Reggio Emilia Manawatu ~ REM Committee

 Brenda Soutar is Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Awa. She is a leader at Mana Tamariki in Palmerston North and has been interested in the Reggio Emilia approach since her first visit to Italy in 1999. Since then Brenda has encouraged a Mana Tamariki team journey to strengthen understanding of the Reggio Emilia approach as seen through an Aotearoa NZ and kaupapa Māori lens.  Brenda currently holds the position of Kaiārahi for REM (guiding tikanga and kaupapa Māori).

 Chrissy Lepper Chrissy is the director of LEAP Education and works in PLD advisory and programme support. She shares the communications, promotions and marketing role on the REM committee. She also brings lots of frivolity to our committee as our offical glitter sprinkler. 

Jo Dean Jo is an experienced early childhood teacher with a background in textile and design. She is currently Head Teacher at the Secret Garden (Feilding). She is passionate about the Arts and particularly visual arts. She holds a belief in life long learning and is currently completing her PhD at the University of Melbourne. Jo shares the marketing and communications role on the REM committee. 

 Karen Laird Karen has been on the REM committee since it was developed at the end of 2013. She has many years of experience in early childhood education beginning her journey at Playcentre with her own children. She is the Curriculum Leader for over two year old children at Massey Child Care Centre and enjoys being a part of the 6-60 choir.

 Marie Morgan Marie is experienced in early childhood education and primary teaching, She is currently teaching in the junior team at Winchester School implementing play based learning. Her passions are art and collecting vintage treasures of all kinds. 

 Miria Wipaki is Ngāti Whitikaupeka, born and raised in Taihape on their whānau farm. She is lead administrator at Mana Tamariki in Palmerston North and was previously a kaiako. Miria's initial interest in the Reggio Emilia approach more than 20 years ago was part of a Mana Tamariki team journey that began with readings, conversations and eventually the privilege of attending an international study tour. Miria is the current REM treasurer.

 Susan Clare Suz is a Senior Leader at Massey Child Care Centre in Palmerston North.  Her Reggio Emilia journey started over 18 years ago after two colleagues went to a Reggio conference in Auckland.  After years of readings, attending national Reggio Emilia inspired professional development, in 2016 Suz had the privilege of attending a conference in Reggio Emilia.  Suz is currently the REM coordinator. 

 Vicki Gifkins Vicki currently works part time as a research co-ordinator and programme tutor at Massey University. She has had a special interest in the Reggio Approach through out her teaching career. She is currently the secretary on the REM committee. 


Past Events                                                                       

Reggio Emilia Manawatū

Reggio Emilia Manawatū is hosting their annual conference in September in Palmerston North ... check it out. An amazing line up of people - click below to register

Click Here 




Reggio Emilia ManawatūScreen Shot 2019-07-10 at 7.34.42 PM.png





Visual art in early childhood

Monday 2nd July

REM are thrilled to welcome Dr. Gai Lindsay to Palmerston North. Gai recently completed a PhD that explored the visual arts beliefs and pedagogy of early childhood educators. Before entering academia, Gai worked as a preschool teacher, director and early childhood consultant for 23 years. She currently lectures in the Early Years Degree at the University of Wollongong.


The art versus craft debate: A proposal to douse the flames of conflict!

Consideration about the role of the educator; the image of the child; the environment; and art materials and processes are located at the intersection of educator pedagogical knowledge, educator visual art content knowledge and educator mindset, forming a tool for self-reflection, provocation and evaluation of practice. It is hoped that this presentation may help to diffuse the flames of conflict surrounding the art versus craft debate to instead invite non-dualistic and respectful dialogue about how children’s visual art learning and growth may be effectively nurtured.




You are invited to join us at the The Coachman,

in the Hunter room, Palmerston North

Monday 2nd July

6.00pm opening with nibbles - 6.30pm start of presentation

Cost: $45 pp

Please register at :

Payment can be made to:  Reggio Emilia Manawatu 12 30380408638 54

 Download Flier





An exciting opportunity to explore the strand Mana Whenua from a te ao Maori view within the context of Te Whariki and the Reggio Emilia approach and with the Manawatu River as the central focus

Mana Whenua | Children's relationship to Papatūānuku is based on whakapapa, respect and aroha
Belonging | Children know they belong and have a sense of connection to others and the environment

Two venues - Te Manawa, 326 Main Str, Palm Nth & Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom, 22 Harbor Str, Foxton

Cost tbc
Contact Reggio Emilia Manawatu <> to book a place on the waiting list as numbers will be capped for this event.

Look out for further details coming ...



On Becoming a Professional Marveller' by Ann Pelo

Professional Practice as Professional Development

 4th April 2016 - 6-9pm

REANZ is delighted to be welcoming Ann Pelo back to Aotearoa New Zealand to share her experiences with us. Ann is a teacher educator, program consultant, and author whose primary work focuses on pedagogical practice, social justice and ecological teaching and learning, and the art of mentoring. Her work is anchored by a commitment to the right of educators to be intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually engaged by their work. Ann offers educators the opportunity to engage with deeper understandings and new questions through the power of story, reflection and collaboration. Ann’s work is sustained by teachers' commitment to growth and challenge, by children's potent capacity for questions, and by families' deep commitment to their children.

Ann is the author of five books: The Goodness of Rain: Developing an Ecological Identity in Young Children (2013), Season by Season the Year Unfolds: A Guidebook for Developing an Intentional Culture in Early Childhood Programs (2010), Rethinking Early Childhood Education (2008), The Language of Art: Inquiry-based Studio Practices in Early Childhood Settings (2007), and, with Fran Davidson, That's Not Fair: A Teacher's Guide to Activism with Young Children (2000).

Traditional in-service learning and professional development often emphasize strategies and techniques for planning curriculum and learning activities, managing behavior, and aligning routines. This short-changes educators’ right to be thinkers, researchers, and co-constructors of knowledge — what Loris Malaguzzi called “professional marvellers.”
When we shift our orientation, and make thinking rather than doing our priority, we begin to live into new possi-bilities for professional development. We reconceptualize the professional development in our programs as pedagogical practice: disciplined thinking and collaborative inquiry into the teaching and learning process. During our evening together, we’ll consider core elements of pedagogical practice and the ways in which such practice becomes our on-going professional development.
Click here to read a review




Newsletter January 2017

January 2017

September 2014 

  • Share 0
  • digg