Our Centre

Our Centre

The Heart of our Curriculum: Tamariki, Whānau and Te Taiao

He Pounamu Early Nurture is about the tamariki, within their whānau, within our world. These things lead our kaupapa.

“Children are our greatest legacy.
Nature is our greatest teacher.”

Dr. Rangimarie Turuki Rose Pere c.B.E c.M

Nurturing our tamariki, within a pedagogy of aroha, means that we respect and listen; we follow individual rhythms and urges; we uphold their mana; we educate in meaningful and relevant ways; and we protect them as the precious taonga that they are.

Nurturing our whānau means that we wrap the whānau in a korowai of aroha. We understand that the whānau are the ones who know their tamariki best. They bring their culture, beliefs and values to us; they share their taonga with us; and it is our responsibility to include and welcome them. We actively acknowledge our own cultural lens in order to allow the lens and perspective of our whānau to be considered and embraced.

Nurturing te taiao means we are constantly challenging practices towards a deep and genuine love for our world. We align with te Ao Māori ways of being, to connect to Papatūānuku, and understand our role as environmentalists, our impact as consumers, and our agency here in Aotearoa, and globally.

Kaupapa Whakahaere

Mana Tāngata – Caring for ourselves.

Kaitiakitanga mō te Taiao – Caring for the environment.

Manaakitanga mō Tātou – Caring for others.


We hope to change and strengthen hearts through a nurturing approach to ako, which is teaching and learning that occurs together through relationship, by holding close and true to a heart-model of education.

We are putting tamariki and whānau at the heart of our environment. Our bicultural curriculum grows around that, within a pedagogy of love, that cares for the well-being of our tamariki, whānau and staff.

Well-being, mental health and creating an environment that our tamariki and whānau can feel safe and secure within, with a strong feeling of belonging and agency is important to us.


Tikanga such as kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, aroha and mātauranga guide our kaupapa.

All our kaupapa and practice is lead from a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, as we acknowledge both Māori and non-Māori ways of being and understanding. As we grow as a centre, we will also grow stronger in our understanding of te Ao Māori, and grow stronger in our connection to the tangata whenua, whānau, hapū and iwi of Wairarapa.

Social justice, social change, equity and inclusion underpin our rationale to work towards a truly bicultural environment.


Enduring connections to the whenua will be built as tamariki spend time in the arms of Papatūānuku. The tamariki will create meaningful memories of the natural world, guiding them towards being the eco warriors that Papatūānuku needs.  Tamariki will be free to discover and make meaning of te taiao, alongside our kaiako, who understand the importance of allowing the learning to be lead by the tamariki.

Kaitiakitanga of the whenua and te taiao is a core focus for us. Guiding our tamariki to be future kaitiaki through being nurtured within a natural environment, modelling aroha and awhi, sustainability and respect for Papatūānuku.

Our People

Our Location

Nestled in the foothills of the Tararua Ranges, alongside the Kaipatangata Stream, bordered by ngahere and farmland, shared with native birds, flora and fauna, is He Pounamu Early Nurture.

Follow Dalefield Road towards the maunga and you will find us!

‘Rolling Acres’ 683 Dalefield Road, RD1, Carterton 5791.

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