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Board members and National Office staff

James Patea – President, Tauranga

James was elected as president of the NZK board at the AGM held in Wellington on 15 September 2017. James was the chair of Inspired Kindergartens in Tauranga and a trustee at Welcome Bay School. I have always been an advocate of quality education and outcomes for tamariki. My interest in the health and vitality…

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Helen McNaughten – Board member, Napier

I am committed to the kindergarten movement and wish to ensure it continues to flourish into the future hence I am a strong advocate for quality ECE. Helen was elected to the association manager position on the NZK board in September 2013 and is in her third term. Helen is the Napier Kindergarten Association (NKA)…

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Claire Brown – Board member, Wellington

Claire was elected to the NZK board in 2011. She took up an appointed position on the board in 2013 and is in her second term. Claire has been a board member on the He Whānau Manaaki (formerly Wellington) Kindergarten Association since 2005 and vice-chair since 2009, and is also a trustee on the Cashmere…

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Maria Stockman – Board member, Tauranga

Maria was appointed to the board in 2015. Maria is an audiologist by profession but left clinical work to focus on business and leadership. She is the NZ Business Development Manager for HearingLife and is involved in a technology start-up company. Maria is on boards of the Tauranga Regional Kindergarten Association and the Mt Maunganui…

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Grant Harrison – Board member, Northland

I believe early childhood experiences lay the foundation for the development of well-rounded individuals that contribute to NZ communities. I believe I can play a role in supporting kindergarten to remain very highly placed to deliver the profoundly excellent opportunities to the tamariki of New Zealand. Grant was appointed to the NZK board in December…

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Tania Jones – Board member, Wellington

Tania was appointed to the NZK board in January 2018. Tania is the current deputy chairperson of He Whānau Manaaki Kindergarten Association and vice chair of Volunteer New Zealand. Tania is Strategic Coach with ClearThinking Coaching Ltd and CEO of Christian Medical Foundation NZ. Tania has a passion for community organisations and their development, a…

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Craig Vercoe – Board member, Nelson

Craig was appointed to the NZK board in April 2018. Craig is a Senior Education Advisor at Nelson Tasman Kindergarten Association, EC Representative for the Waimea Kahui Ako a member of the NMDHB Clinical Governance Committee and vice chairperson of the NMDHB Consumer Council group. The changing face of Early Childhood provision is a canvas…

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Clare Wells – Chief Executive

Clare Wells was appointed chief executive of New Zealand Kindergartens (NZK) in April 2008. She is a qualified teacher and has an extensive background in early childhood education (ECE) and in the public sector. Clare has worked at a national level in various elected and appointed positions including as senior political advisor to the Minister…

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Joanne Newth – Administrator

Joanne Newth was appointed NZK office administrator in 2011. Jo has a background in IT, accounting and administration and has worked in both the public and private sectors. Jo’s introduction to kindergarten was through her daughters when she became involved with the local Johnsonville Kindergarten. From 1996 to 1999 Jo was committee secretary and an…

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