Our Staff

Centre Manager

Lisa Havill | Centre Manager

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

Kia Ora to all the families here at The Village Childcare.

I graduated in 2004 and have been working in Early Childcare since then.  I love that I am able to share such special moments with young children on their learning journey and am excited to be leading the Team at The Village.

Kirsten Lassale | Office Administrator

Kia Ora,

I am excited to return to The Village as the office administrator after some time off dealing with an unresolved injury.  I bring many years of experience as a Personal Assistant / Administrator to assist in the smooth running of our Centre.

I resonate strongly with the ethics of The Village and beautiful relationships that form between the families and our teachers.  The Village provides a caring and nurturing environment which I’m proud to be a part of.

I look forward to meeting you all.



Natalie Orme | Team Leader

Bachelor of Teaching, Post Graduate Diploma in ECE

Kia Ora,

My name is Natalie and I am the Team Leader in the Preschool room at The Village. I am a qualified ECE teacher and Primary School teacher. I am married with two children and love spending my time making a difference in young children’s lives.

I have a huge passion for Early Childhood Education and believe strongly in inspiring children to achieve their goals, interests and personal strengths and providing a nurturing and safe environment for them to learn in. I have an interest in creating learning experiences that will  challenge and support children for their transition to school.

I really support learning through play and fostering the social skills and independence that this age group brings. I love that our centre enables  children to learn in a natural environment and discover the wonders of our natural world. I want children to feel a sense of empowerment and enjoyment as they learn and grow.

Rebecca Cochrane

Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)


I am Rebecca, I have a passion for working with children and have been studying for 4 and half years doing Early Childhood Certificates, Diploma and Degree. I have recently completed the Bachelor of Teaching Degree in Early Childhood Education. I have been working as a reliever teacher during my studies and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. In my free time I enjoy baking, running and walks in nature. I believe it is important for children to be provided with a safe, nurturing, and fun environment with plenty of space to play and learn in nature. 

I enjoy helping children to get involved as much as possible, feel accepted, happy, confident and build independence and social skills. I believe children learn through play as well as being involved in routines which teach self-help skills. I like supporting children to extend their understanding, knowledge, and skills.  

My vision is that children grow up to feel happy and capable with the confidence to be able to take care of themselves and others. I hope children feel cared for and supported with many opportunities to learn about the things they really care about. I look forward to meeting everyone!


Milla Hong

Bachelor of Arts (Russian)/ Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE)

Kia Ora the Village whanau. I am Milla.

I used to be a high school teacher in Korea many years ago, and my passion for teaching led me to be an ECE teacher after having my boy in New Zealand.

I am a passionate and interactive kaiako who values and shares our tamariki’s excitement.   

My philosophy goes with respect and relationship as well as inclusive practice.

I am so excited to join The Village team and look forward to meeting you all.

Aroha nui

Aimee Smith

Teacher in Training

Hi! I’m Aimee.

I just love working with children, watching them gain their independence and learn through play.

I am a mum of two children,aged 4 & 7.Their infectious energy and personality inspires me every day.

I am passionate about creating a nurturing, safe environment and building positive relationships with families and whanau.

I can’t wait to get to know each child’s personality and to learn what inspires their imagination.

Clare Conner

Teaching Assistant

Kia Ora,

I am so excited to be accepting a permanent position here at The Village after relieving for a little while. I will primarily be the centre cook in the kitchen, but will also be supporting the teachers in Preschool.

Through relieving I have been able to develop some great relationships with the children and families and look forward to meeting new families.



Helen Van der Merwe | Team Leader

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

Kia Ora Whanau. 

I am privileged to have accepted the position as Head teacher of Explorers.  Originally from South Africa, my husband, myself, and now two adult daughters made NZ our home in 2004.

I decided to start my NZ teaching career by enrolling in an Early Childhood degree course in 2005. I have been working within this wonderful vocation since then in various areas, including teaching, team management, and centre management.

My passion for the toddler age group has always been the area I excelled in and till this day, that has not changed. Hence I returned to the classroom engaging with children,  teachers, and whanau. 

Being patient, kind, and heart-led, I always enjoy being part of a team and of a community that engages with similar virtues. I look forward to leading a team that embraces these skills while collaboratively engaging and exploring relationships with the children we teach.

I am looking forward to getting to know your child and your family. 

Thank you and Arohanui 

Kate Christie

Bachelor of Social Sciences, Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE)

Kia ora, my name is Kate Christie and I am excited to be pursuing my calling as a qualified early childhood kaiako.

Having gained a Bachelor of Social Sciences with a double major in Sociology and History in 2013, I have worked in a variety of roles and enjoyed getting in a bit of travel overseas also. I am pleased to be back in my home town and am passionate about building responsive and reciprocal relationships with tamariki and their whanau.

I have a bubbly personality and a positive outlook on life. I am patient, caring and enjoy the outdoors, reading and arts and craft.

Kim Audas

Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)

Hello, my name is Kim. I have been teaching in ECE for seven years.  My passion for teaching young children comes from my love of play and a desire to encourage and support children to reach their potential.  Everyday offers so many promises and you never know what is going to happen next. This for me is the beauty of being with children.

My husband Craig and I have two teenage daughters, Hannah, and Emma.  As a family we love the outdoors and animals.  We have four rabbits, a ring-necked parakeet called ‘Cheeky’, and a cat called ‘Tigga’.  In my spare time I love going to the gym, walking, and spending time with my family and friends.  I am excited to get to know you all and your families.


Erica Clarke

Teacher in Training

Hi my name is Erica.

I have been an early childhood teacher for 8 years, and have been a teacher here at The Village for 3 years. I am currently studying towards my Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood) and have two beautiful girls, Indy and Maisie, who also attend The Village.

I am very passionate about working with children and believe in building strong, respectful relationships with the children and their whanau, and creating a positive, nurturing environment. I love teaching in a natural holistic environment and introducing them to the natural world around them. I love being part of a child’s learning journey and being there alongside them as they explore and learn and also provide new learning experiences for them. I believe in play based learning for children where they can explore, discover, create and use their imaginations as they learn and explore the world around them through different activities and experiences. 

I look forward to getting to know you and supporting your tamariki here at The Village.


Janelle Schreiber

Teacher in Training

Kia Ora,

My name is Janelle, and I am very excited to be beginning my ECE Teacher journey here at The Village. I am currently working towards my Bachelor of Teaching ECE after deciding to pursue my passion of inspiring and nurturing our Tamariki.

I am passionate about learning that is led by the children and supporting their interests and curiosity about the world.

I look forward to meeting the Tamariki and building respectful and strong relationships with them and their families.

Ngā mihi nui.



Hannah Thomson | Team Leader

Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)

Kia Ora koutou

Ko Hannah Thomson tōku ingoa 

I have a Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood Education and am a provisionally registered kaiako.

I am originally from Palmerston North which is where my teaching journey begun 6 years ago, in that time I have had the pleasure of working with all ages and discovering ways I can encourage and support each child’s learning journey. 

I have a sweet little daughter called Harper who was born November 2020, she has reignited my passion for infant teaching and I am so excited to be joining the infant team at The Village.

Relationships are the heart of my teaching, so I look forward to forming these with whānau and tamariki. I have a strong passion for Te Ao Māori and enjoy giving tamariki opportunities to be authentically immersed in a bicultural environment. I also love supporting children to create connections with the outdoors, providing them with an understanding how the environment is the third teacher.

I look forward to meeting you and your tamariki!

Ngā mihi nui. 

Susanna Fiebiger

Teacher in Training

Kia Ora Parents and Whanau,

My name is Susanna.

I have a little girl, Ava, 6 months old and we look forward to be joining the team at The Village.

We live rural so Ava loves long outdoor walks in her stroller. I have been working with the under 2 age group for 6 years now and absolutely love it! I believe that children thrive in a nurturing environment where they are encouraged and supported to grow, develop, and explore at their own pace.

I acknowledge how crucial these first few years are in terms of babies’ rapid development and strive to provide them with a safe and warm environment where their needs are nurtured and supported. I look forward to getting to know you and your family!

Maddison Ranui

Teacher in Training

Kia Ora, ko Maddison Ranui Toku ingoa 

I’ve been relieving at The Village for a little while now and am extremely excited to have been given the opportunity to step into a permanent role as one of kaiako at The Village. I’m currently studying towards my bachelor of teaching (ECE)

I am passionate about forming quality relationships with our tamariki and whanau, as well as providing learning that is inspired and lead by the children, while still having a nurturing and inclusive environment.

I believe that Early Childhood Education is the most critical years for our tamariki and their development in all skills. These years will equip them to embark on their journey through life.

 I am privileged to be able to support them and you as their whanau through your journey here at The Village. 


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