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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 for everyone, full of colours and happiness. She believes that every new day is a miracle and small changes make big transformations.


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 to 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.

In Memoriam

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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; travelling has given her the opportunity to enrich her love of nature and adventure. This drew her to New Zealand and experiencing its magic has been such a fulfilling experience. Being a Dietitian and a Yoga teacher, the quality of caring for others has always been paramount in her professional and personal setting.

Gabi Pontes
Community Events Coordinator


Kia ora, I'm Gabi!


I am Conscious Kids' Social Media/Digital Marketing Specialist. Over the last 6 years, I have gone from Teen Volunteer to Assistant to Supervisor and now I feel extremely lucky I get to follow my interests in Graphic Design and Marketing through a company that taught me the values and philosophies I hold closest to my heart.

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. 

Conscious Kids Educators
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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.

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.

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.

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