Our People

Anne Valeli, Centre Manager

How long have you been involved in early childhood?

I’ve been teaching for over 20 years – in fact I’ve taught children that are now teachers themselves! We plant the seeds that get children ready for the next phase of their learning journey – going off to primary school. We give them confidence and build their capabilities, so they are able to conquer this world and be proud of who they are.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love coming to work and seeing all the smiles on the children’s faces. They know me and trust me which makes me feel happy.

What is your favourite time of the year at the centre, and why?

There’s no particular time of the year that I enjoy most – I love it all!  We always have a reason to celebrate at our centre that makes our time special.

What is your ECE philosophy?

Children come here and it’s their place to learn and grow without interruptions and we are here to guide them and lead them.

Diploma in Teaching - ECE

Shamiza Nisha, Head Teacher - Pukeko Room

Shamiza Nisha   Head Teacher - Pukeko Room

Salam, Bula And Kia Ora Whanau,

My name is Shamiza and I am the Head Teacher in the Pukeko Room. I am originally from the beautiful islands of Fiji and have completed my education here in New Zealand with a Bachelor of Education for Early Childhood Teaching. I am a fully registered teacher with over 10 years of work experience in ECE. I absolutely love working with children and supporting them through their early life learning and development.

I also work alongside an amazing team of ladies who are always working towards creating magical learning spaces and opportunities for our little toddlers. 

I am looking forward to having many adventures with my little friends and meeting you all. See you in the classroom!

Fun Fact: I love baking and decorating all kinds of special cakes :)


Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching)

Ripeka Marshall, ECE Teacher - Fantail Room

Kia Ora,

My name is Ripeka and I'm excited to be here with our amazing team at Learning Adventures. I have been in the ECE industry for about 4 years. I believe in quality care being the essential key to further children's education and therefore becoming an early childhood teacher in training affirmed my decision to advocate for our younger generation. I have my national certificate Level 3 in Early Childhood Education and am currently in the process of further studying while working.

I would like to thank you all for welcoming me into our Learning Adventure whanau and I am excited to be working alongside new families, an awesome team and support the learning journeys of our tamariki. 

Fun Fact: I enjoy organising and setting up special events.


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Nikhita Chandra, ECE Teacher - Pukeko Room

Namaste, Talofa Lava and Kia Ora Whanau,

Hi, my name is Nikhita and I am a qualified teacher in the Pukeko Room. I have a Bachelor in Teaching (ECE) and have been in the industry for around 6 years, currently working towards my full registration. I love working alongside my little friends and helping them foster in their learning and development. 

Fun Fact: I love travelling and exploring new places.

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Katokakala Tu'uholoaki, Head Teacher - Fantail Room

Malo e lelei,

My name is Kato and I am the head teacher in the Fantail room. I have completed my Bachelor in Education (ECE) and am currently working towards my full registration. I have many years of teaching experience from back in my country, in Tonga as well as from here in New Zealand. I enjoy facilitating and creating fun opportunities for my young learners helping them set a strong foundation for their further pathways.

My journey in Early childhood has also inspired me to follow my passion in supporting children with special needs and helping them in achieve some their important milestones. 

Fun Fact: I enjoy exploring my creative side and love arts and crafts.

Bachelor of Education (ECE)

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Peta Motuliki, ECE Teacher - Pukeko Room

Malo e lelei,

My name is Peta and I have been with the Learning Adventures family  (Airport Oaks) since May 2022. I am currently a Kaiako in the Pukeko Room working with toddlers. I enjoy being a part of our children's learning journey through fun adventures and exploration. 

Fun Fact: I wanted to become a cop but somehow ended up in ECE and now I am enjoying it!

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Anamanu Lolohea, ECE Teacher in Training - The LIttle Kiwi Room

Malo e lelei,

I am Whaea Ana and I have been a part of the education industry for 5 years. My passion for teaching the younger generation has influenced my career pathway and I am now a teacher in training, studying for my Bachelor of Teaching. I am excited to work alongside all our Whanau and identify ideas to support the holistic development of all tamariki. 

Fun Fact: I enjoy music and movement and love doing fitness exercises with my little friends. 

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Rita Sharma, Van Driver

Namaste, Bula Vinaka

Hi, my name is Rita and I am the Van driver here at Learning Adventure Airport Oaks. I enjoy building special relationships with all the children and their families and helping them make connecting links from their homes to the centre. I also love supporting the teachers in caring for the children when I am at the Centre. 

I would like to thank all the families for trusting me to safely pickup and drop off their children from their homes to the Centre. I am looking forward to meeting new families as well.

Val, Centre Cook

Kia Ora, 

My name is Val and I am the Centre Cook here at Learning Adventures Airport Oaks. I love being a part of the centre and absolutely enjoy cooking nutritious meals for the tamariki here. I enjoy having conversations with them from the kitchen and am honoured to a part of their healthy development. 

I am also the afternoon Van Driver and I enjoy taking the tamariki to their homes during drop off times and meeting all their families. I am looking forward to meeting new families as they join in.

Charmaine Davids , Van Driver


My name is Charmaine and I work here at Learning Adventures Airport Oaks as a part time Van Driver. I am originally from South Africa and moved to New Zealand many years ago. I love working alongside children and meeting new families. I look forward to meeting new children and their families along the way.

Lilly Makakona, ECE teacher - Fantail Room

Fakalofa Lahi Atu, Kia Orana

Hi, my name is Lilly - I am currently in the Fantail Room working alongside our young pre-schoolers. I have been here at Learning Adventures for about 4 years now. I enjoy working with children supporting and guiding them through their early learning as well as offer them many opportunities to explore and be creative in their own way.


Fun Fact: I enjoy providing different cultural experiences to our tamariki.