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."

Monica Sukhdeo

Bula Vinaka, my name is Monica. I live in Mt Eden with my sisters and my furbaby Bruno.I was born in Fiji but moved to New Zealand when I was 8 years old. My mother is I-Taukei (indigenous Fijian) and my father is Fijian-Indian making me half Fijian and half Indian. 

I have spent my teaching career working at schools in South Auckland before becoming part of the life education trust whānau. Things I enjoy doing outside of work is hanging out with Bruno, eating at local restaurants and hanging out at home with my family and friends. I am very excited to join the Life Education whānau and work alongside Harold! 

Lauren McKinlay

Kia ora, My name is Lauren. I have been a Classroom Teacher for seven years, as well as Sports Coordinator and Kahui Ako CoL Leader. I bring with me my passion to develop life-long, driven learners and my extensive experience and enjoyment in implementing the health curriculum. I aim to inspire and lead learners to develop their understanding of Hauroa, and encourage healthy choices, whilst fostering an ethos of personal best. It brings me great joy to be part of the magic and excitement that Harold and the Life Ed van shares with our Tamariki.

In my spare time I enjoy all things active from Netball, Skiing, and Kayaking to Hiking and exploring our beautiful country, to riding my horses in eventing competitions.

Contact details

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

Proudly supported by

Thank you to our wonderful Auckland Council Local Boards that support us each year: