Kia ora Whekī whānau

Nau mai haere mai ki Whekī to our new teacher Yurika who has become a very valuable member of our team. Yurika has worked at Kauri for the past year and comes with many years of experience. 

Ka kite Hinerangi, who is transitioning to Kōwhai. We wish you all the best in your new, exciting and adventurous transition! 

The past couple of weeks have been cold and blustery, but the weather has not stopped tamariki from wanting to explore outside. Often, it is being outside that helps settle tamariki if they are feeling overwhelmed. We strongly believe that being out in nature helps reduce stress and promotes a connection with the wider world.

When they play outside, there is no limit to what they may encounter or find. Our tamariki are excited about different materials found in nature, such as leaves, moss, sand, grass, and bark. They also find mysterious items hiding in the bushes, soil, and grass. The tamariki have enjoyed exploring our other centres too, such as Maire and Kōwhai.

Last month, we acknowledged Te Wiki o te reo Māori (Māori Language Week) which commenced on 5 September 2019. Te Reo Māori is embedded in our daily curriculum, but the week is a reminder to all of us to recognise and actively acknowledge the importance of Te Reo Māori for all of Aotearoa. Our tamariki enjoyed reading Sharon Holt’s renowned stories and singing waiata.

Ko taku reo taku ohooho, ko taku reo taku mapihi mauria

My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou

Whekī Kaiako


Kia ora koutou Kōwhai whānau!

We would love to extend a warm welcome to our newest tamariki – Hinerangi, and her whānau. We are looking forward to getting to know you, sharing with you in your child’s learning journey during your time with us here at Kōwhai. We also want to farewell Toby, Buddy, Talia, Nora, and Frida and your whānau. It has been awesome to have you in Kōwhai, and although it’s sad to see you go, we wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

We also want to welcome Jenny back. She has been away at Fraser for close to a month and has recently returned. We are loving having her bright bubbly personality back as part of our team.

Ngā tamariki have been quite interested in sensory exploration lately. To build on these interests tamariki have been experiencing gloop, flour, sand, glitter, water, paint, and mud!

Tamariki have also been interested in activities that involve using and developing their fine motor skills. Drawing on these interests we have been doing lots of experimentation with pens and pencils. Marliese brought the scissors out one day for us to have a go with. The look of concentration on the faces of tamariki showed that they were totally engrossed in learning to use them.

We have been busy in the centre with lots of celebrations, Te wiki o Te Reo Māori, Father’s Day, Daffodil Day, Conservation Week, Chinese Language Week and Red Nose Day.

Ngā mihi nui

Kōwhai Team


Teenaa koutou katoa Maire whaanau

Nau mai haere mai ki Maire whare Nora, Talia, Buddy, Toby and whaanau.  We look forward to getting to know you all a lot better over the next year or so. 

Ka kite anoo to Breah, Claire, Daisy, Elizabeth, Iroha, Kara, John and whaanau.  This is not goodbye but see you around.

At the beginning of September Priscilla, Angela and Montell took a group of tamariki to Fairfield Primary School to celebrate Tongan Language week.  Our tamariki were able to look and feel the different types of Ta’ovala, traditional woven mats (for wearing).  There are different mats worn for different occasions.  Cilla has also been playing a lot of Tongan music at Maire and our tamariki really love it.

Thursday, 12 September is the day that the University celebrates the relationship they have with Waikato Tainui and the Kingitanga.  During the day they always have different lectures, experiences, cultural performances and like all good events, lots of food.  Priscilla and Rangi took a group of tamariki over to join in with the celebration. 

On Friday, 13 September Sarah Y and some of our tamariki made moon cakes to celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival.  Our tamariki had a fantastic time making, watching and eating their cakes.


Priscilla and some tamariki have been making a mud/dirt track for our tamariki to play in.  It is a work in progress and for now they are just happy all working together for a specific purpose.

Ra whaanau ki a koutou katoa to all the peepee born in Mahuru and Whiringa-aa-nuku.  We hope you had or will have a fantastic special day.

Kia pai to ra

Maire Kaiako


The weather is slowly warming, and we are seeing signs that summer is approaching. Tamariki have been enjoying some beautiful sunny weather and we are loving our warm afternoons outside.

Our tamariki love construction play at Kauri. This expresses itself in lots of different areas of play. Sometimes the children will build little structures with twigs and stones in the sandpit, sometimes they will build with Lego, Duplo or other construction toys. We also have our Junk Play area where the children are able to build huts, towers, boats, anything they can imagine. We have noticed that these constructions are moving away from the designated deck and becoming even more creative, so we have recently implemented the Measuring Stick. The purpose of the measuring stick is to empower tamariki to assess their risks and make sure that their towers or creations are safe before they climb on top. Part of the safety is about height, but also about the fall zone (what is lying around the creation?), and the stability (is the creation wobbly?). We are having these conversations with the tamariki to give them the skills to assess their own risks, and as we all know, risk assessment is a big part of everyday life!

Art is also a big part of Kauri life, and not just in the traditional sense of making art on paper. Ephemeral art is a favourite of ours, especially with the beautiful weather and wealth of natural resources around us. Ephemeral art is quite simply art that is not permanent. Sometimes tamariki will make designs in the sandpit with leaves and twigs, other times they might make patterns on the grass with bits they discover. Having recently had a fire in the fire pit, some of our tamariki are discovering how charcoal can be used to draw on the concrete and other surfaces.

With spring upon us, we have been busy getting the garden growing again. Some of our tamariki love spending most of their days helping out with weeding, planting, watering, and observing. Tamariki love to hunt out insects and observe them in their natural habitat. What a great way to gather first-hand information about the plants and creatures around them! Hanging around the garden also tends to mean munching on some delicious herbs. This helps children to develop their pallet and to draw the connection between food and where it comes from.

We have had some interest in the ukulele’s lately. The tamariki enjoy sitting in groups or alone and strumming the strings. Experimenting with the chords is so fascinating and a great way to work out how the ukulele works.