A bunch of loving, trusting wonderful humans! Our team includes our staff, our governance board and our fundraising committee


Passionate, dedicated, and loving, Te Akonga Early Learning Centre teachers love their work and it shows in everything they do. Our goal is to make a positive difference on children who come to our Early Childhood Education Centre.

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Nikki Tarapa
Centre Manager

Kia ora koutou, ko Nikki toku ingoa, no Ngāpuhi ahau.

My name is Nikki and I am privileged to be the Centre Manager of Te Akonga Early Learning Centre. I first came to Te Akonga as a parent in 2006 and am proud to say, all three of our tamariki have been Te Akonga babes. Following several terms on the Governance Board, I applied to be the Centre Manager in 2016 and have enjoyed my special role, ever since.


I have a Bachelor of Social Science with a Psychology major, a Post Graduate Diploma of Teaching and a Post Graduate Diploma of Māori and Business Management. I worked within the Primary and Tertiary sectors of education for 18 years before moving into the ECE arena and I have to say, it is the most heartwarming and rewarding sector of education.


I am so proud of the inclusive learning environment we offer here at Te Akonga and absolutely admire our hard working, dedicated, loving, team of teachers. Our Governance Board, our Fundraising Committee and our wider community of dedicated parents, make our place super special. We welcome new families to join us, so pop in and see us anytime.

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Erin Akast

Head teacher - Koru

I began my teaching career at Te Akonga in 2005, completing a Bachelor of Education, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Early Intervention. I believe in providing children with an environment in which they are seen, heard, valued and supported to grow as unique individuals. I believe it is our job as teachers to support children to grow as explorers, problem solvers, negotiators and decision makers.

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Jo Moller

Head teacher - Pitau

Kia ora, I’m Jo and I am a qualified, certificated teacher with a Bachelor Degree in ECE. I first came to Te Akonga almost six years ago as a student teacher and knew it was a place where I wanted to stay, due to the inclusive philosophy and the caring, welcoming environment. I am now head teacher in the Pitau room where I have the privilege of working with an amazing team of kaiako. 


I fully believe in respectful care for all children, and take my inspiration from the early childhood literature of Wallis, Gerber and Pikler. As a teacher I strive to provide each child with a secure and loving place to spend their time. If that is achieved then learning and fun will follow. 


I look forward to meeting your beautiful children and forming solid relationships with your whānau.



Te Akonga Early Learning Centre is a community based, not for profit centre, governed by parents who make up our Governance Board.

The Governance Board is elected at the Annual General Meeting and consists of a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Centre Manager, Staff Representative and Parent Representatives. The board meets monthly and is responsible for the governance function of the centre.

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Current members:

Robyn Moloney - Licensee

Anne Boulton - Chairperson

Nikki Tarapa - Centre Manager

Vanessa Moloney - Secretary/Treasurer

Jo Moller/Sonya Finlayson - Staff Representatives

Shanae Thomson - Parent Representative

Amy Currie - Parent Representative

Tim Brown - Parent Representative

Sarah Hughes - Parent Representative

Laura Moloney - Parent Representative

Amy Baker - Community Representative

Richard Eggleton - Community Representative

Lizzie Farrell - Community Representative

Robyn Wesche - Community Representative


Our centre has a voluntary fundraising committee made up of parents, caregivers and staff. The aim of the Fundraising Committee is to raise funds to cover expenses over and above the usual funding received.


The fundraising committee hosts several fundraising events throughout the year that are often targeted at resources and experiences that will directly benefit our children e.g. our annual Trikeathon, whole centre trip and children's christmas party.