Our programmes Papakura Early Learning Centre Our Team Our Team Maria Tuiā – Pemerika ELC Team Leader/Professional Leader From Maria: Talofa Lava! I am a New Zealand-born Samoan, born and raised in Glen Innes, East Auckland. My husband PJ and I have 5 children and bought our house in Papakura in 2018. Papakura is now our home and we love it here. I come from a family of Early Childhood Educators, so my passion for working alongside children started at a very young age. I have over 18 years' experience working in the Early Childhood Sector. I have been in leadership and management roles in a variety of Early Childhood settings. From Kindergartens, Community-based centres, privately owned centres and Early Learning Centres under a large organisation. I am a fully registered and qualified Educator, and an Associate Teacher for teachers in training. I believe in respective practice and that my role as a Kaiako is to support and foster children’s learning, engagement and wellbeing in order for them to flourish. Zowie Elkington Qualified and Registered Teacher From Zowie: Kia Ora Koutou. I am married with 5 children, I was born in Flaxmere, Hastings. I have been in Papakura for 18 years. What experience do you have with children? After my oldest child was born, I attend a PORSE course while he was one year old and I received a Certificate in Early Childhood. I started my full-time study in 2018, when I began volunteering at Great Potentials Early Learning Centre, Papakura, as a teacher in training. I was also the Playgroup Co-ordinator at the Takanini Family Service Centre for 5 years. I gained my Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood Education in 2019. My Interests include spending time with my family, keeping fit, watching movies and eating.