Reggio Emilia Manawatu - REM

REM Committee.jpgReggio Emilia Manawatū (REM)

REM is a group of individuals interested in the pedagogy of Reggio Emilia and how it relates to our context here in Aotearoa NZ. We established in 2013. Our focus is on bringing Reggio inspired professional learning and development opportunities to the Manawatū. We usually host 2-3 larger events per year and have an established reading group. If you wish to join our mailing list, please email our secretary.


Annie Harvey  has experience as both a primary school and early childhood teacher. She is currently employed at Hokowhitu Kindergarten and has a strong interest in the Reggio Approach. She has a passion for empowering communities to engage in collaborative learning. She runs the Reggio Emilia Manawatū reading group.

 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).

 Karen Laird is the Curriculum Leader for the Kiwi/Kea Sections (over 2 year olds) at Massey Child Care Centre. Her journey of understanding the Reggio approach began in 2002. Over the last 14 years she has been focused on introducing and implementing the approach into the programme.  She was also part of a team of interested and committed educators that established the REM group in the area.

 Margot Mackie is the Deputy Principal at Manchester Street School in Feilding She is strongly focused on making transition to school   successful for all children.During a sabbatical this year she attended the REANZ study tour and her passion and understanding of the Reggio Emilia approach totally change her philosophy and approach.

 Megan Franssen is an early childhood teacher. She became inspired with Reggio Emilia, about four years ago and was very fortunate to get a position at Roslyn Kindergarten in Palmerston North. She attended, Connecting Children to the Atelier of Nature Tuhono ana tamariki ki te taiao Reggio Emilia Aotearoa New Zealand , in 2015. Megan is currently a REM member.

 Miria Wipaki is Tūwharetoa, 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. 

Tessa Kirner  is the Head Teacher at Hokowhitu Kindergarten in Palmerston North. She has a long interest in the Reggio Emilia approach which began during her time teaching at Rangitoto Kindergarten in the 1990’s. She has extensive experience creating Reggio inspired learning environments.

 Vicki Gifkins is currently a visiting teacher for Ruahine Home Based and has experience in Reggio inspired child care and kindergarten teaching. Her interest in the Reggio Emilia approach began as a new teacher and has grown ever since. She is currently the secretary on the REM committee. 


Unfortunately this conference in now CANCELLED!

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 




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Past Events                                                                       





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.
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Newsletter January 2017

January 2017

September 2014 

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