Haere mai! Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

Nau Mai Haere mai. Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

21 Princes Street, Kensington, Whangarei, New Zealand

Phone: 09 437 2742

Email: mairtown@nka.org.nz

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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Our new kaiako - Welcome to Hanna

This week we were lucky enough to welcome the wonderful Hanna Bramley into our teaching team and our kindergarten community.

Hanna and her new friends, helping her feel welcome at Mairtown

Hanna is a very friendly, engaging and welcoming person who has a great passion for teaching. She is enthusiastic, kind, motivated and has children’s best interests at the heart of everything that she does. Hanna is also resourceful and loves to tackle projects with the children. She has a wonderful sense of humour and is just a wonderful person to be around.

Our Kindergarten family waiting for Hanna's arrival

“There are no strangers here, just friends who haven’t met.” (Roald Dahl)

Hanna is new to Whāngarei and was looking for a teaching team that was supportive and welcoming. After visiting Mairtown and getting this vibe, she decided to apply for the job and we are so glad that she did. On her first official day at Mairtown our community come together to welcome Hanna with a mihi whakatau.

“A mihi whakatau is a welcome that can provide a sound basis for any kindergarten event whereby people are greeted in a less formal manner than that of a Pōwhiri… Mihi whakatau is traditionally used for welcoming, introductions, openings and general purpose which take place off the marae.  The mihi whakatau is a process which will protect Māori cultural practices while promoting an environment of inclusiveness.” (Roimata Macfarlane, 2016)

This was a lovely occasion and it was delightful to have many of our whānau stay for the special welcome. Hanna brought along some important people in her life to be with her through this process. After everyone had an opportunity to introduce themselves and sung waiata we then shared a delicious kai together.

Hanna’s first week has come and gone and already she has proved to be very engaging with everyone, making connections with the children, their whānau and her new colleagues. We are looking forward to all that Hanna has to offer our community and know that she has a wealth of knowledge and kindness to share.

Portrait of Hanna - Artist, Sharlee Bea.

He aroha whakatō,
he aroha puta mai
If kindness is sown, then kindness you should receive

Nāku noa, nā,

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Kaitiaki of our Mairtown Lilliput Library

At Mairtown we were lucky enough to be asked by the Whāngarei District Library if we could be kaitiaki of a Lilliput Library. We jumped at this opportunity as we knew it would add another wonderful element to your kindergarten community.

So, what is a Lilliput Library? A Lilliput Library is a wonderful concept where the public can use this space to take or leave books. It is a small wooden cupboard which are often decorated in a beautiful, eye catching ways and placed in places where the community can utilise them. They are through out New Zealand and you can find more information about them through Facebook.

The first thing that we had to do to get Mairtown’s Lilliput Library ready was to turn it into a masterpiece. We decided that a Hundertwasser inspired Lilliput would be a suited style for our library as this type of art work is something we often use at kindergarten for art provocations for the children.

The children started the process of decorating by adding colour to the box. Once this was done the colours were outlined with a black paint pen and finished with a vanish to seal the beautiful art work.

The lovely thing about this process was that the children were so keen to help decorate the box and in doing this it generated lots of discussion amongst them about what the Lilliput Library was about. It was during these moments and over the weeks that it took to decorate the library we really noticed that the children were taking ownership on the concept of sharing books through the Lilliput.


Once the library was ready to be placed on our rock wall permanently, the children really saw the library in action and also the impact that it was having within our community. From the time It was put up we have had many visitors to the library, both dropping leaving and taking books. If the children see people at the Lilliput they engage with them, asking what they are doing and checking in to see if they know how to use the library. We have also seen our kindergarten whānau using the library. Making connections with community is one of our goals at Mairtown and we feel that this concept sits well with this.

In terms of sustainable communities, the way that the Lilliput Library works is great at fostering opportunities for communities to come together and share with one another. This is a wonderful thing to be happening and we are proud that we are apart of this movement.

“The wider world of family and community is an integral part of early childhood curriculum. Me whiri mai te whānau, te hapū, te iwi, me tauiwi, me ō rātou wāhi nohonga, ki roto i te whāriki, hei āwhina, hei tautoko i te akoranga, i te whakatipuranga o te mokopuna.” (Te Whāriki, 2017)

The Lilliput libraries belong to the community but the teachers and children at Mairtown are the kaitiaki (guardians) of this particular one. We check it daily and make sure it is tidy and well kept. It is so empowering for the children to know that they are a part of this. This experience allows our children to develop a great sense of community, by participating and contributing in a community-oriented activity. In doing so, they are able to make connections with the wider world of people and places.

"Empowered students... Sustainable Communities! - Our touchstone is creating creating a healthy, peaceful, sustainable world through people teaching and learning together." (Enviroschools kaupapa) 

Nāku noa, nā,