Meet the Team

Dedicated & Qualified

20 hours ECE

20 hours


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Committed to your whānau

Our kaiako are qualified early childhood educators committed to guiding Aratupu tamariki on their pathway to growth. This caring, dedicated team embraces ako (our education ethos) and offers a wealth of professional experience. 
Behind the scenes, Aratupu kaiako stay current with the latest education research and create individual plans to support our tamariki. During centre hours, they sow the seeds of lifelong learning. Every learning experience is engaging, exploratory, and positive and through each experience, life skills, positive values, and a passion for learning are instilled.
That unique ‘home away from home’ feeling at Aratupu is thanks to the nurturing, holistic approach our kaiako bring to their daily teaching practice.

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Centre Manager

Bachelor of Teaching and Learning
(Early Childhood Education)

Aratupu has been part of my life for twenty years and in many ways, it’s my home. Relationships formed at Aratupu come from the heart and every member of the Aratupu whānau is respected and valued. 

Tamariki are the soul of Aratupu. Our kaiako adapt their teaching to the strengths and passions of each child so that their education interests them. We understand how important whānau is to the wellbeing of our tamariki. Our whānau support ensures that everyone in the Aratupu community is given the opportunity to thrive without judgement.



Practice Lead
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning
(Early Childhood Education)

It’s a pretty special feeling to be a part of the Aratupu whānau. Our community has a strong sense of belonging and every member is empowered to seek support, share their unique strengths, and grow personally. Raising tamariki can be challenging and lonely, and sometimes it takes a village – that’s why we’re here.
Our kaiako are committed to building and maintaining authentic relationships with our tamariki and their whānau. As a result, Aratupu tamariki develop emotional security, social competence, and self-esteem. This helps them understand how valued they are and that they can achieve anything.



Kaiako - Preschool
Bachelor of Teaching
(Early Childhood Education)

The people I meet and the relationships I form at Aratupu have a special place in my heart. Aratupu is my home away from home and everyone here is my whānau. I love that we’re rich in manaakitanga - our door is open to everyone in the community.
Our tamariki and their whānau are the reason I’m here. I want the best for every child at Aratupu and knowing that their whānau can find support and a community here reminds me that I’m extremely lucky to belong to this unique centre.



Kaiako - Preschool/Nursery

Diploma of Teaching and Learning 
(Early Childhood Education)

I’m privileged to work in a real environment with genuine people. I’m proud that the Aratupu community accepts each other for who they are. We build safe, trusting relationships with our tamariki every day and these are mirrored in the positive interactions between us, their whānau, and Hannah our Whānau Support.
Aratupu tamariki enjoy a socially diverse education alongside peers from many walks of life. This teaches our tamariki social equity and to value everyone’s contribution. Our carefully planned curriculum teaches self-belief, life skills, and empathy. In turn, I learn from our tamariki and their whānau.



Kaiako – Nursery 

Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching

I love the way tamariki and whānau are valued and supported on their individual journeys at Aratupu. After completing a teaching placement at Aratupu as a student, I knew that this was the community I wanted to join. 

Aratupu is a community hub that brings people together. Whānau are the experts when it comes to their tamariki at Aratupu and there are many opportunities for our whānau to be part of centre life and share their unique knowledge and skills. I love watching our tamariki gain a real sense of belonging as they grow and develop.



Kaiako – Preschool/Nursery

Diploma of Teaching

(Early Childhood Education) and 

Certificate of Infant and Toddler

Mental Health

I love that Aratupu holds the wellbeing of its community above all else. It’s a place that offers a sense of belonging and a safe space to be yourself. It’s a place where everyone – whānau, tamariki, kaiako, staff – is enabled to grow. I’m proud that Aratupu makes education a positive experience for the entire whānau.

The Aratupu community works hard to grow great little people who love learning. Every Aratupu child has a strong sense of self, understands their identity and culture, is socially competent, and emotionally intelligent.



​Kaiako - Preschool
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning
(Early Childhood Education)

It means so much to me to belong to this incredible community which places tamariki and whānau at the forefront of everything we do. 
At Aratupu we make people feel like they are always welcome, whether you are current, former or new whānau! We love spending the time getting to know everyone!
Tamariki gain a strong sense of belonging at Aratupu, as kaiako make links with their whānau, and ensure each child feels comfortable with routines and customs.
Being part of a team which focuses so strongly on building meaningful relationships makes it possible for us to be there for our whānau and tamariki in the best way possible.



Whānau Support Worker

I walk alongside our incredible Aratupu whānau, supporting them in all aspects of whānau life. Everyone is unique and has different life goals and challenges – my holistic approach supports and empowers whānau to use their unique strengths to increase the wellbeing of their whānau.
I build meaningful relationships with Aratupu staff, whānau, and local community agencies daily. You’ll find me in the Aratupu whānau room having a friendly chat over coffee, providing support at meetings with social agencies, or helping whānau access resources like housing. Social justice is my passion and I love helping our whānau thrive.


Kirsty Thomas

Preschool Cook, Parent of Neo

As a staff member, I enrolled my child at Aratupu because I love the sense of belonging here. The kaiako and other whānau made me feel a part of the community immediately. Aratupu tamariki are treated like whānau – with lots of arms to hold them, love them, guide them, feed their pukus and souls, and fuel their curiosity. I’m proud of Aratupu’s warp-around services that support the entire whānau. As a parent, I feel supported, cared for, and safe because I know the staff care about the well-being of our whole whānau. It’s such a special place.

What Parents Think

“Aratupu is like my second home. I feel valued for being me; my children and I are not judged. We all feel safe here. My kids learn so much coming here. Everyone is so kind and caring."


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Opening Hours

Monday – Friday
8.30am – 2.30pm


Visit Us

97 Harewood Road

Tel: (03) 352-6816

Mob: 027 715-8201
Fax: (03) 352-7214