North of the Harbour Bridge and to the left of the motorway lies the community of Beach Haven. Surrounded by water and tucked away from through-roads, it is regarded as a great place to call home.
Resident and teacher Cindy Starnes-Koroi has been with the local Kauri Kids education centre for over 20 years and has seen first-hand the positive effect the centre has on local families.
“The Early Childhood Education Centre has always been an important part of the community since the 1980s,” she explains.
“We have had multiple generations attend the centre and we often look back on old group photos of the parents and share a laugh with them.”
Getting out in the community is an important part of enrichment for the children at Kauri Kids. A highlight of 2016 was the Kapa Haka festival, where the children performed a poi, a haka and an instrumental arrangement at the local primary school.
“We’ve always participated in celebrating Beach Haven and are continually looking for more opportunities to get out in the community,” says Cindy.
These activities not only help the little ones build confidence, they also bring a sense of joy and energy to others.
“We’re next to a community house and the children have put on shows there during Older Person’s days,” Cindy says.
“Residents of the local retirement village will often walk by and share a smile or a wave, which is really lovely to see.”
This connection to the older people of the community is becoming especially important as support networks for childcare extend.
“As more parents are being called back to work, we see grandparents becoming more involved in dropping off the children and picking them up.”
Although the families of Beach Haven come in many sizes and compositions, there are underpinning qualities Cindy sees every day that makes the suburb special.
“Beach Haven families are caring, sharing people who love living in this community and remain here for many, many years,” she explains.
Find out more about Beach Haven and other wonderful community facilities across Auckland on the Auckland Council Pools and Leisure website.