Our People

Centre Manager

Rebecca Gush, Centre Manager

Kia ora, I’m Rebecca Gush and I have been in childcare for 19 years.
I have a 19 year old daughter, Alyssa, who is the reason I got into childcare.
I have a bachelor of Learning and Teaching and my full registration. I have been in management for about 10 years and have a real passion to support other Kaiako to be the best they can, so they can provide the best support and guidance for all tamariki to learn and grow in a safe and fun environment.
I have a real passion for drawing and reading and enjoy doing these in my down time.
My door is always open, so please come and say hello.

Office & Support Staff

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Tai Teddy, Centre Administrator

Kia Ora, my name is Tai.

I am a reliever here at Lollipops, Bell Block with a Level 3 certificate in Early Learning Education. Building strong relationships with our tamariki and whānau are what I enjoy most about this industry. My main goal is supporting our tamariki with their independence and knowledge so they can strive to be the best they can be.

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Natalie Critch, Centre Administrator (on maternity leave from 17/06/24)

I joined the team as the centre administrator in November 2022. I bring my bubbly personality and organisation to the team ensuring the behind the scenes runs smoothly for both our teachers and parents. During my down time I likes to keep active, paint and cook.

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Sue Martin, Housekeeper

I am a bubbly friendly, easy going person with a great sense of humour. I have recently come on board as a Housekeeper in January 2023. My position is to ensure that the laundry is flowing and completed in an efficient timely manner along with maintaining an attention to detail in all hygiene areas within the centre. I’m married, have a 17-year-old son and we enjoy travelling and water sports.

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Rachel Brett, Centre Cook

Hi my name is Rachel. I am the centre cook. I enjoy cooking for our children and encouraging healthy eating. I am an outgoing person who enjoys staying fit and healthy.

Infant Room

Nicola Gu, Teacher

Kia Ora! I’m Nicola, I’ve been working at Lollipops since 2018, first as a student and now a fully qualified teacher.
I love supporting our tamariki to go out of their comfort zones and realise their potential, the look on their little faces when they achieve something new is priceless. I like to build an environment where the tamariki and their whānau feel like it’s a home away from home.
I spend my downtime with my family, we love to travel to different places near and far.

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Marara Murray, Teacher

My name is Ma (Marara), I started working here in 2021 after I finished high school and started my first year of study in 2022. Over the past year or so I have found a passion for nurturing and caring for tamariki. I’m excited to see what happens next.

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Tracy Du Fall, Teacher

Kia Ora, my name is Tracy. I am a qualified teacher and have been working in ECE for over 15 years. I have working at Lollipops Bell Block for the last 7 years and have recently become a reliever where I get the opportunity to work across all three rooms.

Samantha Malcolm
Samantha Malcolm, Teacher

Kia ora everyone,

My name is Sam and I am a new teacher in the infants room. I have known from a young age that I wanted to be an ECE teacher and find so much joy in watching our youngest tamariki grow and learn. Infants is the age group

I enjoy working with the most as there are so many new discoveries for this age group day to day. It is really special to be able to share that wonder and discovery with the tamariki and watch their personalities unfold. 

I have two children of my own; Jackson who has just started intermediate and Emilia who has come into the juniors room. I am so excited to get to know you all and meet your tamariki. Looking forward to lots of fun and adventure at Lollipops!

Ngā mihi,

Samantha Malcolm


Juniors Room 

Jasmine Kelly, Head Teacher

Kia Ora Whānau,
Ko Jasmine tāku ingoa (Jaz to everyone). I have one child who is named Nathaniel, we enjoy trying new experiences and kai as well as travelling nationally and internationally.
I have been with this company for 4 years but within education sector for nearly a decade.

I am a passionate & positive person and enjoy creating experiences that are new and educational for tamariki where they can explore all avenues.
If you have any questions, please feel fee to come and see me in the Junior room from Monday to Friday.

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Tara Hunt, Teacher

Kia Ora, my name is Tara, and I am a qualified Kaiako in the Junior Room. I have been working for Evolve for the past 3 years in a relieving capacity and now I have taken on a permanent role here at Bell Block.

I have worked in ECE for nearly 20 years and love being part of the learning journey the tamariki take while in an ECE setting. I am passionate about everything to do with children and love providing positive learning experiences for them.

I have 2 boys of my own who are 14 and 18. I enjoy the outdoors and everything that nature has to offer, and, in the weekends I am usually outdoors doing something active.

Alyssa Rowlands, Teacher

Kia Ora. My name is Alyssa and I’m in my second year of studying my bachelor of early childhood. I love seeing the tamariki grow and become their own individual person. In my free time I like to be outdoors and with whānau and friends.

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Te Wairua Welch, Teacher

Ko Te Wairua tāku ingoa. I am of Waikato ki Te Atiawa decent. I am passionate about providing Te āo Māori experiences for our tauira. I have been working here at Lollipops since 2014 starting as a cleaner/cook, now currently a Kaiako in the Pre-School room. I am always open for a chat or if you have any queries.

Rebecca Kearns
Rebecca Kearns, Teacher

Kia ora, I'm Rebecca!
I have a Bachelor of Education and I began teaching in 2010, first in the primary sector, before moving to early childhood when I started here at Lollipops in 2018.
I look forward to getting to know you and your tamariki as we move along our learning journeys together.

Preschool Room

Abbey Tarr, Teacher

Hi I’m Abbey. I have recently moved from South Africa with my husband and baby boy. We are very excited to be apart of a new country and to learn a new culture. My Early Childhood Education began when I was very young, I would always make my brother play ‘school-school’ with me, of course I was always the teacher. Once I left school, I went to University in South Africa and studied Early Childhood Education. to many happy years in the classroom.

Before getting to New Zealand I had been working in a school for 7 years teaching 6-7 year old children. I am passionate about children and how they learn about the world around them.
I love how each day is different in the classroom and how you as a teacher are constantly learning from the children in your class and adjusting your teaching according to their needs.
I love my job and I am looking forward to many happy years in the classroom.

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Kristen Sarten-Turner , Teacher

Kia ora, I’m Kristen. I am a registered Kaiako, holding a Diploma of Teaching and Learning (ECE), and I’ve been teaching for almost 15 years. I’m a mum of two – my daughter Charli is in her first year of University down in Wellington, and my son Oscar is in year 11 at NPBHS.


My personal philosophy of teaching is based in respect and relationships; I believe tamariki thrive in an environment that promotes curiosity and confidence and when their sense of self and belonging is valued.
I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know the Lollipops Bell Block whānau, and being a part of the ongoing learning journey with your tamariki.

Ngā mihi


Ko Taranaki te mounga e rū nei taku ngākau

Ko Waitara te awa e mahea nei aku māharahara

Nō Waitara ahau

E mihi ana ki ngā tohu o nehe, o Taranaki e nono nei au

Ko Kristen taku ingoa

Nō reira, tēnā koutou katoa

Taranaki is the mountain that speaks to my heart

Waitara is the river that alleviates my worries

I am from Waitara

I recognise the ancestral and spiritual landmarks of Taranaki, where I live

My name is Kristen

This is my acknowledgment to you all

Kelsi Phillips, Teacher

Hi, I’m Kelsi. I have recently returned from maternity leave with my first child, I am super excited to start my new journey in the preschool room. I have been qualified for 13 years and love teaching because I have a passion for nurturing and caring for children. 

Mikayla Robson, Teacher

I have been working here at Lollipops since 2018 as a casual reliever that worked between all 3 rooms during my first 2 years. I am now currently based in the Junior room as a full time Kaiako. I am a positive bubbly personality and passionate about my job! I love working with the tamariki and forming relationships with whānau.

Our Relievers

Pam Kupe
Pam Kupe, Teacher - Preschool Room

Kia ora Whānau, my name is Pam Kupe, and I am excited to meet you and your tamariki over the coming weeks.  I have worked in the ECE sector for the last 18 years and have held various roles throughout this time. I am married to Dareen and we have 4 grown children and 6 grandchildren who keep us very busy.  I value being connected, building and maintaining relationships and I look forward to beginning this journey with you all.

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Tiaan O’Carroll, Teacher – Infant Room

My name is Tiaan O’Carroll, I am 20 years old and I started my journey here at Lollipops over two years ago. I discovered my passion for nurturing the tamariki soon after I started here, I hope to continue to meet the needs of the tamariki and to watch them mature

Alyssa Gush Asi
Alyssa Gush-Asi, Teacher – Junior & Preschool Room
Jemima Jury, Teacher – Preschool Room

I’m Jemimah I’m a reliever I started reliving in May 2021. I am passionate about working with children and being apart of their learning and development. I have lots of experience in the ECE industry which includes training, studying & volunteering. I enjoy my time as an ECE teacher as I learn and grow as a person. My interests are art; painting, drawing, photography and music and cats.