CORE's Team

Ruta McKenzie

Facilitator — Early Years


BTchg and Lng (ECE)
Cert Man (ECE)
Dip Tchg (ECE)
Dip Tchg (primary)
Higher Dip Tchg

Contact details


P: (03) 379 6627

Region: Canterbury

Ruta McKenzie

Professional profile

Ruta has been involved in early childhood professional development for nearly 11 years. Ruta joined CORE Education in 2010. During that time she has had the privilege of working with teachers and parents in a variety of early childhood settings including home-based care services, play-groups, play-centres, kindergartens, and childcare services both mainstream and Pasifika. She has been involved in early childhood for 26 years, 15 years teaching and holding a centre manager’s role in early childhood settings. Ruta is currently involved in the Teaching and Learning Research Institute project as co-researcher. Ruta is very passionate about early years education and the diverse cultures in Aotearoa-New Zealand.


  • Pasifika Leadership
  • Pasifika Pedagogies
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching
  • Working with Communities
  • Assessment and Curriculum
  • Social Competence
  • Early Literacy Teaching and Learning
  • Transition to School

Relevant experience and specialised areas of expertise:

  • 2013-2015: Lead facilitator for Pasifika Leadership.
  • 2014-2015: Lead facilitator for Southern Pasifika Project.  
  • 2013: Translation of MOE resources, early childhood and schools information into the Samoan language.

Professional memberships

  • Pasifika Early Childhood Advisory – Canterbury Clinical Network, 2015.
  • Present Pasifika Advisory Board for the Renewal of Christchurch, 2012.
  • Present National Board Member of Sa’asia Organisation – Sosaiete Aoga Amata i Aotearoa, 2010.
  • Present Board Member of the New Zealand College of Education, 2011.

Conference presentations

  • Social Competence from a Pasifika perspective, presented at Toddlerific TRCC course, Living Springs, 2014.
  • Christchurch Symposium: Transitions for Pasifika families/fanau from A’oga Amata to Primary schools, 2014.
  • Christchurch Festival of Education in Christchurch - ECE Matters, 2014.
  • Identity, language and culture; The Gathering Conference, Canterbury University, 2012.
  • Identity, language and culture. Whakarauikatia mai Aotearoa – Inaugural ECE online Conference, 2012.
  • Assessment for learning presented at the New Zealand College 3rd year students, Christchurch, 2012.
  • Values and Beliefs of Aoga Amata in Aotearoa, presented at the SAASIA conference in Auckland, 2012.
  • Discovering the power of knowing your students. Presented at the National University of Samoa, 2011.
  • Assessment for learning presented in Porirua, Wellington, 2011.
  • Transition to school from a Pasifika perspective presented at Kidsfirst Kindergarten Association, Wellington, 2010.
  • Leadership in ECE presented in Napier, 2010.
  • Assessment for Learning, presented at the New Zealand College of Education for 3rd year students, 2010.
  • Knowing your students is precious, presented at the transition to school conference in Palmerston North, 2009.


  • Certificate of acknowledgement: Service to Pasifika early childhood education (2010).


  • McKenzie, R. (2013). Treasuring Children: SA’ASIA. Transitioning Children from A’oga Amata to Palagi schools. Pages 132-158.

Personal statement

I was teaching in Samoa before moving to New Zealand in 1980. I have worked in the educational sector my entire adult life and am passionate and dedicated about providing the very best educational opportunities for the children of Aotearoa New Zealand. It is my mission to improve educational success for our children.