Manaia Story

Location: Parua Bay, Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

School Day Model
8:30am - 2:30pm

How to Enrol: Please email Sally or Gaelyn at

Phone: 09 436 1262

Teachers: Sally Griffin (Head Teacher), Anne Hohmann, Becky Parr
Support: Gaelyn Dewhurst- works 15hrs a week supporting enrolments, finances, events and being a tremendous support for teachers, families and children.

Facebook Page: Manaia Kindergarten 
Keep up to date with regular upcoming events - ie wheels days, wacky days, parent nights, visiting experts, kindergarten trips etc - happening for children and the community of Manaia Kindergarten.

Manaia Kindergarten is part of the Northland Kindergarten Association in New Zealand
Our official website is hosted by the - NKA Site

Our Story

Manaia Kindergarten is set overlooking the picturesque inlet of Parua Bay on the Whangarei Heads. It opened as a result of intensive community fundraising and dedication in October 2001.

Children at Manaia Kindergarten explore their interests with support from enthusiastic teachers who encourage and challenge their learning. Learning portfolios with stories and movies of children’s learning and development are valued parts of our curriculum.

 Our Kindergarten blog began in 2006 - breaking new ground for early childhood teaching, learning and collaborating. There are many amazing stories tucked away in this blog about 'lightbulb' moments in children's learning, ako, building friendships, sharing stories, and building relationships with our community, family/whanau, kindergartens and teachers throughout the world.

Throughout the years various teaching teams and kindergarten families have brought their own flavour to the learning environment. Working collaboratively these interests have become learning opportunities for all. From astronomy apps to harvesting watermelons from the vegetable gardens, digital stories to weekly nature programmes - manaia kindergarten children are supported by a dedicated team of teachers and whanau.

We aim to build whanaungatanga - building relationships with the whole family in the interest of nurturing children and their individual and community learning opportunities.

Teacher's engage in ongoing professional learning alongside Enviro-Schools, attending and hosting workshops that will further our knowledge in maintaining sustainable enviro-friendly learning areas. A chicken run has grown as eggs hatch and children learn the difference between eggs to eat and eggs that will grow into chickens.

The community land also supports our community vegetable garden. Thanks to Mara Kai funding this garden continues to grow and flourish, as children learn where food comes from, and how delicious fresh home-grown food can be. Thanks to family involvement new veges and plants are added to this garden throughout the seasons.

Collecting eggs, harvesting vegetables is a big part of our everyday programme. Our emphasis on the natural environment is further supported by our Nature Programme which is run for our 10 oldest children, who visit our local reserve and mudflats every week throughout the year. You can find out more about our Nature Programme on this blog.

Children document their learning through the use of digital cameras, sharing their stories via this blog, create comiclife pages for their learning portfolios, and record their ideas through apps. Children also have the opportunity to learn about ideas beyond the kindergarten environment through astronomy apps, realtime world maps, sharing photos from home and overseas holidays.

Children explore the world of bugs and grubs in our bushland environment, vegetable garden, indoor terrarium and under the digital microscope.

Our children enjoy the outdoors and teachers professional learning has supported the development of the playground to ensure opportunities for children to explore and develop essential gross motor and fine motor skills. Monkey-bars, swings, trucks and sandpits all support children's physical development whilst laying the foundations for reading, writing, mathematics, and innovation.

The children at Manaia Kindergarten would love you to hear their stories, share your ideas, and contribute to this learning community. Come and join us - virtually online, or pop in for a visit.

We strongly encourage new families to come in for a visit a few times before starting at Kindergarten. Lets spend some time getting to know each other, and encouraging the children to find their place in this community.

Our current teaching team, Becky, Anne and Sally