The Associations Board Members

At Kaitiaki Kindergartens we only employ fully qualified ECE trained teachers to educate the children in our care.

Our Constitution
Welcome to Kaitiaki Kindergartens
Paul Geden - President,

I am a father of six, who lives in Hobsonville Point. It has been my absolute privilege to serve on this board for the last few years, the last two as Board President. I have my youngest son still in a Kaitiaki centre, with my older child now at school. Therefore, I know first-hand the huge benefit that kindergarten provides our tamariki, with school often commenting on how well my daughter transitioned into school.

We have had many challenges over the last few years, and I feel continuity on our board is critical to continue the long-term aims of our Association: Our continued work with sister Associations to further the Kindergarten movement, identified growth areas such as potential new sites in our communities, focus on growing our social media content to demonstrate the amazing role we play in local communities and focus on understanding the needs of our local communities so the service we offer is fit for purpose.

I am committed to our long-term stability and future, making sure our communities receive the amazing service our centres offer for years to come.

Anna Celligoi - Board Member,

I’m Anna, and I’m delighted to be a member of the Kaitiaki Kindergarten Board of Trustees.

I live in Hobsonville Point with my wonderful partner and two fantastic kids. My youngest attends our local Kaitiaki Kindergarten, Hobsonville Point Early Learning
Centre, and my oldest attends the neighbouring primary school. Both children have thrived within the kindergarten environment, and it’s amazing to see the ways in
which their experiences have guided and supported them in their broader lives. The importance of high quality early childhood education to children cannot be

My background is in education, both early childhood and primary, and in the nonprofit sector where I have both mentored young people and managed a pilot
mentoring programme for young parents. More recently, I have transitioned into a People and Culture role, where I am lucky enough to get to spend my time providing
support with all things people management. I enjoy the continuous improvement and creative solution focus of my current role, as well as getting to engage daily with a
wide variety of people.

I’m so thankful for the excellent early childhood education my children have received, particularly my youngest through Kaitiaki Kindergartens. I see the value they’ve
received from their experience every day, and would welcome the opportunity to help ensure that Kaitiaki Kindergartens continue to excel in the amazing service they
provide to our communities.

Ivor Peksa - Board Member,

I have been a board member since 2021. As a parent with a child enrolled at Oaktree Kindergarten and with a son who has already benefited from the Kindergarten experience, I have a strong personal interest in ensuring that all children have access to high-quality early childhood education.

With my lifetime of experience in technology and business leadership, I bring valuable skills to the Board. I am passionate about supporting the growth and development of young children, and I believe that my expertise can continue to be utilised to help ensure that we are ready for future challenges and that as many NZ children as possible can have the enriching Kindergarten experience that my son and daughter have enjoyed.

I believe that Kindergarten is a special part of New Zealand life, and I am committed to working collaboratively with other board members and the Kaitiaki to ensure that the Association continues to provide the best early childhood education and care for our children.

Kimberly Chalmers - Board Member,

As a mum to two preschoolers (one of whom attends a Kaitiaki Kindergarten) I am determined to make this world a place where tamariki thrive. I believe that all tamariki should be given the opportunity to learn in an environment that nurtures their creativity and provides a safe space to explore. Given the opportunity I would be honoured to serve Kaitiaki Kindergartens on the Board.

With 20 years experience in the NFP sector in health, social service and education and a background in quality management I understand the regulatory environment of ECE and bring expertise in risk management, privacy, child protection, policy, complaints, evaluation, and health and safety. I have experience in governance and have worked alongside a number of Boards.

I have an interest in the socio-political environment and the creative arts, have completed the Oxfam Trailwalker, climbed Mt Taranaki, and enjoy mountain biking and spending time outdoors in and around beautiful Muriwai with my family. I am also the secretary for Muriwai Community Association, supporting the community in the aftermath of cyclone Gabrielle with fundraising and recovery initiatives.

Nicole Thompson - Vice President,

I am the current Vice President and Board Member of Kaitiaki Kindergartens.

I am a mum to two children who both thrived in their time at kindergarten. Also having attended Torbay Kindergarten myself as a child, I am passionate about the learning environment that kindergarten provides, and the sense of community and belonging that kindergarten fosters.

I strongly believe that every child in New Zealand should have access to high quality early childhood education and take pride in my involvement with Kaitiaki Kindergartens as a board member for the past four years. I welcome the opportunity to continue giving back to my community ensuring we provide safe, enriching learning environments for our tamariki.

I’m passionate about ensuring the future of kindergarten in NZ whilst continuing to be responsive to the needs of the communities we serve. I welcome the opportunity to contribute further to the future of our Association.

Stacey Sainty (Head Teacher) - Teacher Representative,

I became the Teacher’s Representative on our Board in October 2023, as I am a passionate advocate for our tamariki, Kaiako and staff along with the kindergarten movement, and to ensure our Members were given insight into a teachers lens when making decisions.

I am married with two adult children and one grandchild who I am looking forward to welcoming to kindergarten in the not too distant future, I live in Stanmore Bay and love being part of our community.

As the Teachers Rep, I offer a range of perspectives, including being a kindergarten child, working in the banking and corporate sector, before my son attended Stanmore Bay Kindergarten; Changing careers, I started my teaching in a full day early learning service, and I have been teaching at Stanmore Bay Kindergarten since 2009 and Head Teacher from 2014. I hold strong ideals around the uniqueness of kindergarten, the values and incredible learning experiences and opportunities we offer tamariki and whānau. I balance this with the knowledge that long day services are a necessity for many members in our community and they too need fantastic teachers and support services, as we provide at HPELC. I am a great listener and observer, am considered and reflective, and feel comfortable to stand up and offer my point of view. I am enjoying gaining a deeper understanding of the operational aspects of our Association and feel represent our staff honestly, fairly, and respectfully.

Vanessa Veart-Smith - Board Member,

Currently I work within Te Pukenga – NZ institute of skills and technology in tertiary education. My specific skills set is within work based learning within the infrastructure industries of Civil, Electrical, Water and Telco. I am also the Māori and Pasifika manager nationwide and the Equity and diversity representative.

Along with this I have been a GM for sales, marketing and strategy for over 15 years and have a skill set that is about brand development, increasing profitability and striving for a positive culture within.
I am qualified in Quality Assurance, Real-estate, Tikanga, First line management, Māori business and marketing and also am a volunteer fire fighter and first medical responder.

With a strong a passion for education and seeing learners of all ages flourish no matter their learning style or choice. I would like to bring my skills and experience to this Association to assist in development , growth and optimisation for our learners and families’ futures.

As a member of the CCNZ (civil contractors NZ) Auckland and Northland executive boards and also ConCOVE which connects and aligns industry, learners and vocational education to ensure clear, equitable and supported development pathways within the construction and infrastructure industries, I bring to the table the ability to see strategies, set clear objectives and ensure we are sustainable, repeats and scalable for success.
Alongside this I understand the requirements and knowledge of a governance role on a board and can deliver and be accountable.

With all these key aspects covered I am committed to the role and delivering on the purpose, vision and outcomes for the board and will add value in all key areas. The future is exciting.

Rebecca Brehmer - Board Member,

I am a Mum of two: one who attends a Kaitiaki Kindergarten and another who will be joining later this year.  Our eldest has grown, developed, and found so much joy in the centre’s nurturing environment. I would love to contribute my skills and experience to support Kaitiaki Kindergartens on the Board.

In addition to my role as Mum, my professional background in law and policy has equipped me with a range of skills that I believe can be of value to the Kaitiaki Kindergartens Board. I have worked in a wide range of areas of law, spanning the private and public sectors. I also have previous experience in governance roles.

While I believe my professional experience would be an asset to the Board role, I feel that it is my passion as a parent and connection to our community that would be most valuable. I am deeply committed to the welfare and development of our tamariki, and I welcome the opportunity to uphold the excellent standards and reputation of Kaitiaki Kindergartens.