the joy of teaching, the love of learning

the joy of teaching, the love of learning

Meet the Board

Welcome to the Board

Our Board are passionate about our kindergarten communities - children, their whanau and our staff. As such, our kindergarten communities are the focus of all decisions, discussions and future directions that we as a Board undertake. We feel privileged to be part of the learning journey that the Tamariki in our kindergartens are embarking on and are greatly inspired and encouraged in 'the joy of teaching and love of  learning' that is fostered in these communities.


The Napier Kindergarten Association Board is responsible for the governance of the Association and its role includes:

• Development of the Association’s Strategic Plan
• Employment of the General Manager
• Monitoring of strategic outcomes
• Management of risk
• Monitoring of legal compliance
• Setting policies

The Napier Kindergarten Association Board is comprised of the following 9 positions:

Vice President
Staff Board Member
Board Members (x6)

The General Manager, Finance Manager and Education Managers are Ex officio members of the Board.

Members are either voted or conscripted onto the Board for a 2 year term.

The Board meets regularly throughout the year in order to carry out its responsibilities. Representatives of the Board also attend Kindergarten AGM’s, the Association AGM and on occasion may participate on various Standing Committees or Review Groups.

The Board prepares regular newsletters which are distributed to our kindergarten communities and are also available under the Board Newsletter page.

Current Board Members:

Rachel Murray (Elected Staff Board Member)
Rachel is Head Teacher of Tamatea Kindergarten and was elected to the Board by staff in 2016. Rachel has a strong interest in learning about governance and being involved in setting the future direction of Napier Kindergartens. She brings her experiences as a teacher, a parent and an employee to the role. 

Sarah Nash (President)

I was elected to the Board in April 2016 and re elected in 2018 and 2020. I was subsequently elected as President by the Board in May 2019 and am seeking re-election to my final term on the Board.

I have worked in Public Relations (PR) for over 20 years (including six years in London) and for the past 15 years have run my own business. With four children (two of whom are step-children) I am very aware of the importance of nurturing inquisitive and enquiring minds and the important role early childcare plays.

Many studies show that our children are ‘shaped’ between the ages of 2-5 years of age so therefore quality pre-school education is paramount to us forming self-assured, happy kids which then leads to vibrant and successful communities. I a m excited about the opportunity to channel my passion for children, education and our community together with my professional competencies into helping make a positive difference on the NKA board.

Alison Donovan

I was co-opted onto the Board in August 2017 and elected in 2018 and 2020. I have greatly enjoyed my time in the role thus far. I have learnt a lot about early childhood education and the many challenges kindergartens face operating in a heavily competitive industry. I would love to continue to help shape NKA to ensure it remains accessible to all tamariki in the Napier & Wairoa communities into the future.

I work as Group Administration Manager at Turfrey (a plumbing and roofing company), where I am responsible for HR, payroll, recruitment, technology, vehicles and finding efficiencies across the company. My business management and financial management skills, along with my pragmatic approach, are the strengths I believe I bring which complement my fellow NKA Board members’ skill sets.

All three of my tamariki have attended Taradale Kindergarten, and they all have fond memories of its wonderful learning environment.

I continue to see the opportunity of being a NKA Board member as a privilege and as a chance to give something back to the organisation that has helped positively shape and teach my tamariki.

Karl Wairama - Website Karl Wairama

Ko Kahuranaki te maunga

Kahuranaki is the mountain

Ko Kahuranaki te marae

Kahuranaki is the marae

Ko Tukituki, ko Ngaru-roro, ko Tutae-kuri nga awa

Tukituki, Ngaru-roro and Tutae-kuri are the rivers

Ko Ngati Kahungunu te iwi

Kahungunu is the tribe

I am of Ngati Kahungunu descent and I have lived most of my life in Hawke’s Bay. I am a father of four who have all attended Onekawa Kindergarten, which my youngest child currently attends. During this time, I have developed a strong passion for children and education. I was co opted onto the Board in November 2019.

I have a background in child and adolescent mental health with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminology. I have worked in both community organisations and for government to ensure the needs of younger persons were being met. I am passionate about ensuring our tamariki flourish in our ongoing climate and believe that communities are best placed to have the solutions for the difficult problems we face.

I enjoy serving on the board and using my experience to ensuring our kindergartens thrive.

Karl was co opted by the Board in 2019 and elected on the 30 June 2020.

Casey Hucker-647Casey Hucker
I was co opted onto the Board February 2020 and elected on the 30 June 2020. My twins attended Pirimai Kindergarten and now after moving to Taradale my youngest son attends Taradale Kindergarten.

I am a lawyer in a local Napier law firm and have a mix of skills and experience to help make well-informed decisions on a range of matters faced by the board.

I am excited to be part of a diverse board with each member contributing something unique that adds to the overall culture and vision of the board and the wider Kindergarten community.

I am passionate about Kindergarten and the education and development of our local children and value the importance of the board’s role to ensure that the Kindergarten evolves to meet the demands of our changing society without losing the true value of the Kindergarten experience and culture.

Kelly O'Leary-632 Kelly O'Leary
Kelly was elected to the Board at the 30 June 2020 AGM.

I am blessed to be a mum of two amazing tamariki – Daniel (nearly four years old) and Anna (two years old). I feel privileged to be part of the Eskview Kindergarten whanau for nearly a year.

I am in awe at the māhī all kiako and staff undertake with our tamariki every day. I am impressed at the highly effective practices I observe, the way the learning is based on tamariki’s interests, the respectful and genuine day to day interactions which leads to positive learning relationships and most importantly (to me!) is the kindness shown to whānau and tamariki. This environment means my son loves kindergarten, is highly engaged in his learning and I feel confident to leave him in the very capable hands of his teachers.

I am incredibly passionate about all things education. I have had a fulfilling teaching and leadership career thus far and I am looking for a position that will allow me to explore new challenges and continue to develop my areas of interest. I have a genuine interest in children and their education and wish to further this on the Board. I believe that quality governance has a positive impact on staff, students, whānau and wider community and I believe I have knowledge, experience and skills to contribute to the abundant skills already on the Board.

I am committed to providing all learners with the best standard of education possible. Therefore I believe it is important to undertake personal and professional development. In 2011 I completed my Masters of Education which was predominantly focused on effective leadership practices, supporting Māori students to be successful in schools and effective literacy practices in the classroom. I believe it is important to keep myself up to date with current research around best practice which helps me to make informed decisions to improve outcomes for learners. As a new board member I will ensure I undertake professional learning to ensure I am working to do the best for our Napier community.

I am considered a fair, reasonable and calm person. I bring these attributes with me when supporting people to resolve conflict. It has been a deliberate development in my leadership over the past several years. This has been developed through learning conversations with my colleagues, extensive reading and several courses to understand the theory and pedagogy behind “open to learning” conversations whilst keep a positive working relationship with staff.
I have a proven ability to connect and engage with staff, tamariki, whānau and wider community from a respectful and strength-based perspective. Most of all, I want to make a positive difference in our community and ensure tamariki are at the heart of decision making.

Lydia Johnston

Lydia was co opted to the Board on the 27th August 2020.
I have recently returned from Singapore to Hawkes Bay and as the mother of 3 girls (aged 5, 3 and 8 months), have children who attend (and will attend) Te Awanga Kindergarten. I am thrilled my girls are experiencing Kiwi life and kindergarten is a major part of this.

I am an effective legal professional with significant experience, in a range of corporate, commercial and regulatory contexts. I have attached my resume which details my experience. Of particular note is my previous involvement as both an advisor and participant in mergers and amalgamations. Whatever kind of structure is used, I understand the importance of planning and execution to ensure any such change has a positive impact on the relevant organisations.

I am experienced working with boards and executive teams, as well as managing diverse teams across business and external stakeholders to ensure context-appropriate strategies and solutions. I am a highly effective communicator, with advanced critical thinking and problem-solving skills and I understand pragmatic decision making that needs to balance a wide variety of interests.

I am passionate about early childhood education and the community it supports. 


Contact Us


Phone:  06 835 7890


66 Kennedy Road, Napier

PO Box 4298, Marewa, Napier

New Zealand

Mission and Vision Statements

Our Vision
Learning is child's play and teaching is a passion.

Our Mission:
Children and parents look forward to their kindergarten experience