Number 3 2019

Big picture

From the President...

Hi all,

The sun is shining and definitely and the energy levels have had just what they needed to recharge the batteries.

I'm back from an amazing time in Christchurch for the NZLA ‘Arts to the Bridge of Literacy’ Conference. It was great to catch up with familiar faces, friends, colleagues and even introduce myself to complete strangers! The conference delivered everything it promised and more and I can't wait until next years one hosted by Taranaki Council held in New Plymouth - just a little bit closer to get to! Start planning a road trip now. We will have some reports in the next Noteworthy from our recipients of the Marie Clay Early Career Award and our WLA award.

Christchurch is definitely starting to taking shape, the city is evolving. I had the wonderful opportunity to step into the new library Tūranga, which overlooks the cathedral. What a delightful modern space for a city with a future.

The Waikato Literacy Association were presented with our Honour Council award for upholding 17 years of achieving Honour Council status. We are on our way to make it to our Platinum award (20 years). I'd like to acknowledge the work of Judith Woodham in preparing our presentation. This is awarded at the NZLA conference and acknowledges the work that councils undertake in the following areas: Administration, Membership Initiatives, Activities and Projects, Publication and Communication and International Involvement. Auckland and Waikato are the highest achieving councils.

The team have been trojans working hard behind the scenes - Young Authors and illustrators was another great student event. Books for Babes - celebrating September World Literacy Day and hosting an event for early career teachers and teacher trainees about the Power of the Book with Rob Southam.

In this edition we have included the Membership Subscription form - please note -You won’t be invoiced until early 2020. Also of note we are not renewing our Post Box service. So please send and correspondence to our email address

Remember to like and keep an eye on our Facebook page.

As I find inspirational stories, quotes or comical sayings I post them.

"Isn't it odd how much fatter a book gets when you've read it several times?

As if something were left between the pages every time you read it?

Feelings, thoughts, sounds , smells, and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if

the book had preserved you like a pressed flower, both strange and familiar. "

Enjoy your term,

Noho ora mai



Big picture

The Books for Babes initiative marks International Literacy Day, celebrated annually on 8 September. A day set by UNESCO to celebrate and highlight the importance of literacy. This year focused on ‘Literacy and Multilingualism’. However, Waikato Literacy Association mobilized a bilingual approach guided by the following whakataukī:

He aha te kai ō te rangatira?

He kōrero, he kōrero, he kōrero.

What is the food of the leader?

It is knowledge. It is communication.

The Waikato Literacy Association is a branch of the New Zealand Literacy Association, a professional organisation for educators supporting literacy development. The organisation supports teachers to develop engaging literacy programmes that promote enjoyment of literacy learning as well as to promote literacy in the Waikato community.

Big picture

50 gift wrapped copies of Hush: A Kiwi Lullaby penned by Joy Cowley, translated in Māori by Ngaere Roberts, and illustrated by Andrew Burdan were purchased by WLA and generously supported by Scholastic. Services to Schools and Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa (National Library of New Zealand) included information pamphlets to give whānau additional ideas of how to create a reading culture at home. Members of the Waikato Literacy Association visited the Huntly Birthcare Unit to donate these books.

Each copy of the warm hearted kiwi version of the traditional lullaby, will be distributed by the wonderful and supportive Birthcare Huntly staff to the mothers of any babies born in the up and coming days or weeks.

The whakataukī above describes how whānau can find nourishment in their learning and understanding of new concepts through speaking aloud with each other. We gifted this book to encourage bilingual and biliteracy opportunities for whānau to enjoy with each other. To foster lots of Reading To and Shared Reading type experiences, as a way to develop rich interactions and kōrero with their pēpi - to feed their learning, knowledge and understandings in both languages of Aotearoa, te reo Māori and te reo Pākehā.

E te rangatira, e Korina Vaughn nō Ngāti Maru me Waikato. Tēnei te mihi nui ki a koe mō te manaakitanga, mō te tiakitanga, mō te kumanutanga me kī, mō ā tātou pā harakeke.

E waimarie ana mātou ko Waikato Literacy Association (WLA) i whakapiri atu a Korina ki te āwhina i a mātou, ki te whakamārama i ngā tikanga tuku iho a te iwi nei. Tēnā koe.

While visiting Huntly Birthing Unit we were blessed to be educated by Korina Vaughn, who is the clinical manager at Birthcare Huntly, in the use of what are now standard traditional Māori birthing practices, such as the use of maripi pounamu (greenstone) to cut the tia (the middle part of the child’s umbilical cord) and muka. Muka is a natural fibre from the harakeke (New Zealand native flax bush) and has natural healing qualities. Māmā or a whānau member are empowered to tie the muka around the pito (the part of the umblical cord closest to the baby). The muka is organic, natural and light on baby’s puku opposed to the clunky plastic clip. The muka comes off a lot quicker and is cleaner too.

Another practice is the use of wahakura, a woven flax bassinet for pepi up to 5-6 months of age. This return to a traditional Māori way of sleeping babies creates a safe sleeping space for babies, protects babies from SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy), prevents accidental suffocation, and promotes breast-feeding and bonding.

Being able to choose traditional Māori practices in childbirth connects whānau mentally, spiritually and physically. The wairua traditional Māori practices brings keeps whānau grounded and close to who they are, all of which contributes to whānau well being. Mauri ora!

Ka nui te mihi ki a Korina. Amazing kōrero, learning and knowledge shared which reflects language, culture and identity counts.

To whānau welcoming their baby to the world at Huntly Birthing Unit, enjoy Hush: A Kiwi Lullaby and kōrero, kōrero, kōrero - kia ora ai e te iwi!

Nā, Kylie Te Arihi

On behalf of Waikato Literacy Association


On Saturday 7th of September around 140 enthusiastic and aspiring young writers and illustrators, aged between 9 and 13, arrived at Berkley Intermediate, in Hamilton, to take advantage of the 2019 Young Authors Conference. This biennial event had a fabulous cast of 12 talented authors, illustrators (and entertainers) from near and afar- including some New Zealand favourites: Des Hunt, Melinda Szymanik, Feana Tu’akoi, Amy Harrop, Sarah Johnson, Sharon Holt, Deb Hinde, Judi Bilcliff, Maria Gill, Lewis Morgan aka Zeebong and Raymond McGrath.

Each student attended three 1 hour workshops throughout the day to help hone their literacy skills and learn a few ‘tricks and tips’ of the trade from those in the know.

At the end of the day each author or illustrator addressed the 140 students (slightly more enthusiastic, now inspired) who congregated in Berkley’s Cultural Centre. These special guests shared aspects of their own lives, their struggles on the way to authorship, words of encouragement, a few laughs as well as several books and drawings which were given away as spot prizes. Thank you also to Sandie from Scholastic for donating a significant number of children’s books as spot prizes thus ensuring that not many children went home empty handed.

The highlight came at the very end of the day during the ‘autograph session’ where dozens of children lined up to have their books signed by their favourite author or illustrator- something akin to what you might see after an All Blacks or Black Caps game. Great to see hero worship alive and well at a children’s literacy event.

Thank you to all who gave up their time to be involved in the organisation and supervision on the day- it was well worth the effort. Many of these authors had begun their writing careers later in life after ‘always wanting to be a writer’ so just remember, it is never too late...


Big picture
Big picture

This was my first encounter with the Waikato Literacy Association. Dr. Wendy Carrs provided information on the upcoming talk by Rob Southam from Scholastic books, “The Power of the Book.” The memories Rob created when she asked us to close our eyes and remember our first books as a child. We thought of the golden books with their gold and black binding and the room echoed with the voice of Enid Blyton, The Famous Five, and The Secret Seven. I looked around the room to the delight of happy faces recalling these times.

Rob is passionate about the importance of children being read to aloud by their families and teachers at school. It was also of interest, the way that she explored the books to give more ideas to interest children to become readers. Some examples are the inclusion of picture books to create a conversation about the text and the illustrations. The hook of the first book in a series by the same author which is how our son started reading for pleasure. I feel as Rob does, the importance of creating opportunities for children to get immense pleasure from being read too, reading and becoming life long readers.

Suzanne, University of Waikato student.

Big picture

LITERACY through PLAY our first event for 2020

26th March 2020 Event for Educators

Keep this date marked in your diary! Longworth Education will be presenting a session on catering for literacy needs and teaching in a play environment. More information to come soon.


Now is the time to be planning for membership of the Waikato Literacy Association for 2020. Access the form below to ensure your membership for 2020. Members receive:

Our electronic newsletter 'Noteworthy',

A hard copy of the NZLA publication 'Forum' (published 3 times a year)

Advance notice of upcoming events and scholarships,

A reduced fee for council events and the NZLA Conference.

Access to past editions and articles published in the Forum


Sandie Haddock - (Scholastic) President

Todd Burton - (Matangi School) NZLA Delegate, Incoming President 2020

Judith Woodham - (Paeroa Cluster) Secretary, NZLA Executive (June 2019 - 2021)

Mel Sargent- (Manawaru School)Treasurer

Kerry Horan - (St Joseph's Morrinsville) Membership Secretary

Sandra Neil - (Hillcrest Normal School) Noteworthy Editor

Wendy Carss - (Waikato University) Honour Council, ILA Board of Directors

Kylie Te Arihi - (Knighton Normal School) Forum Distributor

Jocelyn Broom - (Knighton Normal School) Forum Distributor

Vicki Stephens - (National Library )Social Media

Therese Cargo - (Kelston Deaf Education Centre) Committee Member

Megan Bevan - (Knighton Normal School) Committee Member