Early Learning Regional News – February 2019

Regional News / General News / Other News updates for February 2019 from the Directors of Education for each Ministry of Education region.

Tai Tokerau regional news 

Director’s message

Happy New Year to all. I hope you have had a chance to refuel and are full of energy for 2019.

ECE team changes

Te Riini headed off on parental leave at the end of 2018 so here is the team who will look after you for 2019:

Contact detailsArea of responsibility
Irene Iwikau
Education Manager
09 436 8921
027 475 3747
Oversight of all ECE work
Sacha Cherrington
Education Advisor
09 436 8929
027 705 7543
Nga kōhanga reo
Home-based care
Des Tipene
Education Advisor
09 436 8944
027 280 7514
Education & care services
Chris Lambert
Education Advisor
09 436 8936
027 547 5712
Playgroup funding
Sharleen Edmonds
Education Advisor
09 408 6938
027 478 3669
Playgroup funding
Participation contracts
Diane Armstrong
09 408 8942
Business support
Joan Natanahira
09 408 6944
Business support Kaitaia office

New Ministry office in Kaitaia

On 21 January we opened our new Kaitaia office located at 2-12 Commerce Street.

The new leased office has been purpose-built for the Ministry by Far North Holdings Ltd, and includes a conference area and public space to further strengthen community engagement.

A formal blessing of the building was led by our esteemed rangatira Sir Hekenukumai Busby, supported by Te Rarawa leader Haami Piripi and the Hon Kelvin Davis, Associate Minister of Education.

Photo of Office outside.

Kaitaia office - photo of everyone and carving 2.

Carving Kaitaia office

Art work Kaitaia office

We unveiled a magnificent carving that acknowledges the wisdom of the past and the aspirational future for our rangatahi, which was created especially for the Ministry by Māori Erstich. We were also presented with mahinga toi created by students of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Pukemiro.

We will be holding an Open Day for the public in February to celebrate the new facilities and provide an opportunity for the community to view the office and meet our staff.

I wish you a successful and enjoyable year.

Ngā mihi nui

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

Auckland regional news

Director’s message

Ngā mihi nui o te tau hou. 

Happy New Year, and welcome back. I hope you have all been able to enjoy some rest and relaxation over the Christmas break. My first Christmas as a grandmother was utterly delightful, and I hope you all got some special time with your loved ones as well. We look forward to continuing our work with you through 2019. 

Consultation on He taonga te tamaiti - the draft strategic plan for early learning

A big thank you to all of those who attended consultation events in December and January for He taonga te tamaiti - the draft strategic plan for early learning. Consultation remains open until 15 March. Your feedback is welcomed online at the link below. 

Early Learning Strategic Plan - Education Conversation website(external link)

Changes to area management for Auckland education teams

It has now been 2 years since we reorganised our education staff into multi-disciplinary teams, working in 6 area teams across Auckland. In February last year our Learning Support teams were also reorganised to match this model. The retirement of Ted Benton (who was Education Manager South) at the end of 2018, and the return of Yvette Guttenbeil-Po’uhila from secondment, presented an opportunity to review the management across our education areas as well as undertake recruitment for the vacancy. 

This has resulted in changes across 4 areas – the South, South West, East and North teams. Education Managers for each area are now as follows:

  • East – Jennie Whiley
  • North – Leisa Maddix
  • South – Rachael Laurenson
  • South West – Yvette Guttenbeil-Po’uhila
  • Central – Julien le Sueur (unchanged)
  • West – Grant Malins (unchanged).

Please note this is a change of Education Manager only – the team members of each team were not affected by this review.

Other staff changes

Congratulations to Steve Tanner who finished up at the Ministry in January, having been appointed to the role of Director of Review and Improvement Services, Northern Region, at the ERO. We are pleased to announce that Jo Davies has taken up the role of Manager Learning Support for the Central and East areas. Jo has many years of experience within Learning Support and brings a wealth of knowledge and relationships to the role.

Whooping cough to continue to impact Auckland early learning services

A spike in whooping cough (pertussis) cases that affected 18 early learning services this summer is expected to continue. There has been a second wave in cases following the 2017-18 outbreak, with many cases in babies under one and children aged 5 to 10 years. 

Whooping cough is a highly infectious disease which is especially serious in young children. Babies under one year of age are vulnerable and most likely to be hospitalised. Of the 20 percent admitted to hospital some may require intensive care and there is a small, but very real, risk of permanent medical complications or death.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service recommends:

  • if a child shows symptoms of whooping cough they should be sent home immediately to be assessed by a GP
  • advising parents that if a child has symptoms of whooping cough they should keep them at home away from their early learning service and have them assessed by a GP
  • considering contacting parents/caregivers of children if vaccination information on the immunisation register is missing or out of date. Children under one year need to be vaccinated on time and caregivers should contact their GP to arrange this.

For early learning service staff:

  • all early childhood workers are recommended to be immunised against whooping cough with boosters every 10 years. They should follow up with their GP if they are due. Staff who are pregnant or have a baby at home are at risk and should be informed if there is a case at your centre.

Please share this message with staff:

  • Protect yourself and your baby and see your GP for a free vaccination in your third trimester of every pregnancy (28 to 38 weeks). Protect new babies by immunising on time at 6 weeks, 3 months and 5 months.
  • Check that your baby’s brothers and sisters have been vaccinated for pertussis at 4 years and 11 years. A GP can provide a catch-up dose if required.
  • Have adults in your family been immunised in the last 5 years? Around 80 percent of infants catch pertussis from a parent or other family member.

Please share the message with parents:

(You can print this text out to put on your notice board or email it in your newsletter)

Auckland Regional Public Health Service advises that whooping cough is in the community, with 18 Early Learning Services in Auckland having reported cases.

Babies under one are most vulnerable and likely to be hospitalised. Around 7 out of 10 of these children will require hospitalisation. Some may require intensive care to support their breathing and there is a small, but very real, risk of permanent medical complications or death.

Whooping cough is a highly infectious disease and can cause serious illness, especially for those younger than 12 months old. Vaccination is free and offers the best protection against this disease – research shows vaccination is safe and effective.

  • To protect your baby, immunise on time at 6 weeks, 3 months and 5 months. For babies under 12 months, vaccination significantly reduces the risk of hospital admission from whooping cough
  • Whooping cough starts like a cold with a runny nose, cough and fever and is spread by coughing. After 7 to 10 days the cough becomes more severe and prolonged coughing spasms occur that may end with a whoop, dry retching or vomiting.
  • If your child has symptoms of whooping cough please keep them at home away from their early learning service and have them seen by a GP.
  • Check that your child’s brothers and sisters have been vaccinated for pertussis at 4 years and 11 years. Catch-up immunisation is free.
  • If you are pregnant, protect yourself and your baby – see your GP for a free vaccination in your third trimester of every pregnancy (28 to 38 weeks).
  • If you or your children are experiencing symptoms, or you would like more information, visit your doctor or call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

Incredible Years Teacher Programme for 2019

Incredible Years is a series of programmes for teachers and parents that are intended to reduce challenging behaviours in children and to increase their social and self-control skills. Incredible Years Teacher provides strategies to help improve the way things are managed in your classroom, help you promote pro-social behaviour in the children in your class, and help you reduce a child’s aggression and non-cooperation with their peers and teachers. The programme has been rigorously evaluated and has been found to produce highly effective results. 

Two Incredible Years Teacher programmes are planned for early 2019 in Auckland. Teachers must be able to attend all 6 days to gain the certificate and the programme is only open to registered ECE teachers. The Ministry of Education provides a $1,000 financial contribution for the early learning service or school for each teacher attending the programme to assist with the cost of relieving teachers.

Please use the contact details below if you are interested in attending these courses. For more information on the programme visit the website below.

Incredible Years website(external link)

Course 1

Location: Danish House, Penrose

Dates: Tuesday 5 March, 19 March, 9 April, 7 May, 28 May, 11 June

Contact: kathryn.rees@education.govt.nz

Course 2

Location: Auckland Irish Society, Rocky Nook Avenue, Fowlds Park, Morningside

Dates: Thursday 7 March, 21 March, 11 April, 9 May, 30 May, 13 June

Contact: kiri.knowles@education.govt.nz

New Year Honours List 2019

Our sincerest congratulations and appreciation goes out to the following Aucklanders who were acknowledged on the New Year Honours List 2018 for their contribution to children, young people and education: 

  • Dr Ian Hassall
  • Mr Robert Brooke
  • Mrs Annette Fale
  • Mr Glen Green
  • Professor Alison Jones
  • Ms Laurie Wharemate-Keung
  • Professor Tracey McIntosh
  • Mrs Marilyn Glover.

More details about the contributions and accomplishments of these recipients can be found on the website below.

DPMC website(external link) 

Mā te wā

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

Waikato regional news

Director’s message

Kia ora koutou katoa. Ngā mihi o te tau hou Pākehā ki a koutou. 

I hope that this message finds you well and that you managed to have a bit of break over the holiday period.

He taonga te tamaiti – the draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning

Thanks to those of you who were able to attend the regional hui held earlier in the month. We have now completed our face-to-face consultations but there is still time to have your say. Online submissions are open until 15 March. Visit the link below to have your say. 

He taonga te tamaiti | Early Learning Strategic Plan - Education Conversation website(external link)

Tuia Mātauranga – new resources available online

During our recent ECE network hui many services voiced interest in learning more about the Tuia Mātauranga education programme. A key aim of Tuia Mātauranga is to help New Zealanders learn more about our dual histories and great voyaging traditions. Interestingly, Te Whāriki 2017 makes explicit mention of Māori exploration and navigation in the strand Exploration, asking teachers to be aware of this history and encourage children to make connections with this legacy.

The latest resources to support the Tuia Mātauranga education programme are now available online. They include a series of inquiry-based learning questions that align with the programme’s themes of culture, technology, environment and economy.

Further information, including a digital planner, can be accessed through the webpage below.

Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI) website(external link)

New Year reminders

The beginning of the year is a good time to carry out checks of some essential requirements at your early learning service. This could include:

  • checking emergency plans and supplies
  • ensuring your premises and equipment are safe and suitable
  • updating your immunisation register
  • checking practising certificate renewal dates.

If you have any queries about licensing requirements please don’t hesitate to contact an advisor from the licensing team here at the Waikato regional office:

One of the best parts about my job is visiting services and kōhanga reo and seeing the teachers, kaiako, parents, whānau and children in action. There are many wonderful things happening in the early learning sector which is important for me to see. So if you would like me to come and visit please get in touch with me using the email address below.

Noho ora mai

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

Bay of Plenty – Waiariki regional news

Director’s message

Welcome to 2019, I hope that over the Christmas and January school holidays you managed to get some time away from your service with family and loved ones. We have been experiencing some great summer weather – making those sun-safe policies and practices extremely relevant.

Welcome to new staff to our region and those new to the early childhood profession. It’s a great time to be involved in education with lots of opportunities to have your say about potential changes. I hope at some stage during this year there will be an opportunity to engage with you face-to-face. In the meantime I know that Nancy Macfarlane, my Manager Education with responsibility for ECE, has been meeting with you along with Nancy Bell and our local early childhood staff concerning the draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning.

New Senior Education Advisor

Shari Brell has recently joined the Ministry as a Senior Education Advisor – Early Childhood Education. Below is a brief message from Shari:

“I am from Rotorua and I have worked in the education sector for nearly 14 years. I started in early childhood education as a teacher in training, and then moved into the primary school sector after graduating with a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning in 2008. I am passionate about bridging the gap between ECE and primary, ensuring that children have a positive and successful transitional experience. I am excited to work as an ECE Senior Education Advisor to help support our tamariki, whānau and kaiako, to promote quality education in ECE and to foster positive learning outcomes for all. I look forward to using a collaborative approach to help achieve our common goals.”


At the beginning of this year, after 5½ years at the Ministry, Aroha Hicks tendered her resignation effective 1 February. She has been based in our Rotorua office working across the Bay of Plenty – Waiariki region. A big thank you and farewell to Aroha who has been a committed and hardworking colleague, passionate about early learning, education and outcomes for Māori. She always has that infectious smile and we will miss her! I’ve been told she’ll use her time to spend with her whānau in Aotearoa and overseas. I wish her all the best for the future. 

Out and about with the children

Excursions are great learning opportunities for all children. They are an important part of your service’s teaching and learning programme. A reminder that whenever an excursion is proposed, always follow the correct process and refer to your service’s policy and procedure. Whether it is a regular excursion or a special excursion, both will need to be approved by the Person Responsible. 

The links below provide further information from the licensing criteria:

Centre-based: HS17 Excursions

Kōhanga reo: HS17 Excursions

Home-based: HS14 Excursions

Hospital-based: HS6 Excursions

If you have any further queries about any licensing requirements please contact our Education Advisors:

Consultation for the draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning 2019-29

Currently there are many education reviews underway, including ECE. We have held several draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning consultation workshops across the region and we have one more evening session on Tuesday 19 February in Rotorua. Please register online using the link below.

For those who would like the opportunity to respond to the draft proposal document, I encourage you to go online and have your say. Consultation ends on 15 March 2019.

Early Learning Strategic Plan - Education Conversation website(external link)


Congratulations to whānau, tamariki and kaiako of Te Kōhanga Reo o Rongopai in Rotorua who have received a Category 4 Education Review Report, the second Category 4 report for this kohanga in a row. This learning environment provides a programme that has a strong emphasis on ngā atua Māori. Kaiako provide an environment that is language rich and supports children as confident speakers of te reo Māori. 

If there is anything you would like to discuss, or if you have an issue you want to talk about, please contact me using the details below.

La 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

Director’s message

Tēnā koutou.

Welcome back for 2019! I hope you have enjoyed a refreshing holiday break and that 2019 will be a great year for you and your community. To those who are new to the Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti region, we wish you a warm East Coast welcome and look forward to connecting with you in the coming weeks.

Staffing update

In the past few weeks we have welcomed a number of new staff! 

In the Gisborne office we have:

  • Esther De Wet as Speech Language Therapist
  • Virginia Guerin as Learning Support Advisor.

In the Napier office we have:

  • Lisa Scott as Early Intervention Teacher
  • Elaine Ainslie as Intensive Wrap-Around Service Facilitator for Barnardos
  • Shane Gregory as Service Manager Havelock North/CHB/Whirinaki Kāhui Ako
  • Alice Maka’afi as Speech Language Therapist
  • Kristen Harrild as Positive Behaviour 4 Learning Advisor
  • Roberta Brown as Business Support Officer.

Canadian early childhood educators

Canadian early childhood educators visit New Zealand.

Recently, we had a group of Canadian early childhood educators visit New Zealand. We were lucky to get the opportunity to spend some time with them during their visit, to learn about their education system, and to also share information about ours. It is amazing how many issues and priorities we share!

He taonga te tamaiti - the draft strategic plan for early learning

He taonga te tamaiti - the draft strategic plan for early learning is open for public consultation. He taonga te tamaiti aims to develop and strengthen the early learning sector, to meet the needs of all children and their families and whānau. Thanks to everyone who has taken part in the consultation meetings we’ve held in Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and Wairoa. You can read more about the draft plan and take the online survey below. 

He taonga te tamaiti | Early Learning Strategic Plan Survey - Education Conversation website(external link)

School property

We have been informed by the NZ Police that shade sails have recently been a target for theft in Hawke’s Bay. We recommend you put measures in place to secure shade sails after hours.

Gisborne Incredible Years Programme delivery dates (February to June 2019)

All sessions from 6pm–9.30pm Wednesdays
For parents of 3–8 year olds
1 13 Feb 6 20 Mar 11 24 Apr
2 20 Feb 7 27 Mar 12 01 May
3 27 Feb 8 03 Apr 13 08 May
4 06 Mar 9 10 Apr 14 15 May
5 13 Mar 10 17 Apr Celebration 21 May
All sessions from 10am–1pm Thursdays
For parents of 1–3 year olds
1 14 Feb 6 21 Mar 11 02 May
2 21 Feb 7 28 Mar 12 09 May
3 28 Feb 8 04 Apr Celebration 16 May
4 07 Mar 9 11 Apr    
5 14 Mar 10 18 Apr    
All sessions from 9am–4pm Wednesdays
Programme for teachers (early childhood)
1 20 Feb
2 13 Mar
3 03 Apr
4 01 May
5 29 May
6 26 Jun
Celebration TBC

For more information please email Rebecca Campbell at rebecca.campbell@education.govt.nz or phone 06 869 1577, or email Julie Dawson at julie.dawson@education.govt.nz or phone 027 707 8995.

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

Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū regional news

Director’s message

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 2019.

Staffing updates

Welcome to Jane Hawkins-Jones:

Jane is the new Manager Learning Support and comes to us having extensive experience in the health sector. She has held a number of roles across the public and private sectors. Her most recent role was with Healthshare as a Programme Manager leading a team of project managers, data scientists and analysts to enhance services with Public Health Organisations (PHOs), Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), clinicians and specialists across 5 District Health Boards. In a previous role she was the General Manager of service development and delivery at Tui Ora, an NGO providing services to Māori and high need communities in Taranaki.

Welcome to Jon Bowen:

Jon has been based in the region since 2004 and is a new Service Manager in the Palmerston North office. Jon’s most recent role was as Regional (Executive) Principal of a national group of independent schools (12 campuses). Alongside oversight and leadership of daily operations, his portfolios included growing an effective learning eco-system, developing expert teams of professional staff, and co-creating engaging curriculum and post-school pathways from primary through to secondary learners.

Welcome to Caroline Campbell:

Caroline is a new Service Manager based in the Palmerston North office. She moved to Palmerston North from Auckland 2 years ago and shares that she is thoroughly enjoying settling into the region. Caroline comes with a wealth of experience in the education and disability sectors spanning 38 years. She has particular experience in the early intervention field, as well as child and family services in the disability sector.

Farewell to Leigh Owen:

We have recently said farewell to Leigh Owen from our Early Learning Education Advisor team. She has been based in the Palmerston North office for the past 3½ years and will be greatly missed by us all. Leigh leaves the Ministry of Education to take up a new role with the Education Review Office and we wish her well with her new mahi.

Summer reminders and requirements

While most of us welcome hot weather, when it’s too hot for too long there are risks, particularly for young children. With the warmer weather upon the Taranaki, Whanganui Manawatū region please take note of the following licensing criteria requirements and general reminders.

Service providers are required to take all reasonable steps to promote the good health and safety of children enrolled in their service. Every service will need to consider their own circumstances (premises, environment, facilities, operating hours etc). There are several simple actions you can take to alleviate the impact on children and staff:

  • If you have an HVAC unit or other type of cooling system, then make sure this is running and that windows and doors are closed to ensure effective use.
  • Pull blinds in windows facing the sun – pulling these early in the day can reduce indoor heat.
  • Where possible (taking into account the safety and security of children) ensure that windows and doors on both sides of a room are open to allow cross-ventilation.
  • Adequate ventilation is a requirement of licensing criterion PF12 (refer to link below), especially in sleep areas.
  • If you have dampers, louvres or other ceiling ventilation ensure they are open to release heat.
  • Switch on ceiling fans where available – only use mobile fans if there is no risk of toppling or of children reaching them.
  • As required by licensing criterion HS21 (refer to link below) ensure access to sufficient drinking water to make sure staff and children can remain hydrated.
  • Suggest to parents and staff that lighter weight clothing is worn.
  • Use outdoor spaces with shading such as verandas or shade cloths.
  • Reduce the use of devices that generate heat (where possible turn off lights, reduce use of computers or other devices).

This is a time where we see an increase in water-based activities. Please remember to ensure appropriate active supervision is implemented during these times, and any equipment that could result in the pooling of water is checked and drained as required.

PF12 Heating, lighting, noise and ventilation

HS21 Drinking water

Welcome to Lali House Playgroup, Palmerston North

Lali House Playgroup has been established to fill an increasing need in the Fijian community and other migrant families in Palmerston North. They provide an opportunity for families to come together to nurture and support children. 

The playgroup embraces the philosophy that it takes a village to raise children as valuable members and citizens of Aotearoa, and they provide an environment conducive for parents to help their children grow with confidence, self-worth and dignity as children of God.

We wish the playgroup well as it gets established and grows its membership.

Families of the Lali House Playgroup, Palmerston North.
Families of the Lali House Playgroup, Palmerston North. 

ERS system and PG3 funding round for playgroups

The 2019 Playgroup Operational funding round for January to June 2019 (PG3) is now open and available through the Education Resourcing System. 

Education Resourcing System (ERS)

If you have already been set up with access to the ERS, you now can log in at the link below and complete your funding submission.

Education Sector logon(external link)

We have created resources to help you use the ERS, which includes a learning model and FAQs.

Playgroup Funding - Education Services website(external link)

To playgroup users who are not yet set up, these staff will need to complete the ESL 61 Form – ECE User Request for Playgroups, and provide 2 types of evidence of identity from the lists on page 2 of the ESL 61 Form. The ERS does not change the funding you are entitled to. You will still be applying for the same types of funding, just in a different way.

Playgroup funding advice

For all playgroup-related funding queries, please make contact with your Education Advisor.

You can also refer to the Playgroup Funding Handbook if you require further information about playgroup funding. A copy is available on the link below. 

Playgroup Funding Handbook

Further ERS information

For more information about ERS, and how to use it, please see the link below. 

Education Resourcing System - Education Services website(external link)

If you need any assistance to complete or to request the access user request form, please make contact with Barbara Potaka at barbara.potaka@education.govt.nz or by phone at 06 349 6303.

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

Ngā mihi

Jann Marshall
Director of Education Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū
Phone: 06 349 6352
Email: jann.marshall@education.govt.nz

Wellington regional news

Director’s message

Tēnā koutou katoa 

“Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti arahia ō tātou mahi”

“Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work”

Nau mai, hoki mai, welcome back to 2019. I hope you all had a refreshing break over the festive season. All of our staff are back on board now and like you are preparing for the new opportunities that 2019 will bring. We wish you all the best for the year ahead and look forward to working with you.

Titiro Anō – Te Whāriki 2017 revisited workshops

Teachers in the early childhood sector in the Wellington region have requested further professional development to enable teachers to share how they are implementing the changes to Te Whāriki in everyday teaching practice. 

CORE Education.

In association with CORE Education, 3 free workshops for kaiako and whānau/fanau are being run for those who missed out on the first round of Te Whāriki implementation workshops. The workshops will look at:

  • curriculum design using the learning outcome in Te Whāriki
  • identity, language and culture and Te Whāriki
  • documentation and assessment using Te Whāriki.

We are excited about the unique opportunity that is being provided at the Porirua venue. Participants of the workshop will be divided into 2 strands (teachers from Pacific services and teachers from ECE services) to meet the needs of the community. Teachers from Pacific services are encouraged to attend this workshop as Pacific facilitators will workshop implementing Te Whāriki from a cultural perspective. This is also a great opportunity for teachers from Pacific services to come together and share their experiences and teaching practices.

Workshop dates and venues

Lower Hutt/WellingtonKāpiti/HorowhenuaPorirua and Pacific strand
Ministry of Education, Lower Hutt Office Date: 26 February 2019 Time: 6pm–9pm To register:
https://goo.gl/gwkYvj(external link)
Te Takere, Levin Library, Rimu Room Date: 12 March 2019 Time: 6pm–9pm To register:
https://goo.gl/QQgrFT(external link)
Holy Family School, 169 Mungavin Ave, Porirua East Date: 2 April 2019 Time: 6pm–9pm To register:
https://goo.gl/SZsyXX(external link)

For further information you can contact Sarah Te One at CORE Education sarah.teone@core-ed.ac.nz.

ERO pre-review information meetings

If you are due to be scheduled for an ERO review, you will receive an invitation from ERO to attend a pre-review information meeting. There are meetings for schools and for early learning services. 

Meetings are held twice a year in about March and August in several locations across the region. The meetings will outline the process of the ERO review, including any changes since you were last reviewed. We strongly recommend that you attend one of these meetings to assist your preparation and thinking ahead of the review itself.

Information about how ERO reviews are performed can also be found on ERO’s website below.

Education Review Office website(external link)

Staff changes

A warm welcome to Kym Hall who joins us as an Education Advisor in the Porirua, Kapiti and Māori Medium Education team. We’ve also welcomed a number of new staff for the start of the New Year in our Learning Support teams:


  • Kate Garland and Willow Sainsbury in the Taita/Stokes Valley team based in Lower Hutt office
  • Holli Asprey, Amanda Moore and Sarah Richardson in the Upper Hutt team based in Lower Hutt office
  • Sarah Tannahill in the Porirua team based in Porirua office
  • Sapphire Telford in the Horowhenua/Kāpiti team based in Otaki office.

Speech Language Therapists:

  • Emily Phillips in the Lower Hutt team based in Lower Hutt office
  • Cassidy Hart in the Porirua team based in Porirua office
  • Hugh Morrison-Thomas in the Wairarapa team based in Masterton office.

Early Intervention Teachers:

  • Philippa Williams in the Wellington Central & South team based in Lower Hutt office
  • Sarah Balmain-Chin in the Wairarapa team based in Masterton office.

Along with our Psychologist Interns for 2019:

  • Mandy Serci, Wellington team
  • Cathy Cooper, Tawa Newlands team
  • Emily Ogilvie, Wairarapa team
  • Ashleigh McCutcheon, Upper Hutt team
  • Sharnee Escott, Lower Hutt team.

Julia Buckley – staff profile

Julia Buckley, Education Advisor ECE.

Tēnā koutou katoa

Ko Julia Buckley tōku ingoa

I whanau mai ahau i Awakairangi

Kei Te Awakairangi ahau e noho ana. 

I have been working in the Ministry’s Lower Hutt office for the last 14 years. Prior to this I worked as an early childhood teacher in Wellington, and have been involved in the early learning sector for over 25 years in a variety of roles.

My current role as Education Advisor ECE involves supporting certificated playgroups in the Lower Hutt, Wairarapa and Tararua areas. It is a privilege to be able to work with the playgroup communities. Their ongoing commitment and energy ensures valuable learning experiences are provided for the tamariki and strong support networks for the parents.

I also get to facilitate the monthly Early Learning Bulletin articles for our office. We are always looking for stories and know that there are lots of great things happening out there for children. Please contact me if you would like to include an event, story, examples of good teaching practice, or anything that will inform and inspire.

You can contact me on 04 463 7027 or email me at Julia.Buckley@education.govt.nz.

Nāku noa nā

Erika Ross
Director of Education for Wellington
Phone: 04 463 8668
Mobile: 027 509 0430
Email: erika.ross@education.govt.nz

Nelson Marlborough West Coast regional news

Director’s message

Ngā mihi o te tau hou.

We trust you have had an enjoyable festive season, plenty of sunshine, and time to connect with family and friends.

He taonga te tamaiti - the draft strategic plan for early learning consultation

Thank you to all who have taken part in the consultations on the He taonga te tamaiti - the draft strategic plan for early learning that have taken place across our region during December 2018 and January 2019. The consultation remains open until 15 March 2019. We encourage you all to read the draft plan, talk about it with your friends and colleagues, and tell us what you think by completing the online survey on the Education Conversation website.

He taonga te tamaiti | Early Learning Strategic Plan Survey - Education Conversation website(external link)

Playgroup | Puna Kōhungahunga funding

This funding round we are moving to online funding for all certificated playgroups and puna kōhungahunga. Playgroup members responsible for applying for and approving funding requests will need to be set up in the online Education Resourcing System (ERS).

To set up an account in ERS, members need to complete an ESL 61 Form and provide verified copies of 2 forms of Identification Documentation (ID) as detailed on the ESL 61 Form.

To ensure your playgroup can apply for funding online in the current funding round, please send your ESL61 Form and verified copies of ID to your Education Advisor by Monday 25 February 2019.

If you have any queries about playgroup funding or wish to request an ESL 61 Form please contact one of our Education Advisors:

Elizabeth Hamilton 03 539 1504 elizabeth.hamilton@education.govt.nz

Gwen Gilmore 03 539 1532 gwen.gilmore@education.govt.nz

Acknowledgements | Ngā mihi

Our congratulations to Thrive and Waitaria Bay playgroups for recently progressing from Interim to Full Certificates. Thrive is a playgroup for young parents located at the Redwoodtown Plunket Rooms in Blenheim. Waitaria Bay Playgroup is located at Waitaria Bay School in the Marlborough Sounds and supports families in this area.

Congratulations also to our new early learning services Kakariki Kids Early Learning Centre and The Tree House Early Learning that have recently progressed from Probationary to Full Licences. Kakariki Kids Early Learning Centre and the Tree House Early Learning are licensed early learning services located in Golden Bay and Richmond, respectively.

Finally, a special congratulations to Pinegrove, Renwick, Nayland and Picton Kindergartens for receiving Category 4 ERO reviews. This is an excellent achievement and shows a real commitment to ensuring positive learning outcomes for tamariki in our region.

Kāhui Ako | Communities of Learning update

In January, an ECE cluster meeting was held in Blenheim to support Blenheim early learning services with forming collaborative networks within and across sectors. The meeting included a presentation by Simon Heath, Kāhui Ako Lead Principal, who gave an overview of the Piritahi Kāhui Ako journey to date and their vision going forward. This led to discussions about opportunities for broader ECE engagement in Kāhui Ako. Thank you to REAP Marlborough for coordinating this event and facilitating the development of a collaborative network of Blenheim early learning services.


If your early learning service or certificated playgroup | puna kōhungahunga has had a change in contact details recently, please notify one of our Education Advisors below so we can ensure our details for your service are current.

Elizabeth Hamilton 03 539 1504 elizabeth.hamilton@education.govt.nz

Gwen Gilmore 03 539 1532 gwen.gilmore@education.govt.nz

Nelson Marlborough West Coast area key contacts

 Derek Lucic, Director of Education Nelson Marlborough West Coast Derek Lucic
Director of Education Nelson Marlborough West Coast Contact details:
03 539 1536
027 605 2015
 Helen Robinson, Manager Education Nelson Marlborough West Coast Helen Robinson
Manager Education Nelson Marlborough West Coast Contact details:
03 546 3479
027 479 8745
 Robyn McLeary-Hooper, Manager Learning Support Nelson Marlborough West Coast Robyn McLeary-Hooper
Manager Learning Support Nelson Marlborough West Coast Contact details:
03 539 1552
027 265 2629
 Giles Panting, Lead Advisor Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako (Nelson and West Coast) Giles Panting
Lead Advisor Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako
(Nelson and West Coast) Contact details:
03 539 1541
027 742 8589
 Deborah Lomax, Lead Advisor Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako (Marlborough and Kaikoura) Deborah Lomax
Lead Advisor Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako
(Marlborough and Kaikoura) Contact details:
03 579 1884
027 566 2300
 Gwen Gilmore, Early Childhood Education Senior Advisor (Nelson and West Coast) Gwen Gilmore
Early Childhood Education Senior Advisor
(Nelson and West Coast) Contact details:
03 539 1532
027 248 0208
 Elizabeth Hamilton, Early Childhood Education Senior Advisor (Marlborough and Kaikoura) Elizabeth Hamilton
Early Childhood Education Senior Advisor
(Marlborough and Kaikoura) Contact details:
03 539 1504
027 836 4971

Derek Lucic
Director of Education Nelson Marlborough West Coast
Phone: 03 539 1536
Mobile: 027 605 2015
Email: derek.lucic@education.govt.nz

Canterbury | Chatham Islands regional news

Director’s message

Kia ora

Welcome to my first Bulletin for 2019. I trust you all had a relaxing time with families and friends and are ready for the New Year.

You will be aware that the draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning is out for feedback and closes on 15 March. It has been great to see so many of you have attended the consultation hui held in Canterbury. The last hui will be held tomorrow in Rangiora. If you have not yet given your feedback it is not too late to complete the online survey through the Education Conversation website. Please encourage as many of your teachers, parents and whānau to also complete the survey.

Education Conversation website(external link)

Futures Network meeting

Next meeting:

Responding to Māori ākona and whānau – strengthening connections with Ngāi Tahu

Date: Tuesday 19 March 2019

Time: 9.30–11.30am

Venue: Ground Floor Conference Room, Te Urutī, 48 Hereford Street, Christchurch (cnr Hereford Street and Cambridge Terrace)


  • Welcome
  • Ministry of Education update – Vanessa Goodwin
  • Community notices – an opportunity to share information with other attendees
  • Break – tea/coffee and a chance to chat

Panel and discussion: Meeting the needs of Māori children and their whānau

Panelists: Liz Brown (Matauraka Maahanui Chair), Jacinta McInerney and Marlena Bunnage (Karanga Mai Early Learning Centre)

Please note that numbers able to attend are limited by the size of the venue so it is important to RSVP to barbara.madden@education.govt.nz by Friday 8 February 2019.

Please bring something to contribute to morning tea. Tea and coffee will be provided.

Futures Network hui dates for the rest of 2019 have been set as:

Tuesday 18 June, 9.30–11.30am

Tuesday 1 October, 9.30–11.30am

Tuesday 3 December, 9.30–11.30am

Please put these in your diary now. The hui on Tuesday 1 October will be in the term break. We are trialling whether holding hui in term breaks makes a difference to who is able to attend. All hui are held in the Conference Room, Te Urutī, 48 Hereford Street, Christchurch.

Join us at Futures Network Christchurch on Facebook(external link)

Ka kite

Barb Madden, Viv Shearsby and Sandy Radford

ECE mailbox – Canterbury

If you are needing to contact any of our Education Advisors please remember that we have a central Canterbury | Chatham Islands mailbox for emails which is ece.canterbury@education.govt.nz. Using this email address means that you are guaranteed to receive a timely response even when an advisor might be away for a few days. One of the advisors will make contact with you within 3 working days of receipt of the email. If you have not heard within this timeframe please contact us on 03 378 7300.

The mailbox can also be used to submit an EC/8 Application to amend a licence, along with the accompanying required documentation to support the change.

Mā te wā

Coralanne Child
Director of Education for Canterbury | Chatham Islands
Phone: 03 378 7345
Mobile: 0274 200 251
Email: coralanne.child@education.govt.nz

Otago-Southland regional news

Director’s message

Kia ora koutou and warm Pasifika greetings. 

Welcome back to 2019! 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 services. The Education Work Programme initiated by the Government last year started a change programme and reflection upon our system on a large scale. This work will continue this year and will include further consultation processes that I encourage you to consider, share, discuss and reflect upon. He taonga te tamaiti - the draft strategic plan for early learning consultation is one that is well underway and I have outlined this further below.

In this Bulletin I have also included a summary of the play-based learning feature in NZCER’s Set magazine and a staffing bulletin.

He taonga te tamaiti - the draft strategic plan for early learning hui

Thank you to everyone who has attended our regional hui on He taonga te tamaiti - the draft strategic plan for early learning. These have now been held throughout the region and were well attended. In general, the draft plan has been positively received, with many participants particularly encouraged by the visibility of the child at the centre of the plan. All hui have provided suggestions about what further changes could be considered to strengthen teaching and learning practices.

Feedback from all hui has been compiled and forwarded for consideration with a final version of the Strategic Plan for Early Learning to be developed over the year. Consultation does not close until 15 March and you can still have your say through the online survey on the Education Conversation website.

Have your say today - Education Conversation website(external link)

Set magazine – research information for teachers

I was impressed, as were our Education Advisors, with the special edition Set magazine (No. 3, 2018) published by the New Zealand Centre of Educational Research (NZCER) on early learning through play and games. 

We highly recommend teachers engage with this resource to generate reflective research-based conversations on learning through play and games with other kaiako and whānau. It articulates ably the importance of young children learning through a play-based culturally-responsive programme which is intentionally planned and implemented.

The issue contains a range of articles exploring this idea through different lenses. Some of these include:

  • questions and invitations from the early learning sector to encourage a research-based inquiry approach to play-based learning in primary schools – to inspire collaboration between early childhood and primary teachers
  • examining the teacher’s role in play-based learning – outlining how important teachers are in supporting and facilitating play-based learning to meet goals set by the children and teachers
  • consideration of tākaro and māra hupara, and the social tools handed down by our tūpuna.

The special edition also includes a number of reflections on practice, and links to wider research. Jess Milne and Tara McLaughlin’s article includes a concluding comment that captures the sentiment of the issue well: “… although play for play’s sake should be valued, play-based learning requires the active intentional, and planned actions of teachers to optimise child learning.”

This special edition is a timely contribution to research-informed play and game pedagogies in New Zealand and we encourage you to delve into it.

Staffing update

We have spent some time at the beginning of the year planning how best to support individual centres and services. We have now allocated Education Advisors to cover all services within a geographic area. The table below provides a broad outline of the coverage, and contact details for any queries you may have.

Your Education Advisor will be your primary point of contact within our regional team, and they will be in touch to introduce themselves if they are new to you.

Geographic areaEducation AdvisorPhoneEmail
Dunedin South, Taieri, Gore and Mataura Lorraine Cooper 03 471 5245 lorraine.cooper@education.govt.nz
Dunedin Central, South Otago Julie Crosswell 03 471 5218 julie.crosswell@education.govt.nz
Queenstown Lakes District and Central Otago Ernie Mather 03 471 5226 ernie.mather@education.govt.nz
Invercargill and surrounding areas Chris Cooper 03 471 5224 chris.cooper@education.govt.nz
Northern, Central and Western Southland Nikki Hosking 03 471 5227 nikki.hosking@education.govt.nz
Dunedin North, East Otago, North Otago and Home-based ECE Kurt Chisholm 03 471 5225 kurt.chisholm@education.govt.nz

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
Direct dial: 03 471 5217
Mobile: 027 836 4846
Email: julie.anderson@education.govt.nz

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