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Minister expresses condolences at education loss

Hon Hekia Parata
Minister of Education

5 November 2012

Minister expresses condolences at education loss

Education Minister Hekia Parata expresses her condolences at the loss of a great legacy in early education in New Zealand, Dame Marie Bell, CNZM.

"My condolences to Dame Marie Bell’s family during this time. She was an example of someone committed to on-going learning throughout her lifetime,” says Ms Parata.

“Her legacy involved the early days of Playcentre during the 1950s, and application of the philosophy of learning through play for children in both early childhood education and school settings. She set the foundation for early childhood learning.

Dame Marie Bell established Matauranga in Aro Valley, Wellington, in 1963, which involved parents in the operation as well as teaching and learning until it closed in 1982.

She was also awarded a doctorate by Victoria University while in her 80s. Her thesis focused on the establishment of Parent Centres in New Zealand, of which she was a founding member.

“I had the opportunity at the Parent Centre Annual Meeting this year to witness an award to Dame Marie for her service.

“She will be sadly missed by the early childhood education community in Wellington and remembered dearly by all educators in New Zealand for her significant contribution.”


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