Diamond Harbour

13 A Hunters Rd, Diamond Harbour, RD 1, Lyttelton
Mobile: 021 812 650
9:00am to 3:00pm,
Monday to Friday.
Birth to school age

You'll find our kindergarten at Te Kura o Te Waipapa  -Diamond Harbour School, overlooking the hills of Lyttelton Harbour. We feel very lucky to be in such a wonderful environment and our curriculum reflects how we learn, grow and explore our unique community. We climb trees, get muddy, we garden, visit Rāpaki - our local marae, watch the lambs and feed the chickens. We learn through play, inquiry, and challenges - and we have lots of fun! Our kindergarten operates Monday to Friday, from 9.00am – 3.00pm – and through the term breaks. 

 Ko te Ahu Patiki te maunga

Ko te Whakaraupō te moana

Ko Horomaka te mana

Ko matou te Kidsfirst o Te Waipapa

Haere mai, haere mai, haere mai!


Mount Herbert is the mountain

Lyttelton Harbour is the sea

We belong to Banks Peninsula

We are Kidsfirst Diamond Harbour

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

Our teaching team

Rebecca Thomas
Head Teacher
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (ECE)
Annya Boyd
Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning (ECE)
Post Graduate Diploma Specialist Teaching (Early Intervention)
Penny Julian
Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)
Post Graduate Diploma in Infant and Toddler Learning and Development
Gemma Veasey
Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)
Kirsten Mackay
Bachelor of Arts
Graduate Diploma of Teaching (ECE)
Post Graduate Diploma Specialist Teaching (Early Intervention)

Kidsfirst Diamond Harbour opened in 2015, and is made out of natural and renewable building materials.  The award-winning architecture is designed to lend itself to the natural landscape it sits on, with transitional learning environments created through a range of adaptable internal and external spaces.

The  solar-powered building is aiming to be net-zero energy, with any surplus that is generated being donated back to Diamond Harbour School. 




We foster meaningful and reciprocal relationships with:

-tamariki and whānau

-our local and wider communities

-Diamond Harbour school

-our local iwi.

We will support, nurture and guide one another.



Our kindergarten is a place of welcome and support.

Our individual mana is nurtured and protected.   

Our social competency strategies support a place of wellbeing and belonging.



Teaching and learning is lifelong

There are shared opportunities for all teaching and learning

The roles of teacher, learner and leader are interchangeable.

Individual contributions, knowledge and strengths are valued.

Relationships are reciprocal and responsive.



We work collaboratively in order to develop a shared sense of purpose.

We work in partnership with whānau as we value their contributions and consultation.

We reflect the Kidsfirst values; whānau, engagement, inspiring, passionate, proud.



We foster and support lifelong sustainable practices.

We treasure the stories and history of our land.




He iti, he iti mānuka


Although small it is mānuka.


Infants, toddlers and their families are warmly welcomed into their own, calm place by our fully qualified teachers. With great child: teacher ratios and a small overall group size, infants and toddlers can receive the individual attention they need. Our teachers understand the special ways of our youngest children and respect the rhythm and needs of each child.


Children can explore, independently move through, and find wonder in our thoughtfully created inside and outside spaces. Through teacher-guided play, they develop skills to co-operate with others and express their emotions in peaceful ways. As valued members of our kindergarten community our tamariki meet up with their bigger friends regularly, creating plenty of opportunities for ako- shared learning. 


He taonga te mokopuna, kia whāngaia, kia tipu, kia rea.

A child is a treasure, to be nurtured, to grow, to flourish.




E tū kahikatea
Hei whakapae ururoa
Awhi mai awhi atu
Tātou tātou e


Stand like the kahikatea tree
To brave the storms
Embrace and receive each other
We are one together


In the Kahikatea Room our qualified kaiako/ teachers work hard to ensure that our tamariki view themselves as confident and capable learners. Tamariki are given lots of time and space to make choices in their day and to play, explore and make sense of the world in their own way.


We provide open ended opportunities, beautiful spaces, natural resources and experiences that children can revisit over time. Kaiako introduce provocations and use intentional teaching strategies to explore curriculum areas such as literacy, numeracy, scientific thinking, the arts, and a wide ranges of physical and pro-social skills.  We recognise that each child is unique and develops these skills and abilities in their own time and with the care and guidance of the special adults in their life.


The programme planning is carefully considered, flexible and has a focus on both individual learning goals and shared learning that is assessed over time.  We have a strong focus on manaakitanga and social competency that promotes positive relationships, ako and tuakana/teina relationships.


Aroha tatou ki te takaro!

We love to play!


Whānau are always welcome to a cup of tea, come and play and spend time with their tamariki. We know that a sense of belonging for our tamariki is further supported when they see that their whānau time and contributions are valued. We feel very lucky that we have whānau and visitors who regularly spend time with us to bake, read, visit the school, plant, create and share their knowledge and skills.  Kanohi-ki-te-kanohi, face-to-face relationships are extremely valuable to us here and these happen daily in order to respond to and support the learning and needs of our tamariki.


Diamond Harbour School is an important part of our learning community and we really value the relationships that we share. Regular visits between settings provide us with strong foundations to support transitions to school and offer highly valued opportunities for ako, mixed aged and reciprocal learning.


We would recommend that you enrol initially for at least two days per week – building up to five days at your child's pace.  This gives our teachers time to really get to know your child and gives consistency around supporting their learning.  


Nau mai, tauti mai - come in any time, we’ll show you around and make you welcome!

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