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Campus Creche Hillcrest


It all starts here!

Whekii caters to our smallest tamariki, from 3 months to 16 months old, in a beautiful old, home-like villa on the Campus Creche Hillcrest grounds with a teacher/child ratio of 1:4. Our team is culturally and linguistically diverse, offering a range of skills and passions that help to foster open-ended learning experiences and strong reciprocal and responsive relationships with each tamaiti and their whaanau. 

Our centre offers a diversity of play spaces to encourage free movement and floor time for infants and meet toddlers' specific developmental needs.

Day Outline

Our daily programme includes singing, dancing, reading books, exploring the outdoors (including excursions), sensory experiences (water play, sand, playdough, paint, messy play, etc.), and weaving aspects of Te Ao Maaori into our daily programme.  Tamariki have opportunities for solitary playtime and small group experiences.  Experiences are provided that promote independence and self-motivation.  The daily programme links into programme planning for each tamaiti. 

We follow the daily rhythms and individual needs of each tamaiti.

Mission Statement

Our environment provides opportunities for the physical and emotional development of tamariki to unfold naturally at their own pace. We aim to provide safe challenges to enrich the learning of tamariki through fun and exciting experiences.

We are sensitive to the daily rhythm of each tamaiti. We value open communication and building reciprocal relationships with whaanau to foster a sense of belonging.

We embrace and celebrate the bicultural heritage and cultural diversity of all of our tamariki, whaanau and kaiako at Whekii

Staff information

Head Kaiako

I started working at Campus Creche in 2001. I am originally from the Czech Republic and have been living in Hamilton since 2000. I have a strong passion for nurturing infants and toddlers. I enjoy spending time with my family, travelling, skiing, going to the beach and practising yoga. I speak English, Czech, and basic te reo Maaori.

Second person Responsible

I started working at Campus Creche in 1997.  I am originally from India and have lived in Kirikiriroa/Hamilton for over 40 years. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, going on short hikes/walks, cooking, gardening, having a nice, organised space, and watching Indian programmes. I speak Punjabi, Hindi, and English and know some te reo Maaori sentences and phrases.

Qualified Kaiako

I started working at Campus Creche in 2018. I grew up in Kobe, Japan, studied art history at a university in Kyoto and came to NZ in 1993. I enjoy learning and teaching languages, tramping, playing music, travelling, arts and crafts, yoga and pilates. I speak Japanese (1st), English (2nd), Chinese (Mandarin) (3rd), French (4th) and some te reo Maaori, and I am now learning Russian, German and Korean.

Qualified Kaiako

I started working at Campus Creche in 2023. My family and I moved to New Zealand from Nepal in 2014 and have been here since. In my free time, I enjoy catching up with my friends and relatives and I am involved in the Nepalese community in Waikato, where I teach Nepalese Cultural language and dance every Sunday. 


I started working at Campus creche in 2017. I was born and raised in the sunny far north of Kaitaia, where I got to enjoy all the beautiful white beaches.  I have lived in Hamilton for a few years now, where I enjoy the bush walks and having the grandchildren come and stay. My spoken language is English.


Set on Hillcrest Road and looking out towards the University, our Koowhai whare is a vibrant and busy space for toddlers to experience the world and grow holistically. Our spacious backyard style play area offers opportunities for tamariki to explore the natural environment and develop in a socially responsive environment purpose-built for their developmental stage. 

Day Outline

The Koowhai day is structured in a way that supports both free-play and care routines. Tamariki are supported with a predictable routine that ensures they can anticipate what is going to happen next. Kai (food) times are supported based on the developmental stages of the tamariki, and nappy changes are done by adults that the tamariki know deeply to ensure comfort and well-being are upheld.

Mission Statement

Tamariki are at the heart of everything we do in Koowhai, and we believe that this all begins with, and is supported by, relationships. We believe in fostering positive relationships with people, places, and things for tamariki, whaanau and kaiako.

We support tamariki to have a strong sense of belonging and identity and nurture the child's holistic development through providing experiences and opportunities influenced by the aspirations of their whaanau. As intentional teachers, we provide a safe learning environment that is warm and responsive to children's needs. We celebrate the diverse cultures of each tamaiti in Koowhai and honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi by weaving Te Ao Maaori into our daily practice and recognising Maaori as tangata whenua.

Poipoia te kaakano kia puaawai - Nurture the seed, and it will blossom.

Staff information

Head Kaiako

I started at Campus Creche in 2014. I grew up in Kirikiriroa/Hamilton, but whakapapa to Kawhia, where I spent lots of time as a tamaiti. I have four tamariki of my own and I enjoy road trips with my whaanau, waka ama, and sports and I am on the Board of Trustees at my children’s school. I speak English and te reo Maaori. 

Qualified Kaiako

I started at Campus Creche in 2022. I grew up in the north of China in a small town where I enjoyed playing in the snow, and I moved to the city when I was a teenager. I enjoy Chinese folk dance, Chinese calligraphy, painting, Chinese violin (erhu), ukulele, travelling, cooking Japanese food and yoga, and I am part of the Spring Arts Association. I speak Chinese (Mandarin), English, and Japanese, and I enjoy singing in Maaori and other languages.

Qualified Kaiako

I started at Campus Creche as a relieving kaiako i from 2019-2021, so I am very familiar with this beautiful environment.  I was born and raised in Gisborne and then later moved to Hamilton to study at the Waikato University where I graduated in 2020.  I come from a big family with many siblings.  In my free time I enjoy spending time with family. watching movies/shows, relaxing and listening to music.  I am very excited to be apart of a team that nurtures children's learning and development.


Set on a hilltop overlooking regenerating native bush and the new inland port, our Maire whare caters to tamariki from 2 years to 3 and ¾ years and offers opportunites for children to collaborate and grow holistically. The Maire team support culturally responsive development and recognises the importance of whakapapa in the learning journey of each tamaiti. With a purpose-built music room offering opportunities for music and movement and a day that is free-flowing, tamariki thrive in this generous and spacious environment.

Day Outline

The Maire day is free-flowing and caters to the individual needs and rhythms of tamariki. Morning and afternoon tea are offered, and children are empowered to learn about the needs of their bodies. Care routines are intentional and support the autonomy of tamariki to lead their learning day while supporting the needs of their bodies. Before lunch, the Maire whaanau gather to listen to stories, sing, and dance together as a community.

Mission Statement

We believe that the bi-cultural heritage of Aotearoa is very important. We recognise Maaori as tangata whenua and strive to provide an environment that acknowledges both partners to Te Tiriti O Waitangi. We believe all our tamariki come with mana, and we do our best to provide an environment that allows them to reach their full potential.

We encourage our tamariki to be independent while still having the support of the Kaiako. We live by the term “ako”, which means we all learn from each other; we work as a whaanau. Whakawhaanaungatanga is very important, not only with tamariki, whaanau, and kaiako but also with the land we live on and the world around us.

We acknowledge and respect all our Maire whaanau. We also believe in supporting our tamariki in this ever-changing digital world. We aim for tamariki, whaanau and kaiako to have fun during their time at Maire.

Staff information

Head Kaiako

Ko Tautoro te Maunga 
Ko Nga Toki Matawhaorua te waka
Ko  Mahuhu ki te rangi te Marae 
Ko kereru te awa
Ko Nga Puhi te iwi 
Ko Ngati moerewa te hapu

I started at Campus Creche in 2021. I grew up in Taranaki, although whakapapa to the north. I am an amateur and professional boxer when I am not teaching. I speak English and understand te reo Maaori well, but I wouldn’t call myself fluent.

Sarah Yi
Qualified Kaiako

I started at Creche in 2009. I grew up in Taiwan and moved to New Zealand when I was 16 to study for high school and university (Waikato) and meet my husband. I enjoy music, dancing, and cooking. I speak Chinese (Mandarin), English, a little bit of Cantonese, te reo Maaori, and Japanese.

Karlene Davies

Hi, my name is Karlene. I am from Hamilton and currently living with my family in Ohaupo where we have been for the past 10 years. I am excited to be here at Creche in Maire. My journey at Creche started 28 years ago were I stayed for 11 years before going off to further my experiences in Early Childhood around the Waikato. I am very happy and excited to come back here as it feels like coming home for me.  I have one grown daughter Shania, two sons Harry and Jack and also my partner Steve. I also have two grown stepchildren Casey and Jim and two grandsons Beauden and Max and another on the way. I look forward to meeting you all in the near future.

Kaiako in Training

My name is Tepola Finau. I've been working at Campus Creche Trust since 2019. I first started at Creche in the Holiday Programme, where I worked for five years. I am of Tongan decent and have a big family of 8 consisting of my parents, three brothers and two sisters.


My name is Sarah Mills. I am from Hāwera, Taranaki but have been living in Hamilton since 2008 so Waikato has a piece of my heart too. I have been working at Crèche since 2009 and I love it here. I work in the Maire building with our toddler tamariki. I am also the Supervisor of our Holiday Programme which gives me opportunities to catch up with past crèche tamariki.

I have a grown-up daughter Isabella who was part of the crèche whaanau too, and also a stepdaughter Nickala.

I love working with our tamariki and have interests in setting up exciting spaces for play and also enjoy working in the maara/ garden with the tamariki. I look forward to meeting you all.


Nestled in 11 hectares of natural, park-like grounds, Kauri offers lots of opportunities for children to explore, engage, and grow. Following the individual interests of each tamaiti, the teaching team offer diverse experiences both in the centre and during community excursions. Environmental sustainability is a large focus for the Kauri community, and we have large and productive vegetable gardens and fruit trees that we eat from year-round.  We have birds, chickens, Poppy (our lizard) and more that the tamariki help to care for.

Day Outline

Our days are free-flowing, and free play is accessible to tamariki throughout the day. During the day we have an optional morning and afternoon tea, group singing time, lunchtime, and sleep time, for those that sleep.. Children are supported to grow their independence through daily routines and are empowered to help with all aspects of our day.

Mission Statement

At Kauri kaiako aspire to create a culture of care, where tamaiti are encouraged to: care for their environment; care for each other; and care for themselves. Kaiako will: support tamariki to learn holistically through social interactions with others; provide authentic and culturally responsive experiences; and enhance child-led play. Our learning environment fosters: a strong sense of identity and belonging, natural connection, curiosity and awe; courageousness; creativity; and problem-solving.

Staff information

Head Kaiako

Kia ora e te whaanau.  Ko Rebekah toku ingoa.  I started working at Campus Creche in 2023.  I am very excited to be joining the Campus Creche whaanau in ruma Kauri.  I have lived in Kirikiriroa most of my life and currently live on the outskirts with my husband, two children and fur babies. 

Second person responsible

I started at Campus Creche in 2010. I grew up here in Hamilton, although both my parents are from overseas; my father is from England, and my mother is from the Philippines. I enjoy hiking, camping and reading. I speak English, I am growing my te reo Maaori, and I can understand and speak some Tagalog.


Qualified Kaiako

I started working at Campus Creche in 2008. I grew up in Kirikiriroa and in my early adult life I spent time living overseas. I enjoy the beach, fishing, hiking, and gardening in my spare time. I speak English and basic te reo Maaori


I started working at Campus Creche in 2008. I grew up in the small town of Ejeda in Madagascar, where everyone knew each other and had strong community bonds. I love reading, gardening, and walking. I speak Malagasy, French, English and a bit of Chinese (Mandarin).