Melanie – Manager

My name is Melanie Metson and I am the owner and manager of Pohutukawa Kindergarten. My lifelong passion has been working with small children, and I always dreamed of owning my own kindergarten. I find children to be honest, open and so eager to learn. My philosophy is based on respect and I believe that if we respect each child as an individual and support them to respect themselves, others and the environment, then we are giving the future leaders of our society the tools to create a happy, peaceful and productive world. I am the mum of two precious little children – Cooper and Grace.

Olivia – Head Teacher (Ellerslie)

My name is Olivia Irwin. I come to Pohutukawa with over 12 years teaching experience in various Early Childhood settings. I have a degree in Psychology and Education and a Grad Dip in Teaching. I have a beautiful daughter Mia, who is the light of my life. Mia is currently attending Ellerslie Primary School. We love the outdoors and spending time with friends and family. I am passionate about teaching. I find the pre-school age to be one of inspiration, wonder and joyous freedom. It is always rewarding to see the children so engaged in their learning journey and to know that I am providing them with a nurturing, loving and stimulating environment.


My name is Wendy Broadbent. I joined Pohutukawa Kindergarten in January 2014. I have 12 years experience as an Early Childhood Swim Instructor for various swim schools in Auckland. Joining the team here is a great way to broaden my experiences with young children. I thoroughly enjoy watching and helping them play, learn, discover and seeing them grow, but I especially love their smiles. I have a daughter Sarah-Jane and a son Jamie.


Kia Ora, my name is Annie Holmes. I completed my Bachelor of Education (ECE) in 2013. I enjoy travelling, playing Netball, keeping fit and spending time with family and friends. I arrived back from teaching and living in the UK in September 2018. I believe the first 5 years of life is the most critical for a child’s learning and development and thoroughly enjoy being part of their learning journeys. I am enthusiastic about providing young children with rich opportunities and experiences to help them reach their full potential as they transition to school.


Kia Ora, my name is Alyse Kau Kau and I am a part of the Pohutukawa whanau. I am a mother of two children, Ocean and Romeo. In 2016 I started working towards a career in early childcare and knew that I had found a lifelong commitment. I come from a large family of 9 siblings, where I believe my nurturing nature and love for working with children evolved from. My philosophy is based on offering a nurturing and rich learning environment where there are equitable times for teacher led learning, and free play. I believe in incorporating Biculturalism into my daily practice, so all children feel embraced and acknowledged for their unique and individual needs.


Konnichiwa, my name is Emi Meikle. I am from Japan and I came to New Zealand in 2016. I am a mother of a precious little girl, Mina. I have experience working with children as an assistant teacher or teacher aid in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. I value respecting all children as individuals, building positive and respectful relationships with children and their families/whanau that I work with and providing an inclusive environment where all children feel comfortable to explore and participate.

Sarah – Head Teacher (Glendowie)

My name is Sarah Brown. I have been teaching under 5 since 1997. I began with Pohutukawa in 2016. I have a Bachelor of teaching from Auckland university. I have 3 children, two boys and a girl. I have a passion for working with children through respectful relationships. I love the arts and am inspired to extend children through the visual arts. I have a background that has been influenced by our indigenous culture, and aesthetic environment.


Kia ora tātou. Ko Phillippa taku ingoa (my name is Phillippa) and I am proud to be apart of the awesome teaching team here at Pōhutukawa Kindergarten. I hail from Te Taitokerau in the north, ngā uri o Ngati Hine me Ngati Ueoneone. I am an adopted Aucklander and reside locally with my husband and tamariki (toko toru oku tamaiti). We have an interest in working and contributing to the success of our community by serving through our church, our local kura and wider organisations. However my heart and passion lies with the youngest generations as our future leaders. I feel that my identity, faith, education and interests have contributed to my desire to work in Early Childhood Education and hope that I can add to the success of tamariki who choose Pōhutukawa Kindy as part of their ECE journey. No reira, ko te mea nui, ko Te Aroha, Tihei Mauri ora


Kia Ora, my name is Natasha Kirby. I am part of the wonderful Pohutukawa team here. I finished my Early Childhood degree in 2013 at Auckland University. I am married to my husband Tim and we have a son called Ryder and a dog called Buddy. I love working with children as each day is never the same and can be full of surprises and amazing discoveries. I enjoy being able to be their co-learner whilst being around to guide their development through their interests. My personal philosophy is that children learn through their play and the relationships that are formed with their peers, kaiako and the relationships with their whanau. Knowing that I have been a part of building a positive foundation for children brings me great joy!



Kia ora, Ko Stacey taku ingoa. I joined the Pohutukawa Kindergarten team in 2023 and quickly felt at home here. The children here are confident in their sense of belonging to us and this place which is an important factor in the process of growth and learning and deeply supports my philosophy as a Kaiako (teacher) I have held my degree (Teaching – ECE Specialisation)  since 2014 and have worked in both the public and private sector with kindergarten being the philosophy that resonates most strongly for me and the image I hold of the child as capable and competent learners and creators. My son has now grown and flown the nest so I can appreciate both how quickly times flies and some of the challenges that come with parenting.  I embrace the tikanga (culture and traditions) of Te Ao Maori and celebrate the uniqueness and value of each and every person within our learning community.  I value the co-creation of  warm, respectful and responsive relationships. I love music and dance, sunshine and laughter.  Storytelling, time both inside and out, baking, art, science, fun and so much more, I look forward to many wonderful moments working alongside you throughout your time with us at Pohutukawa Kindergarten.