages of engagement with the early learning sector. We have, for instance, a Kāhui Ako where early learning services are represented on both the Steering Group and Kāhui Ako Leadership Group and have been in attendance from the very early stages. Other Kāhui Ako have had initial discussions with early learning services and some are just starting to put their attention to how they might include services.

If you are interested in understanding more about Kāhui Ako in your area, or would like support to engage with Kāhui Ako, please do not hesitate to contact your Senior Advisor who will connect with the appropriate Lead Advisor Kāhui Ako to ensure support.

All the best for the start of the year. Remember: we are here to help!

Feel free to contact me – see details below.

Suze Strowger
Director of Education Wellington
Phone: 04 463 8668
Mobile: 027 229 4009
Email: suze.strowger@education.govt.nz

Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast regional update

Tēnā koutou katoa

A very warm welcome back to everyone for what I am sure will be another great year. The team is looking forward to working with you all again and to meeting those of you who are new to the region. I hope you have enjoyed a relaxing summer holiday (pity about the weather) and taken time out to have fun with your families and loved ones.

I want to especially acknowledge all of you working in Kaikoura and Marlborough. It has been an ongoing challenge and we will be visiting and supporting you during the term. Please do not hesitate to contact an advisor if you have any issues or concerns.

Changes in our regional office

The start of the early learning year always brings with it a sense of excitement. That is certainly the case in our team this year with the changes we are implementing to how we work.

As part of the update of Learning Support a number of roles were disestablished and new roles created. There are some additional roles in early childhood education (ECE) and the schooling team. A new overall structure has also been established. Once recruitment to the new roles has been completed I will provide an overview of the structure and new staff for you all. In the meantime, I have included contact names and details for key lead personnel in our region.


It is always my intention to provide you with the most helpful and timely service possible. You work immensely hard in your early childhood services and I want to make sure that we are fully supporting you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns or issues you want to discuss. 

I look forward to working with you all again in 2017.

Nelson / Marlborough / West Coast staff

Erika Ross, Director of Education Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast. Erika Ross, Director of Education Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast
Email: erika.ross@education.govt.nz  
Phone: 03 539 1533
Mobile: 027 509 0430
 Patrick McEntyre, Manager Learning Support Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast. Patrick McEntyre, Manager Learning Support
Email: patrick.mcentyre@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 539 1519
Mobile: 027 289 7672
 Jan Hills, Service Manager Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast. Jan Hills, Service Manager 
Based in the Greymouth office
Email: jan.hills@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 768 2014
 Christine Curnow, Service Manager Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast. Christine Curnow, Service Manager 
Based in the Nelson office
Email: christine.curnow@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 539 1518
 Kristen Hammond, Service Manager (Acting) Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast. Kristen Hammond, Service Manager (Acting)
Based in the Motueka office
Email: kristen.hammond@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 528 1752
 Rachel Patrick, Service Manager (Acting) Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast. Rachel Patrick, Service Manager (Acting)
Based in the Blenheim office
Email: rachel.patrick@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 579 1874
 Deborah Van Dam, Education Advisor Licensing Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast. Deborah Van Dam, Education Advisor Licensing
Based in the Nelson office
Email: deborah.vandam@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 546 3473
Mobile: 027 248 0208
 Elizabeth Hamilton, Education Advisor Certification Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast. Elizabeth Hamilton, Education Advisor Certification
Based in the Nelson office
Email: elizabeth.hamilton@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 539 1504 
Mobile: 027 836 4971
 Joanna Lorimer, Education Advisor Certification Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast. Joanna Lorimer, Education Advisor Certification
Based in the Greymouth office
Email: joanna.lorimer@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 768 2018 
Mobile: 027 479 8750
 Ryan Holt, Infrastructure Manager Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast. Ryan Holt, Infrastructure Manager
Email: ryan.holt@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 539 1520
 Jill Lees, Lead Advisor Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast. Jill Lees, Lead Advisor 
Email: jill.lees@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 539 1545
 Graeme Sims, Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako Lead Advisor Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast. Graeme Sims, Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako Lead Advisor
Email: graeme.sims@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 539 1515
 Ash Crossland, Business Support Manager Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast. Ash Crossland, Business Support Manager 
Email: ashley.crossland@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 539 1528
Mobile: 027 403 3910

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako update

In early December 2016 the Minister of Education announced the approval of a further 32 Kāhui Ako. Included in this announcement was approval of Tahunanui school’s expression of interest to join the Ngā Ākonga ki Whakatū Kāhui Ako. This means that 97% of children in Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast attend a school that is part of a Kāhui Ako. The Minister also announced that 6 kindergartens (Grove Street, Nelson South, The Brook, Victory Square, Auckland Point and Hira Rural) have joined the Nelson City Kāhui Ako.

The next opportunity to join a Kāhui Ako is in April. Please contact Graeme Sims (Kāhui Ako Lead Advisor) if you need any further information. He can be contacted at graeme.sims@education.govt.nz or by phone 027 403 3910.

The list of expert partners to work with leaders from Kāhui Ako to build collaborative practices and meet their achievement challenges is now online. Kāhui Ako leaders are able to choose who they want to work with from this list. The list is available on the PLD website Expert Partners (external link) . Graeme is available to support you through this process.

Have a great start to the year.

Erika Ross
Director of Education Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast
Phone: 03 539 1533
Email: erika.ross@education.govt.nz

Canterbury regional news

Kia ora

Welcome to 2017. I hope you have had a great holiday break with whānau and friends. This year is promising to bring some big changes to the early learning sector with the Te Whāriki update, funding review decisions, implementing effective learning support for children attending early learning services and increasing early learning involvement in Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako. We will continue to update you on these through this Bulletin.

Could you let all staff know that they can receive He Pānui Kōhungahunga – the Early Learning Bulletin directly by emailing Earlylearning.bulletin@education.govt.nz and asking to be added to the distribution list. It is important that staff have access to the information contained in the Bulletin. You may also be interested in reading the Bulletin for school leaders which is published fortnightly – this can be found on our website.

At the end of 2016 the Minister approved 6 new Kāhui Ako for the Canterbury region, bringing the total approved in Canterbury to 23. The 23 Kāhui Ako represent 178 schools (68%) and 32 early learning services. This is an exciting development for the region and again thank you for your time and commitment. For further information about Kāhui Ako and how your service might be involved, please contact any of the Education Advisors or education managers in the Christchurch office.

We have information on our web pages related to the recent international PISA results. New Zealand has consolidated its position among the top half of countries in the latest international study into educational achievement. Read more on our website.

The Children’s Action Plan and the Vulnerable Children’s Hub (The Hub) is part of a project in Hamilton, Counties/Manakau and Canterbury. The Hub is a contact point for frontline professionals and practitioners in these regions to raise concerns about vulnerable children.

The Hub enables early identification of vulnerable children and takes proactive, preventative steps to address the needs of the child and their family/whānau. Information is available on the Children’s Action Plan website including how to refer a child, how to hold difficult conversations with parents and other useful tips. Read more on the Children's Action Plan website. (external link)

At the Futures Network hui in December 2016, participants mentioned that they sometimes do not know who to contact here. Please find contact details for the Canterbury ECE staff below. If you are in doubt, please email ECE.Canterbury@education.govt.nz and the right person will respond to you.

There have been some changes with both Ruth Fleming and Lima Magele returning to their positions here – welcome back. Julie Gibbons has also left us to take up an opportunity in the sector. We wish her well in her new role and thank her for the contribution she has made to early childhood education during her time with us.

Education Advisors ECE Canterbury

Barbara Madden, Canterbury. Barbara Madden
Email: barbara.madden@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 378 7341
Chris Waller, Canterbury. Chris Waller
Email: chris.waller@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 378 7787
Lauren Luketina, Canterbury. Lauren Luketina
Email: lauren.luketina@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 378 7884
Lima Magele, Canterbury. Lima Magele
Email: lima.magele@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 378 7889
Marilyn Hawkins, Canterbury. Marilyn Hawkins
Email: marilyn.hawkins@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 378 7890
Paul Habinshuti, Canterbury. Paul Habinshuti
Email: paul.habinshuti@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 378 7522
Ruth Fleming, Canterbury. Ruth Fleming
Email: ruth.fleming@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 378 7753
Jo George-Scott, Lead Advisor ECE, Canterbury. Jo George-Scott, Lead Advisor ECE
Email: jo.george-scott@education.govt.nz 
Phone: 03 378 7887

Canterbury Management Team

Coralanne Child, Director of Education for Canterbury. Coralanne Child, Director of Education for Canterbury
Email: coralanne.child@education.govt.nz
Phone: 03 378 7345
Mobile: 0274 200 251
Fuetanoa Kose Seinafo, Manager Education, Canterbury. Fuetanoa Kose Seinafo, Manager Education
Email: FuetanoaKose.Seinafo@education.govt.nz
Phone: 03 378 7380
Mobile: 027 496 9875
Jill Forgie, Manager Education, Canterbury. Jill Forgie, Manager Education 
Email: jill.forgie@education.govt.nz
Phone: 03 378 7780
Mobile: 021 281 9972
Sean Wheeler, Manager Education, Canterbury. Sean Wheeler, Manager Education 
Email: sean.wheeler@education.govt.nz
Phone: 03-378 7754
Mobile: 027 435 6271
Susan Schneideman, Manager Education, Canterbury. Susan Schneideman, Manager Education 
Email: susan.schneideman@education.govt.nz
Phone: 03 378 7577
Mobile: 021 813 407
Garry Williams, Manager Education, Canterbury. Garry Williams, Manager Education
Email: garry.williams@education.govt.nz
Phone: 03 378 7320
Mobile: 027 242 7799

Futures Network 2017

Dates and times for the Futures Network have been set for this year. They are Wednesday 1 March, Tuesday 13 June, Tuesday 26 September and Tuesday 14 November. All hui will be held between 9.30am and 11.30am. Please save these dates in your diary now. Details for the 1 March hui are below.

Futures Network Meeting

Wednesday 1 March, 9.30am – 11.30pm
St Augustine’s Church, 5 Cracroft Terrace, Cashmere


  1. Welcome, waiata and introductions
  2. What’s hot – a round of sharing the most current issues for services (this will also cover the result of the Futures Network survey from the end of 2016)
  3. Guest presentation – Juanita Davidson (Ministry of Education Service Manager) will talk about learning support services accessible to early learning services followed by Q & A
  4. Community catch up – opportunity to network and collaborate with others.

Tea and coffee provided – please bring something to share for morning tea.

Mā te wā

Coralanne Child
Director of Education for Canterbury
Phone: 03 378 7345
Email: coralanne.child@education.govt.nz

Otago – Southland regional news

New Education Advisors

Kia ora koutou and warm Pasifika greetings.

Welcome back to 2017! I know you will have exciting plans ahead to work with the staff, parents, whānau and community to support the learning pathways of the children in your care. We are delighted to welcome Robyn Laidlaw and Maryse Anderson-Kereti to our ECE team. Education Advisors Robyn and Maryse will be working with both schools and playgroups in the Southland area. Both have prior experience in early childhood settings and are excited to be able to support our Southland playgroups. Robyn has already been out to her first playgroup (thanks Little Southern Sparklers) and is relishing this very important work. We all know that high quality early learning sets our children on a positive pathway for life.

Early Learning Curriculum: What’s important and what works – October 2016

The new ERO publication Early Learning Curriculum: What’s important and what works (www.ero.govt.nz (external link) ) synthesises findings from 17 national reports about curriculum implementation in early learning services. Examples of effective practices in the areas of design, implementation and evaluation are shared and discussed.

They state that in the best examples of practice:

“A mix of deliberate and spontaneous teaching, balanced with child-initiated learning enables teachers to extend children’s developing understandings. Where this is happening children are developing sound foundational knowledge, skills and attitudes along with a repertoire of working theories and dispositions, critical for their success as life-long learners. Pedagogical leadership has featured as a key contributing factor in services with well-aligned curriculum processes and practices” (p.4)


”Internal evaluation (self review) underpins high quality practice. Leaders in services who value and champion internal evaluation coupled with clear expectations about how to inquire into and evaluate practice are essential to services’ effectiveness in improving outcomes for children. Leaders need to engage teachers in discussion about their practices and children’s learning” (p.5)

The specific examples of effective practice cover areas such as Māori learners, Pacific learners, infants and toddlers, social and emotional competence, literacy and mathematics, transition to school, pedagogical leadership and assessment. This publication is well worth exploring with your staff.

Please contact me if you wish to discuss any issues or ideas. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ngā mihi mahana

Julie Anderson
Director of Education Otago – Southland
Phone: 03 471 5217
Mobile: 027 836 4846
Email: julie.anderson@education.govt.nz

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