Waipa/King Country

Waipa King Country classroom


Life Education Wāipa King Country was successfully reactivated in 2002 after being in recess for 3 years.  Our rohe lies close to the Hamilton City Boundary, includes the entire Wāipa region, and most of the King Country, stopping short of the Taumarunui and Taranaki boundary.

Our main centres and surrounding areas are Te Awamutu, Cambridge, Raglan, and Te Kuiti, with 11,000 students.

In 2017 demand for Life Education, was such that we couldn’t meet the needs of our schools. Our Trust made the decision that we needed a second mobile classroom to ensure that we could reach as many of our kura as possible.

With the dedicated mahi of our Trustees, and the support of our local community, we proudly started operating our second mobile classroom in 2019 /2020.

Educators Nicky and Sarah now reach over 8,000 rangatahi annually.

We own and operate one tractor unit, and with dedicated volunteer drivers, they deliver Harold safely to our schools – many of which are very rural.

To be able to keep the two classrooms running, we need to rely on local individuals and businesses to sponsor and support fundraising activities to raise the required funds. Grants are also accessed when possible.

View our latest e-newsletter here

Buy our picture book


The Waipa Trust created this beautifully illustrated children's book featuring Harold the Giraffe. Proceeds will help Harold continue his work with our local tamariki. Price: $19.95

To order a copy, email Donna Davies or Kay Moir


Our Educators: Nicky Wise and Abby Miles

Tēnā koutou! 

We are Nicky and Abby, the lucky humans who spend our days with Harold the Giraffe as he travels throughout Waipā and the King Country, visiting almost 7000 tamariki each year. We are fully registered teachers with years of experience teaching all levels of primary school aged children. Nicky joined Life Education in 2004, delivering quality Health curriculum learning and establishing strong relationships with schools. Abby joined the trust in 2022. Due to demand for programmes by schools, with a long-goal to be able to see all our schools annually, Abby and Nicky are both full time Educators. Together, they enjoy developing engaging resources that have a big learning impact when experienced in the mobile classroom. When not with Harold, we can be found at the gym…hanging with our fur babies, and sharing laughs with whānau and friends.

Meet some of the team

Joanne Wansbone - Chair

I was born and bred in Northland but have lived in Te Awamutu for over 40 years.  Graeme and I have 4 sons and 7 beautiful grandchildren.  I have been a trustee of the Waipa King Country Life Education Trust for over 15 years and have enjoyed being a part of such a positive, talented group.  The Trust I joined was working towards establishing long term financial stability and I am proud to have been part of that journey which sees us now in an excellent position to weather financial challenges.  As trustees we know that stability is essential to ensure the Life Education message is delivered uninterrupted to the children in our area.  It has been inspiring to watch our educator Nicky deliver that message so creatively and appropriately to our schools, building up enduring positive relationships with schools and children.  Nicky has been joined by our second educator, Sarah, who is equally talented and creative.  They make a great team and together with Harold and our awesome board, we have so much fun and achieve so much.

Mandy Rasmussen - Secretary

I have been a trustee on Waipa King Country Life Education Trust since 2005. My husband and I have been living in Te Awamutu since 1993 and have two sons.  Both have now moved away from Te Awamutu to follow their own careers. It was when the boys were quite young that I became involved with the Trust which I passionately believe provides a very valuable service to the children of our region and through the children the whole community. Life today for children is fraught with challenges and I believe that Life Education offers tools and resources to help them to deal with those challenges. I am a partner in a local law firm and enjoy the connection with the community through the Trust. 

Donna Davies - Trustee

Having been a teacher within the Waikato region for 35 years, I became aware of Harold and the Life Education programme and I along with students, eagerly awaited the biannual visit.

I was impressed by the content that was taught, teaching them how to make informed decisions and the impact the programme had on so many students. 

Having retired from teaching, but still involved in our family business and dairy farming, I made the choice to support Life Education by becoming a Trustee.

My husband and I have three adult children and now enjoy the pleasure of grandchildren, whom I hope can benefit from Life Education when they are old enough.

Kay Moir - Trustee

Our four children all loved the Life Education programme when they were at school. We also have 6 grandchildren and a further one due in July. We are fortunate in the Waipa/King Country to have not one yet two fabulous Educators to inspire and teach the children in our area.

I have been a Trustee since 2017 and I am very passionate about the role Life Education Trust has in supporting the next generation to be well informed to make decisions which will keep them healthy and whereby they can contribute to the community they live in. My background has been as a Nurse and Life Education is a natural progression of my interest in keeping ourselves and our children healthy both physically and mentally. Life Education Trust delivers to the children at their school which I feel is important as this ensures no child misses out due to living rurally plus involves their classroom teacher. We enjoy outdoor activities, family times, travelling and I do love to garden and create meals to share with family and friends.

Alison Crooks

Alison Crooks

I am a new member to the trust. I have been a primary school teacher, principal and facilitator in the education field. I am currently an AP at a specialist education school. The schools I have worked in have always been fortunate to be able to access "The Life Education" and Harold programmes for our children. I have always valued what the students gain from this programme, so I was keen to be able to be part of the enthusiastic group of people who are working hard to ensure that as many students as possible, in our area, can access these wonderful learning opportunities. As a person who is currently working in a school I hope to be able to bring some ideas and perspectives from the chalk face to the trust, as we support the educators and plan for the future.

How could you support Harold to empower students?

Our major sponsors


Contact details:

Chairperson: Joanne Wansbone, 027 273 6084

Educator: Nicky Wise, 027 293 4428, [email protected]

Educator: Abby Miles, 021 721 161, [email protected] 

Postal address: Life Education Trust Waipa/King Country, PO Box 317, Te Awamutu 3840