Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


New Book Honours Early Childhood Education Trail Blazers

The stories of those who fought for recognition, training and funding of early childhood education and teaching are recorded in a new book launched by Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand.

Life stories on the frontline - Growing a childcare movement in Aotearoa 
Ngā kohinga kōrero a te aumangea - Kia mana te ara kōhungahunga ki Aotearoa.

Through the personal stories of the 26 life members of Te Rito Maioha, the book tells the journey of the organisation and the growth of the childcare movement and early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“The vital roles of early childhood education and trained ECE teachers are thoroughly researched and accepted in New Zealand today, but a generation ago it was not so,” says Te Rito Maioha Pouhere Kaupapa Māori, Arapera Card, who is one of the book’s editors.

“Our life members have shared their personal stories, the strain on their relationships, the financial struggles and stress of fighting for early childhood education when it was not yet recognised or valued by Government,” says Arapera Card.

“These stories are from diverse backgrounds, cultures and political persuasions but they’re united by their belief that children and tamariki had a right to a quality early childhood education, that it was both necessary and good for children and families.”

Te Rito Maioha Chief Executive Kathy Wolfe says the book is a valuable contribution to the collective knowledge of the ECE sector.

“It’s valuable to teachers, educators, students, historians, bicultural organisations and all those still working hard for equitable recognition and funding for the early childhood education sector.”

The book gives insights into:

  • the women’s movement of the 1970s, feminism and the battle for quality childcare to liberate mothers who wanted or needed to work
  • the swing in political and public opinion towards support for childcare and early childhood education in the 1980s and 1990s
  • the cultural shifts of early childhood education from mainly supporting Pākehā working mothers to embracing te ao Māori and the aspirations of growing communities from the Pacific Islands
  • the experiences of wahine toa, such as Kahuwaero Chase Katene, who was punished as a child at school for speaking Māori and whose sustained mahi over many years helped embed biculturalism into early childhood education and teacher training today
  • the development of teacher training and recognition, from certificate to a diploma of teaching, which formed the foundations for Te Rito Maioha’s current degree and postgraduate qualifications in early childhood teaching.

Printed and pdf versions can be ordered via Te Rito Maioha’s website. Printed copies are $44.95 including postage. Pdf versions are free of charge for Te Rito Maioha members or $19.95 for non-members.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland