Director’s Message

Winter has arrived giving our children cold weather experiences.

I have been watching the documentary “Why Am I?” that chronicles some of the research that has been carried out in a longitudinal study for 40 years on all the babies born in Dunedin just over 40 years ago.  The series of programmes was a great insight into how influences that happen in our lives up to the age of 5-6 years can shape the rest of our lives.  We must all celebrate our little ones and give them all the very best start in life that we can, both at home and in our early childhood setting.  We really do have so much influence in the next generation of New Zealanders.  I see that as a great privilege and responsibility.

Sue Bennett



Ka kite to Ezmay, Kaliya, Laura and Kaia who have recently moved to Kōwhai.  We wish you the very best in your new adventures.

We have been exploring the outdoors when the weather allows which includes having fun in the autumn leaves.

On Tuesday, 5 July we are going to celebrate Matariki and we would love all our Whekī whānau to join us for breakfast between 7.30 am and 9.00 am.  Please check your notice pockets and Educa for the invitations and RSVP, asap, thanks.

As part of our assessment review for this year, we would like to mention the use of Educa.  Educa is a valuable tool for us to use to share your child’s learning and development, with not only the immediate whānau, but also your child’s extended whānau.  We really appreciate your feedback on Educa, we just love reading these comments from home!

If you have time… check out our ‘Mission Statement’ board in our hallway, down by the couch.  We wanted to share with you how we view our Whekī mission statement in action, as this is a living document for us.  We would love any feedback you have on this, thank you.


Hello winter! Short days and some delicious cold days.  Unfortunately, it’s also the time of more illnesses, coughs and colds.  We do our best to change children if they get wet so we appreciate a bag full of warm clothes.  As we still go walking to the University it’s great if the children have fitting gumboots and winter hats. 

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our new families and their children Kaliya, Laura, Ezmay and Kaia and bid a fond farewell to Nes, Benny, Sienna, Tristen, Keaton and their whānau.

Thank you to all those families who were able to share our fish and chip evening last Friday.  What a great way to get to know one another and share a little of what we do here at Kōwhai.

This time of year also brings Matariki celebrations.  More information about this will be put up on Educa as decisions are made on how we might celebrate it.  Don’t be shy to share your ideas, they are very welcome.


Kia ora whānau

We would like to welcome Nes, Benny, Sienna, Tristen and Keaton, and their families to our Nīkau whānau. We would like to extend our very best wishes to Atilini, Renee, Sacha and their families as they begin their new journey in Kauri.

Recently, the Arboretum group went to Excite at the Waikato Museum. The children were totally captivated by all the different opportunities there.  Excite is jam-packed with interactive, science-based activities so young people learn through having lots of fun. The large conveyor belt was a huge favourite with the tamariki. They took turns turning the handles and watching the wheat move along the conveyor belt and then tip out from the large buckets. Our tamariki also enjoyed the giant Lego car where they could construct a car according to their own specifications. Other highlights included balancing balls in the air, racing cars, musical pipes and exploring the x‑rays and skeleton. This was the perfect place to explore on a rainy day.

We would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to all of our parents and whānau who supported us while we were nut and egg free. Circumstances have now changed and this is no longer necessary, so feel free to send egg sandwiches, eggs in other forms, and nuts/nut-based products for your child’s lunch.

Thank you to our families who came to our whānau breakfast. It was very successful and we enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with our whānau. We will be planning a Fish and Chip evening to celebrate Matariki. We will let you know the date shortly.


Kia ora Maire whānau

It is getting closer to our big move and we are getting more excited as time goes on.  Our temporary building is getting ready for us and we have started packing some of our stuff away.  A big thank you to Neil from the University for all his support and help with our new building, old building and our temporary building.  You are fantastic!

You should have received a newsletter about our Matariki celebrations.  Please put the dates into your calendar so you can come and join us for our kai hakari.  The more the merrier.  

Literacy is still an interest with many of our tamariki.  We have visited both the University Library and the Central Hamilton Library to extend this interest.

Construction is becoming a common interest too, with many of our tamariki building different structures all over Maire.

Finally, a big Ra Whānau to all the pepe born in Pipiri.

Ngā mihi nui

Maire kaiako


Since winning the New Zealand Sign Language award in Early Childhood Education, it has been evident in our practice that our children are embracing the use of NZSL in our centre. It is absolutely wonderful to see our children being interested in NZSL and actively using it among friends and throughout our curriculum. We have been learning a new song called “We are Aotearoa”, and are planning to perform this at our Matariki celebration. Kauri will be celebrating Matariki on the Friday, 1 July, from 5:30 pm onwards.  Please check your notice pocket for the invitation.

In Group Time, our children have been learning about Emperor penguins, and from this they have decided that they want to make penguin costumes.

The focus of the Ngahere programme has been choosing somewhere different to go, reading the map, taking the route the children have chosen and supporting each other. Ngahere trips not only provide wonderful learning opportunities for our children, but also develops dispositions that are important in life such as resilience, persistence, curiosity, kindness, confidence and developing friendships.