The Conscious Kids Team
Maria Mariotti
Co-Founder and Director


Maria is an Italian mum that has been traveling around the world with her family (her 3 kids were born on 3 different continents!) to study and learn from indigenous cultures, different philosophies, and natural therapies.

She’s a highly experienced yoga and mindfulness teacher having taught in many studios as well as facilitating retreats, workshops, and conferences all over the world. Her passion is to share the life, joy, and creativity that arise freely in everyone when there are balance and harmony with nature and within ourselves!

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Rita Pontes
Co-Founder and Director


Rita is a Brazilian mum of two girls and a qualified Graphic and Interior Designer. After visiting different countries with her family, they have found New Zealand the best place to live a conscious life, connecting future and past, nature and development, love and respect.

As a designer Rita is passionate about making the world a better place to everyone, full of colours and happiness. She believes that every new day is a miracle and small changes make big transformations.


In Memoriam

Harriet Brown
Conscious Kids Co-Founder


Harriet was a mum to 2 girls, a qualified teacher, holding a degree in Sport and Exercise Science. During term time she could be found exploring Long Bay Regional Park with a group of intrepid pre-schoolers who attended a Nature Kindergarten that she used run. Harriet had a passion for getting children outside, whatever the weather, to do what they are designed to do best… play. Harriet was constantly amazed by the huge developments she could experience with her Nature kindergarten children and with Maria and Rita founded CONSCIOUS KIDS to share these benefits with school-age children.

Guardians of Conscious Kids

Conscious Kids is led by Dana and Mark Harvey, a dynamic father and daughter team who have come together to create a shift in our collective wellness.  They have founded a much larger vision of caring for our communities, our people and our environment through The Living Project

Dana Harvey
Development Manager


Dana has been a committed supporter of Conscious Kids since it was first introduced to her 5 years ago. An example of when passion meets purpose.

The Conscious Kids playground is forever growing and expanding but what lies at the heart for Dana is the ability to create experiences and opportunities for our children that support their health and wellbeing. Supporting those freedoms that generate memories and learnings that last a lifetime. 

Dana loves working with amazing people that all unite together, share in a common purpose for our children, their communities and our environment. Dana is an inspired connector and loves working on projects that generate lasting impact.

Very grateful for Conscious Kids to welcome The Living Project into their playground and allowing us to support this purposeful business.

“In every walk with nature, one receives more then they seek” – John Muir

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Mark Harvey 
General Management

Mark is passionate about many things but his drivers are twofold, he’s particularly focused on our collective wellness in New Zealand and supporting meaningful businesses whose work helps steer us towards realising greater wellness.

Having spent decades as a business owner, manager, leader, partner, coach and motivational speaker, he now enjoys utilising all those years of experience and knowledge to support purposeful businesses like Conscious Kids.

Mark is intent on helping the team bring the essential work of Conscious Kids to more children so that it may positively impact the collective wellness of our communities throughout New Zealand.

The wellness of our society depends on the type of attention we give our children today and Conscious Kids provides a good foundation on which to build and strengthen our impact.

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.” – Carl Jung

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Liss Osorio

Operations Manager

Liss is passionate about the amazing vibe of interacting with kids. Originally from Venezuela, she has always been enthusiastic about hiking and nature; traveling through Venezuela and other countries have given her the opportunity to enrich her love of nature and adventure. This drew her to New Zealand and experiencing its magic has been a lovely experience so far for her. Being a Dietitian and a Yoga teacher, the quality of caring for others has always been paramount in her professional and personal setting.


Since she started working with the Conscious Kids Programme, she discovered her passion and talent with clay and arts, showing we can all learn through play – whatever your age is!

Sarah Blundell

Play Activator & Schools Lead

Kia ora e te whānau, I'm Sarah and very much grown up with the outdoors as my identity and adventure playground!

Through various camping trips and bush walks as a kid as well as living close to Long Bay Beach - it was evident that one day this would be my preferred office! My journey through life has taken me through a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation - majoring in Outdoor Education where I took youth adventuring in the bush, ocean, and high ropes course to learn more about themselves and others. I also qualified as a Sign Language Interpreter, spent 5 years in the Army as a medic, and worked with high performance athletes as a Life Coach. Each of these jobs had one thing in common - connecting and growing people. 

Now back into the outdoor realm, my role with CK aligns with my values of freedom, growth, connection, kindness and community. I love creating opportunities for people to thrive in life and sharing my passion for our beautiful nature spaces here in Aotearoa. The outdoors offer an endless array of learning possibilities through free play and exploration to invigorate our mind, body and spirit. I am happy to be able to share my passion with others, to enjoy and protect what we have on our doorstep for our future tamariki. 

Ngā mihi ki a koutou. 


"It is not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves." - Sir Edmund Hilary

Sisi Shao-Todd
Community Events Coordinator

Kia Ora and Ni Hao!

I’m Sisi – currently mum of 1 to a very active little girl. Originally from China, I have lived in Aotearoa for over 23 years (with break in the UK). I have a B/A, Grad Dip in Event Communications and Grad Dip in Education. 


Having spent most of my working life in corporate environments, it is amazing to be working outdoors and being able to enjoy our beautiful landscapes!


I am extremely excited to bring my skills and experience to the CK whānau, and have the opportunity to bring more accessibility and experiences to our tamariki!

Conscious Kids Educators
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Jen Fyfe


Kia Ora, I’m Jen - a nature-loving mum from NZ. I lived in Hong Kong for many years where I worked at a forest school in the jungle and homeschooled my daughter.


I’m currently studying horticulture and permaculture and rediscovering this beautiful country with my family. I love being a part of the outdoor revolution and experiencing the power of play!

Briar Broad

Briar grew up with the Waitakere Ranges at her doorstep and has always felt a deep connection to nature. Her professional training is in ecology and conservation, but as a proud mum to two energetic, creative, curious kids she developed a huge passion for sharing her love of nature and ensuring as many children as possible could connect with the natural world around them.

During 9 years within Playcentre and the local homeschooling community, she helped to set up and coordinate two separate outdoor sessions. She also works as a freshwater environmental educator delivering a hands-on programme for ECE's, schools, and community groups. Briar strongly supports and believes in the power of free unstructured play in nature to provide the ultimate canvas for children's learning and development.

Tref Turner

Kia ora! My name is Tref Turner I am the proud father of my eight-year-old son Tobias. As a young lad, I climbed with my father in the mountains of Scotland and Wales giving me the foundation for many outdoor pursuits. My first degree sprung me into the world of entertainment for twenty years of traveling extensively.

With the arrival of my son, I retrained, completing a three-year educational degree focusing on the benefits of the outdoor environment for the youngest members of society. I have lived in the hills of the Waitakere ranges for the past ten years and am proud to call Aotearoa my home. I love a good chat and am very much looking forward to meeting you all.

Gabi Pontes

Kia Ora!! My name is Gabi.


I have been living and breathing Conscious Kids from the age of 13 and don’t plan on changing that any time soon!  As I was slightly too old for the programme I quickly became a teen helper, then went on to become an assistant, and today a supervisor for the Holiday Programmes.

As someone who spent the majority of their childhood in the concrete jungles of Brazil, I am so appreciative of the hard work CK has put in to be able to facilitate this growing connection between our tamariki and nature. 

The concept of free, child-led, and nature-based play that CK endeavours to spread is so powerful and contagious that it is merely impossible for it not to touch the children who experience it. I feel very lucky and grateful to be part of this awesome CK family. 

Logan Armstrong

Kia ora, Ko Logan taku ingoa.

I have completed a Bachelors's Degree in Sport and Recreation majoring in Outdoor Education at  Auckland University of Technology. and I am currently working as a contractor, working for various company’s in Auckland such as Auckland Sea Kayaks, Bigfoot Adventures, and Adventure Works Limited, and have done some work for


Auckland University Of Technology for the outdoor education program. Further, I have been contracting to Higher Ground Group an outdoor education provider in Australia. I have also worked as a park ranger for Auckland Council in a number of different parks.

Amy Dent


Amy is from the U.K and arrived early this year. She was looking forward to opportunities New Zealand had to offer including adventure and nature. Let's just say this beautiful country is living up to all her expectations!

Trained as a Primary school teacher and holds a degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology, Amy wanted to take her passion for educating to the outdoors! She believes there are a wealth of benefits to learning outside, having fun, and getting muddy - our skin is waterproof after all!

In her own time, Amy enjoys keeping active, hiking, cycling, and swimming. She also keeps the rewards of volunteering with conservation charities and organizations, passionate about making a positive difference in our world, no matter how big or small.

Teresina Robredo

Hola! I am Teresina and am originally from Mexico. I have a Degree in Environmental Engineering and am a Permaculture believer – currently working towards my diploma.


I am a Sustainability advocate. Living lightly is our responsibility and we can contribute with every single action, every single day. I love water, from swimming in it to researching and testing it.


Sharing knowledge and learning from kids is one of my passions. I also work providing environmental education at schools - kids are the hope for a better future – and being able to help to plant the seeds is amazing. In my free time, you will find me hiking, reading, blogging about sustainability, working on muggy weather, or drinking a good cup of coffee.

Ada Rooney


Ada is originally from Hong Kong and has been living in NZ since she was 11. She is a mother of 2 gorgeous children, a qualified ECE and Primary teacher, plus loves spending time at the beach and bushwalk. Ada has a strong belief in play-based learning and Nature as 3rd teacher.

Ben Pepperell


Hi, my name is Ben and I grew up in Whangarei, but have spent the last 5 years here in Auckland. Even though I started my full-time career in the navy I always found ways to help out with child care through the kids' camps that were run through the navy. Soon enough I figured out that was my passion. Therefore I decided to leave the navy in pursuit of a degree in education.

I am currently a student at AUT studying to be a primary school teacher.

In my free time, I really enjoy anything outdoors, participating in many different sports, and socializing with friends and family.

I recently joined conscious kids as a supervisor of the holiday programs and really enjoyed the excitement and energy the kids bring to the day, as well as the connection the kids can make with the outdoors.

I am really looking forward to meeting all the new faces.