top of page

Our Kaiako

Teachers and philosophies

Meet the people and teachers who founded Poutiria te Aroha and continue to share lessons with our akonga, students, who in turn teach and humble us with their stories, growth and insights.

Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira (1932-2011)
Tohunga Cultural Wisdom Visionary

Hoa rangatira, Māmā and Nanimā of a seventy strong pā harakeke whānau. Co-founder of Te Ataarangi and Kura Kaupapa Māori movements. Teacher, writer, publisher, artist, poet and deep creative thinker whose 60-year contribution to Māori education and language revitalisation in Aotearoa literally changed the cultural landscape of NZ today. Her work, her teaching, her writing and her lived experience remains an inspiration for the continuing development of Poutiria te Aroha.

Ruth Beaglehole
Teacher and Researcher

Ruth is an activist for children’s rights. Through her own experience she knows that a broken-hearted child grows up to be a parent with a broken heart, who will eventually need to heal in order to love well. Ruth embodies 50 years of research and practice experience as a trained early childhood teacher and 40 years as a parent educator and family relationship coach.


From this heart work practice Ruth built her curriculum 'Parenting with Nonviolence' to speak for the rights of every child to be loved well, which has helped to inform the development of Poutiria te Aroha.

Katarina Mataira
Founder Kaiwhakapumau | Programme Director

Katarina Wirangi Mataira is Kaiwhakapūmau and programme director for Poutiria te Aroha. Together with her sister Tuihana, she set up Te Mauri Tau Inc, a kaupapa-Māori community education organisation, providing innovative programme development and training, that weaves together tikanga, tangata and taiao.


She is constantly inspired by the people who come to work within the space created by Te Mauri Tau and is curious about how we navigate back to the centre of well-being; te puna o te aroha, te puna o te maungārongo in our everyday lives. Naturally inclined to the Hāpai-ō (behind the scenes) role, Katarina will nonetheless give most things a go, because sometimes we need to take heed of the evidence – the old ways are not working for people or for Papatūānuku. Let’s find a new way.

Jackie Gillett and Isabel Crawforth
Ngā Kaiako | Teachers

Jackie and Isabel are both passionate early childhood Kaiako who live and work in Whaingaroa. Jackie is tangata whenua ki Whaingaroa and surrounding areas and Isabel is from England, living in NZ for over 30 years.


They have been working with Ruth Beaglehole and the team at Te Mauri Tau, delivering the Parenting with Nonviolence curriculum in Whaingaroa since 2012. They are inspired by the philosophy of nonviolence and enjoy the messages of social justice, and the struggles and the celebrations of trying to make a difference in the lives of our tamariki.

Kaiako cropped.jpg
Peggy King
Kaiako | Teacher

Peggy King, nō Taharoa. Māma of four tamariki and seven mokopuna, Peggy has invested 20 years of her life and aroha in Te Kōhanga Reo o Whaingaroa, 15 of these years as a teacher.


Now frontline staff at Kaahu’s Nest, doing the day-to-day mahi of a community which is saving Papatuanuku, Whaea, Aunty, Nana Pegz is always striving for the well-being of her own whānau and the generation of tamariki and mokopuna that she has nurtured. Pegz has so much aroha and comes to Poutiria te Aroha because she believes that all children matter and that they all need to know this.

bottom of page