Meet the National Office Staff
Chief ExecutiveSimon Laube joins the ECC from the public service where he held roles in the Ministry of Education in areas including early learning, partnership schools kura hourua and NCEA; as well as secondments to the Ministry of Health, and in the Office of the Minister of Education. Simon has expertise in machinery of government, policy and has been the lead on high-profile government initiatives including the removal of charter schools from the education system and te Kōhanga Reo Treaty Claim.
Simon lives in Wellington with his wife and two children.
Sue Kurtovich is a specialist in early childhood centre management and administration. Sue was a centre owner/operator for 15 years and the former President (2 years) and then CEO of the Early Childhood Council Inc. from 1996 – 2008.
Sue has an in-depth understanding of the sector and the challenges centres face. For over three decades she has helped centre owners, managers and boards with practical, real-world advice that has made a genuine difference in the way they run their centres. Sue has been invited to forums around the world to share her knowledge and experience.
Sue has extensive knowledge of the ECE regulatory environment, and a strong policy and advocacy background. She is experienced in the development of support materials and the design and delivery of professional learning and development programmes for early childhood education centre owners, managers and teachers.
Katina is the ECC’s Policy Officer. Her role includes leading the development of the ECC’s various policy positions on topics affecting centres; helping to prepare submissions and responding to the many queries our members have with legislation and compliance rules.
Katina is a qualified ECE teacher with a Masters of Arts focusing on language barriers in ECE. Katina’s career includes a practicing teacher, head teacher for over nine years, research assistant, therapy assistant and has participated in school boards of trustees for a number of years. Her centre experience includes Montessori.
Katina lives with her husband, Matt, in Wellington.
Tracey is responsible for the smooth running of the ECC National Office, including accounts management. All accounts receivable and payable, membership enquires and applications, event registration, publication purchases and general enquiries are handled by Tracey.
Tracey has one child who is currently studying at the University of Otago.
Trisha Toreka Lealiifano-Mariota
Trisha is responsible for managing the multiple events (Workshops, webinars and conference) that ECC provides for Centre Managers and Teachers.
Trisha is an ECE-qualified teacher with relieving experience in the Kindergarten sector as well as teaching at the Aoga Amata Porirua EFKS. She has a Masters of Education, Bachelor of Commerce and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching endorsed in Early Childhood Education from Victoria University. She is an Early Intervention Therapist (ESDM Therapist) for Autistic Children and is an Autism Specialist Facilitator. She also co-leads the Wellington Pasifika Autism Support Group.
Trisha is married to Martin Mariota and has one son Joziah.
Editor - Swings & Roundabouts
Trudi is the editor for Swings & Roundabouts.
Trudi is an ECE-qualified, registered teacher with experience in the Kindergarten sector. She is also a qualified journalist and is studying toward a Master of Education.
Trudi has two children.
Richard IrvineCommunications Officer
Richard is a communications professional based in Auckland, and helps with communication strategy and delivery for ECC.