Counties Manukau


Life Education Trust Counties Manukau was formed in late 2012 as a result of a collaboration between three existing Life Education Trusts. The area covers a large portion of Greater Auckland and is home to over half a million people. Our approximate boundaries are from Mt Roskill and Panmure right down to Pukekohe and Waiuku in the South and coast to coast. We cover eight local board boundaries.

A young, highly diverse and rapidly growing population live in the Counties Manukau area. Sadly, some of New Zealand’s worst health and housing statistics are found here. With over 14% of New Zealand’s children living in this area there is a high demand for the Life Education programme.

We are very grateful for the financial and technical support of our principal sponsor Auckland Airport, who have been supporting Life Education since 1988. We are also fortunate to have the assistance of TR GroupOwens TransportRiordan & WestNZ Post Angel Transport and William Gill who all donate their services moving our mobile classrooms from school to school.  Our offices are based at the fantastic Vector Wero Whitewater Park which is managed by Second Nature Trust and funded by The Joyce Fisher Trust.

Our vehicle is kindly sponsored by the team at Manukau Toyota Group. 

Our Electrical compliance and safety are taken care of by DGE.

Our Classrooms are cleaned each school holiday by the team of A-Jet Services

As a charity the Trust is dependent on donations and grants to continue to deliver our service to our community through our five highly skilled educators and modern learning environment. Learn more about how you can help Life Education Trust - Counties Manukau

Our Educators


Natalie Coyle-Smith

Natalie has three lovely boys, two of whom are at High School, and one who is studying in Christchurch. 

She qualified as a Photolithographer before she did her Post Graduate Diploma of Teaching Primary, training in NZ and then travelling overseas. She working in London for a few years, and then returned home to continue working in her trade here. After having children she decided to retrain as a teacher. She worked in the Early Childhood Sector for 15 years and have been working for the Life Education Trust, and with Harold, since 2017. 

"Harold is a joy to work with! He is always the star of the show. It is very rewarding working with someone who has such great values and inspires the children to work towards being the best version of themselves they can be!"

Daniel Garland

Kia ora, I'm Daniel. Ko Duke of Portland te waka, ko Aoraki te maunga, ko Waitaki te awa. Ko Waihaorunga taku rohe. Ko Tāmaki Makaurau taku taone e noho nei ahau. Ko Ngati Pakeha taku iwi. E ki ko Garland taku whānau. Ko Daniel taku ingoa. I have been a primary school teacher in Manurewa for the past four years. What I enjoyed most is seeing children's eyes light up when coming out of their comfort zone, being confident in who they are and really succeeding in their un-tapped talents. Before teaching I studied drama, music, live sound and events. And worked as a lighting technician. I have a passion for health and education, but on the side, I also enjoy doing the odd pull-up or two on the monkey bars or at the gym.

Carleen Craig

Originally from Christchurch, Carleen has been living and teaching in Auckland since 2004. She taught for 13 years in South Auckland before making the move to Life Education. When not teaching, she can be found working on stage or behind the scenes in community theatre or helping with events at Eden Park. If she's at neither of these places, you’ll probably find her at the gym. 

"I love having the opportunity to visit heaps of schools and see the faces of pure joy when they children see Harold. It’s mind-blowing to think of the impact I’m having on so many children’s lives with the variety of topics schools ask us to help address on our visits."

Kate Pollard

Kate joined Life Education in the height of the Auckland lockdown in 2021 and has loved the opportunity to get involved in such a precious role within New Zealand education. Growing up and training as a teacher in Australia, Kate moved over to Auckland in 2018 to experience a new culture and adventure! Kate remembers Harold's classroom from when she was a child and so she jumped on this opportunity to invest directly into such an amazing cause which has already grown her in many ways both professionally, and personally!

Samuel Kett

Samuel Kett

Kia ora. My name is Samuel Kett, I'm 36, I live in Pukekohe with my wife and 2 1/2 year old daughter. I was born in Waiouru, and grew up moving around NZ quite a lot as my dad was in the military. I'm of both Maori and Pakeha descent. Ngati Tuwharetoa Toku Iwi.

I have been teaching for almost 15 years. I returned to New Zealand in 2019 after teaching overseas for 8 years. I taught in Oman, Shanghai and Uganda.

Most recently I have been working at Red Hill School as a Senior Leader, Classroom Teacher, Music Specialist and Sports leader. 

I love sport and have played competitive Cricket and Rugby League for most of my life both in New Zealand and on my travels around the world.

I am a musician and have recorded and released 3 albums, toured Europe twice and played countless shows in Australia and New Zealand. 

Positive Psychology and well-being in schools for both students and teachers is a passion of mine. I am currently coming to the end of a Diploma in Positive Psychology.

I have developed my own blog on flourishing and thriving beyond the classroom for teachers, which I launched in January 2022.

Contact details

Fundraiser:  Kelvin Ricketts 021 612 984 [email protected] 
Facebook Page:
Postal address:  PO Box 276147, Manukau City, Auckland 2241 

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