Teen Parent Schools in New Zealand


He Whare Manaaki Tangata



He Whare Manaaki Tangata is our gifted, overarching name, which umbrellas Arohanui (kindergarten), and Poipoia (school). Our TPU is a newly built facility, which opened in January 2014. Our host school is Waiopehu College in Levin so geographically we are situated well within the college environment.


Purpose-built Facilities

He Whare Manaaki Tangata has capacity for 35 students in Poipoia and 30 children in Arohanui (for parents of new borns). This newly opened, architecturally designed and purpose-built facility houses a school and a kindergarten, two areas functioning independently yet integrally together. Parents deliver their child into the hands of fully trained kindergarten staff then walk down the corridor to school.

Having modeled ourselves on other successful Teen Parent Units, we have a commitment to ‘working together’ for the benefit of the parent and child. Professional communication is timetabled regularly and natural positive interaction is conducted daily between staff groups – a shared workroom and staffroom also encourages this.

Poipoia has a van to assist with transporting students to school from Foxton, Otaki and Levin. Morning tea is provided daily and we have a shared lunch on Fridays. Blake House is our medical facility (which is on the Waiopehu College site) providing nurses, a doctor, a physio and a counselor – all students have access to this facility.


Educational Opportunities

The point of difference for students who attend Poipoia is the access to and support from the mainstream teachers and classes. Our timetable is aligned with the college, to give students access to a wide range of subjects. To date, our students are achieving top marks in Level 2 and 3 English, Merits in Mathematics at Level 2 and Māori.

We have total support from the Principal (who teaches an hour a week of Biology) and this is indicative of his philosophy and the inclusive culture that pervades Waiopehu College. In addition, students have access to all that Te Kura offers, as well as Instant Standards, Open Polytech and Weltech, which our staff teach and manage.


Staff Credentials

Three full time teaching staff are responsible for the opportunities in learning, provided for students at He Whare Manaaki Tangata.

  • Ann Stout is our Teacher in Charge.
  • Sue Campbell has extensive knowledge of Professional Learning, NZQA, NCEA and Careers, as well as teaching Health, and managing an Open Polytech class.
  • Misty Sciascia teaches Level 1 English, the Weltech Business course, and manages an Open Poly tech class. Being fresh out of study, she has huge energy for up-to-date teaching theory and innovation.

Our part time staff are:

  • Pam Skerman – Computing
  • Colette Kyle – Level 1 Mathematics.

In addition we have a valuable Administrator Fleur Netten, she is employed by Poipoia and Arohanui, this arrangement also assists with the smooth communication between us all. Collectively, we bring a wide range of skills and experience to Poipoia.


Children Motivate!

Research would indicate that many teenage parents consider the birth of their child a turning point that motivates them to continue with their education. The realisation that they are responsible for another person now, not just themselves, and positive outcomes in education and employment are important. Already our student voice points in this direction.


What Our Students Say

  • “I never thought I could get this many credits in two months.”
  • “I’m surprised at the impact He Whare Manaaki Tangata has had on me and my daughter, I love that I come to school and she is learning next door beside me.”
  • “I have met people I can relate to who also have a baby and know what it’s like.”