About REAP Marlborough
(learning; everyone is a learner)
(mutual respect, integrity, and kindness)
Thriving and resilient communities.
REAP Marlborough will respond and adapt to support our communities
through developing trusted partnerships.
REAP Marlborough was established in 1979 and from then has striven to become the Marlborough community’s “go-to hub” for courses and support for the education of our rural (and often very isolated) residents and also those who reside in and nearer to Blenheim, Renwick, and Picton, our larger communities.
Our objective has been to identify gaps in the provision of education for rural communities (for all ages) and develop strategies to fill the gaps either through REAP-facilitated programmes or in collaboration with other providers.
REAP Marlborough supports Early Childhood Education, schools, tertiary and Adult Community Education, as well as transitions between these levels. The focus is on gaps in opportunities for education
resulting from geographical isolation and isolation relating to age, disability,
language, or other factors.
REAP Marlborough promotes community development, integrating education and
the provision of information with activities in other sectors including health, social
services, community organisations and local government. REAP Marlborough can
act as the independent initiator and/or facilitator of community change but more
commonly works collaboratively with other agencies.
Our area of coverage extends from French Pass/Ōkiwi Bay in the North to Kaikōura
in the South, and from Molesworth, Wairau, and Waihopai Valleys in the West to the
East coastline. This area includes Blenheim and Picton and residents from these
towns are welcome to engage with our services. We pride ourselves on the many
connections with the smaller communities within these boundaries.
REAP Marlborough's spacious meeting room is available to local non-profits and school groups for meetings, workshops, and online job interviews.
Sharon Blount – Chief Executive Officer | Kaiwhakahaere Matua
Sharon has an education management background, ranging from Operations & Compliance Manager at Onsite Viticulture in Blenheim, Alternative Education Coordinator in the Hawkes Bay, MOE Principal Advisor Secondary Transitions Napier and most recently Operations Manager of the Whitireia & WelTec Schools of Creativity & Hospitality and campuses in central Wellington and now happily back “home” in Blenheim. Sharon has a passion for helping those who are finding the secondary to tertiary transition a challenge and is looking forward to expanding the REAP offerings.
Shona Winter - Education Team, Community
Shona joined Reap Marlborough in January 2022 as our Adult & Community Education
Shona moved from Christchurch with her husband Mike last year to be closer to their daughter, son-in-law, and 4-legged mokopuna who also live here in Blenheim. Shona loves being close to them and supporting them as whānau is everything to her. Shona grew up in a large Māori whānau and most live in the Nelson/Tasman region so it's lovely to be close to them. Prior to this, Shona lived in Hokitika for over 30 years and worked as a librarian for 28 years. It was her dream job and she loved how technology is always changing and that gives her an opportunity to continue learning. Libraries are the hub of the community and they are more than just books and finding information. A big part of Shona's library role was to teach digital literacy to the community, support, and train others to use a wide range of technology, and to promote and run digital literacy programmes. Shona is very passionate about helping people and helping them grow through education.
Renee Wood - Education Team, Kaikōura
Renee is the ACE coordinator for the Kaikōura region, based at Te Hā o Mātauranga at 14 Ludstone Road, Kaikōura. Renee has called Kaikōura her home for 4 years and been at Te Hā o Mātauranga supporting the community to get Driver Licences for 2 years, before taking on the ACE coordinator role, too. Renee is excited to get adult education programmes running regularly in Kaikōura for the community!
Sara Harwood - Education Team, Picton
Sara has lived in Linkwater for the last six years and has fallen in love with Picton, so she is excited to join the education team as we expand into Picton. Sara has been an adult teacher for over 25 years; she has worked all of her adult life helping other people. Sara started working for REAP Marlborough in 2022, teaching the theory for Learner Licences and will be doing more teaching further down the track. In the meantime, Sara is at Mariners Mall every Monday (at the old resource centre) for you to ask about our courses or give a suggestion for what you would like to see REAP offer you in Picton.
Sara is also set to join our next Te Reo Māori course "to upskill myself with one of New Zealand’s official languages".
Next time you are in Mariner's Mall, pop in and say hello to Sara.
Kate Horrey - Coordinator Digital Support
In this recently established role, Kate helps groups and individuals work together to become more comfortable using technology in everyday life. "I am not a technical expert and have been known to shout at the computer myself from time to time.... so I quite understand how challenging it can feel. The good news is there is lots of help out there, and its my
job to let you know who to contact."
Outside of work, Kate enjoys the country life on her lifestyle block in the Wairau
Valley, complete with a few chickens, too many pet cats and, at the moment, her sister's bachelor herd of alpacas. Kate loves animals, books, and quiet rural living.
Selena Tonks - Advisor to Schools, Education Team
Selena is an experienced educator with a background in primary teaching and leadership. Much of her teaching career has been in small and rural schools.
Selena moved to Marlborough in 1987 to take up her first teaching position at Bohally Intermediate. Apart from teaching stints in Rangiora and North Carolina USA, she has called Marlborough home ever since.
Selena joined REAP Marlborough as Adviser to Schools in 2019, coming from her position as principal at Grovetown School. Prior to 2019, she was seconded to the part time position of ‘Visiting Fellow’ for REAP Marlborough for 2 years. Selena is an active member of the Marlborough Principals Association and part of their executive team.
In a voluntary capacity, Selena is a trustee for Life Education in Marlborough and the Education Support Mentor for their educator. She is also a volunteer for Red Cross, assisting with the resettlement of former refugees in Blenheim.
Jo Leahy - Early Childhood Liaison, Education Team
Ko Takitimu te waka
Ko te Ara a Kiwa te moana
Ko Takitimu, O Heikia nga māunga
Ko Aparima te awa
Ko Takutai o te Titi tōku marae
Ko Ngāi Tahu, Ngati Mamoe, Waitaha tōku iwi
Ko Jo Leahy ahau
Jo originates from Te Ika a Māui (North Island), where she grew up in the small fishing village of ‘Ngawi’ located on the southern Wairarapa coastline but she now calls Te Waipounamu (South Island) home.
Jo is passionate about Early Childhood Education. She graduated in 1992 from Wellington College of Education and has had an interesting and varied teaching career having taught in Wellington, Auckland, London, the Wairarapa and lastly here in her favourite place, Te Waiharakeke.
Jo is committed to her chosen profession. She enjoys learning with and alongside our thriving ECE community. She has the utmost respect for the knowledge people bring with them and she consistently works to build positive and respectful relationships.
Andy (Andrea) Navarro - Education Team
Andy has recently joined the Schools & ECE team to facilitate the activities for tamariki that have been planned for 2023, including Haere Au ki te Kura (our transition to school programme for 4-year-olds), Slackers Line activities, and a range of art classes.
"I am originally from Mexico. I came to New Zealand in 2016 and worked in early childhood centres in Wellington. I hold a Masters degree in fine art and I run art workshops for children."
Philippa Kelly - Administrator
Philippa Kelly is our administration and customer service assistant. She is the friendly voice on the end of the phone to help you with any of your questions. Philippa is responsible for all background support and administration for the REAP Marlborough team - this is includes enrolling on the many REAP courses and programmes. Although this is the first time she has worked in the education sector but comes with much enthusiasm and love for life long learning.
Having grown up on a farm Philippa is really enjoying the opportunity to be part of an organisation which supports the rural community. Philippa spends her spare time with her two children, husband, two cats and dog, playing the violin and drinking great coffee.
Jyn Cunningham - Social Media Manager
Jyn [they/she] joined the REAP Marlborough team in September 2022 to manage our Facebook and Instagram presence. Jyn's role has grown since then to include creating and maintaining our new website and supporting the rest of our team with our newsletters.
Jyn grew up in Te Waiharakeke (Blenheim) and returned home in 2016 after university. Jyn now lives locally with their partner and step-daughter, enjoying embroidery, knitting, painting Warhammer models, and watching sci-fi in their spare time.
Angela Sloan - Board Chair
Jennyth Spence - Board Secretary
Barbara Rocco - Trustee
Vicki Templeton - Trustee (and Audit & Risk Committee)
Jodie Schorn - Trustee (and Audit & Risk Committee)
Our 2022 Annual Report was delivered at REAP Marlborough's AGM in May, 2023.
We invite you to view our annual reports as displayed below:
Our 2022 - 2024 Strategic Plan details REAP Marlborough's strategic priorities, expected outcomes, plans for how we will achieve those outcomes, and indicators of success.
Other REAP Centres
There are 12 other REAP centres around Aotearoa. All REAPs specialise in core work
across adult and community education, early childhood education, schooling,