About Us.

Āwhina means support in te reo Māori, with an implication of all-encompassing, unconditional love. We think that sums us up perfectly. It was only by good luck that the name “Āwhina” fell into our hands, and we have held tight to it as it resonates with everything we wish to bring to our students and communities.

Our Philosophy

At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.

– Maya Angelou

Āwhina Education was born because our team members wanted to be part of a workplace built on mutual respect, that they could feel a real sense of ownership over.  We care about empowering our learners, and each other. We work to cultivate openness, empathy and responsiveness, and are deeply committed to providing evidence-based practice.  We also admire rebellion, and see this in our students who fight everyday to carve out a place for themselves in a system which does not always work for them.

Our tutors love the job they do; they love the difference it makes in children’s lives. The more we can spread that success, the greater the impact we can have on the world. If we had to have a motto, it would most likely be - in the words of the late, great Maya Angelou - “At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”  At Āwhina we wish to make our students feel invincible, and our team feel invaluable.

Our Mission

Our mission is to make literacy and numeracy accessible to those who might otherwise never have been able to achieve success.

To put it another way, we service the ‘square pegs in round holes’. We work to further reduce the disparities in education through our pro-bono work in partnership with schools in our local communities. At its heart, Āwhina’s purpose is to make the world a better place by working with children’s unique learning styles and helping them find ways to be the absolute best they can be.


The values that guide us



Our name says it all: we are here to bring your child the unconditional care and support they need to succeed.



Making all of our young people believe they can and should reach for the stars.



Working in partnership with our tutors, families and communities to provide the best service we can, to those who need it most.



Delivering the most effective programmes we can find, to the best of our ability, and continuing to evolve over time to remain at the forefront of best practice.

Why Āwhina?

Why should you choose us? There are many excellent tuition providers in the Wellington region. What makes us special is how deeply we care about your family and your child’s emotional well-being, as well as their academic success.
Understanding learners

Our tutors’ careers in education have focussed on students who do not find learning in the mainstream classroom straightforward, for whatever reason. We get how hard this is and we are here not just to teach them, but to listen to them when things are difficult.

Targeted teaching

While we have a wide range of excellent resources at our fingertips, not everything will be appropriate for your child’s needs. Our tutors are trained to conduct an initial assessment so they can decide what will fit with your child’s learning style; ongoing monitoring testing means they can change and adapt over time as their knowledge of your child grows.

Specialised knowledge

To work with us, tutors require intensive training to ensure they are well-versed in our programmes and methodologies. This is a very particular skill set and we work hard to ensure we remain at the top of our game through ongoing supervision within our team and professional development.


At Āwhina Education we like to make sure we are all working to the highest standard. We observe our tutors in action and Amelia, our resident educational psychologist, keeps an eye not only on our plans and programmes, but also on the latest research, to make sure we’re doing things right. We keep our minds open to new ideas and are ready and willing to make changes based on the best information available, as the evidence-base is always evolving.

Community outreach

We want to contribute to levelling the playing field for all children living in Aotearoa New Zealand. A Specific Learning Disorder can be a genuine barrier to a child’s success in school, and the barrier can be compounded if that child cannot access the extra help they need. Our goal is to try and work with as many children as we can, in partnership with schools in our local communities, to try and close this gap.

Open communication

We have no secrets here at Āwhina Education! Our organisation is run by an advisory board made up of many of our tutors, and we place a high value on participatory decision making. We want to share our knowledge of your child’s learning with you and with their school as often as we can, and prize the insight we receive from you in return. Our “door” is always open, and we wish to do as much as we can to make our families feel cared for and heard.

Kind Words From Parents

Tutoring has taught our daughter that you can do anything you put your mind to and allowed her confidence to grow so much. Over the time working with you she has gone from a child who was very quiet in class and would hardly ever answer questions, to a child who raises her hand voluntarily and answers the question with pride, confident she knows a thing or two.  I can't put into words how grateful and happy we are to have found Āwhina Education.

"Oh gosh I'm speechless, overjoyed and completely overcome with emotions and gratitude, smiling through tears rolling down my cheeks. Thank you for all your support, I would want any other parent to feel what I'm feeling right now... my son has just flourished."

"Hannah's spelling and reading has really improved since starting with Āwhina Education.  She seems more engaged and doesn't fight us when asked to do her homework - which is a massive change for her and us."

"We’ve noticed more confidence in everything. The one-on-one tutoring has been fantastic for Wilbur. His tutor is amazing."

"We’ve noticed a huge increase in our son’s self confidence when it comes to learning, which has translated into enjoying doing the homework that his tutor gives him."

“Our daughter has had a wonderful term and I'm so grateful that Liz Kane told us about your company. This whole structured literacy approach is really helping her. The lessons are all making sense to her... it is connecting to her brain and it has been a joy to watch her really learn. Her tutor is nothing short of amazing with her. Thank you to her tutor and to the whole Awhina Education team from my family.“

"Thanks for all you do - I have already noticed a massive difference... I can’t believe she can read half the words she’s able to now!"

"This Tuesday he came out from tutoring with a smile a mile wide and full of enthusiasm. He said his tutor was so proud of him identifying all the language features. The way you are teaching him is just what he needs and is filling him with confidence, not just in English, but also in History and Mathematics. I just wish I had done this sooner. Thank You so much for your hard work. You totally amaze me with what you have achieved in such a short time."

"It is a wrench leaving his tutor who has been a superlative tutor for our son -  her structuring, skill, sensitivity, and positive approach has really helped him reengage. We almost considered staying in Wellington longer for her!"

"My daughter’s maths confidence has soared since starting tutoring with Karen! She is a fantastic tutor!"

"We are very grateful to you and Carina. Our son loves reading now, he even likes to write, and says spelling is easy! Your work has changed his life."

“Thought I'd share this [report] to show how our son has benefited from all your support this year and how he has shared this with his teachers and they affirm this. Thank you everyone! We feel so lucky to have this team around him, helping him grow and learn.”

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