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 Gaye Vartiainen

Family & Education Consultant
Managing Director of ADDI Consultancy Ltd 

ADDI Consultancy began out of a passion for helping, nurturing and enriching children academically socially and behavioural. I look back on my life and look at the profound experiences I have had that have played a significant role in who I am today. The skills and understanding I have gained have, through my own interest, been around children that are different or children experiencing difficulty. I have found working with children in a different way has significantly helped them.

In order to have effected change in children it relies on two significant factors. Those being - a comprehensive understanding and the right attitude. You can have the right attitude but without the knowledge the strategies being used can be potentially harming and a vast knowledge without the right attitude can also be harmful.

Our children are our future and will be responsible for looking after our country, world, society and community. With the right care these children are our future leaders and creators of a better life that we have today.

Having been a teacher, Literacy Leader, SENCO (Special Education Needs Coordinator), Numeracy Leader, Team leader, Assistant principal, Associate principal and the last eight years as a Principal I decided I wanted to be hands on and really help children out of the confines of Ministry of Education guidelines. These guidelines are necessary but the resourcing doesn’t allow for the low ratio and specifically targeted programmes to meet the individual needs. Schools and more importantly teachers are doing a great job with thirty children and limited time in a day to work with individuals.






Meet the Team!

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Olivia Beck
Principal/Totara Teacher

I am fortunate to be a part of ADDI Consultancy Ltd from the beginning, providing educational and behavioural services that support children in any way needed.  My journey began at ADDI as a classroom teacher for our specialised programmes and a tutor in after school hours. I am now a business manager and enjoy every aspect of this role. 


I have a Bachelor of Teaching and a Bachelor of Sport and Leisure Studies from Waikato University. I have worked in schools in the Bay of Plenty / Waikato region at Secondary and Intermediate level. I have then gone on to become specialised in working with children with learning difficulties and in the Gifted and Talented area. I have been immersed in professional development based around Autism, ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Attachment Disorder. All of this has given me the experience to learn valuable tools to use with all students.


As a teacher I think it is very important that we are constantly aware that every child is unique. One size does not fit all. Having a clear knowledge of skills and understanding will provide the necessary information for meeting individual, group and class needs, so that each child can reach their full potential.​


My strengths and skills are leadership, effective planning, providing high and clear expectations, quality relationships and working with a variety of needs. I have a warm supportive personality that enables me to develop and maintain positive, personal, and professional relationships. I believe relationships are everything. I am passionate, motivated and enthusiastic about everything I do. My attitude towards life is to be all you can be, through goal setting, dedication, hard work and perseverance come difficult times.


Christina Duffy
Business Manager/Finance Manager

I have a background of working in accounts for 30 years, 20 years of this was owning my own business.  In the last 10 years, I worked in the insurance industry, winning a Scholarship and gaining my Level 4 Certificate as a Financial Advisor.  

When the opportunity arose for me to work at ADDI I was honoured to become part of such a wonderful team of likeminded and caring people.  I love what ADDI stands for and working here I get to see first hand the difference we make in a family’s lives.  

I have known Gaye for many years.  She was the Principal for my children’s primary school and in later years she has tutored my daughter.  I have always admired Gaye’s passion and foresight for seeing the best in all of our children. She recognises that everyone is different and has individual needs. 

I am proud to be part of the ADDI family.  Knowing that we listen to those needs and help our children and families overcome difficult times is a great way to start each and every day.


Eilish Neeson
Teacher (On Leave) 

I come with a Bachelors majoring in Educational Psychology minoring in Linguistics, completed at Victoria University of Wellington. The degree gives me a sound knowledge of how young people learn and develop using the ideas of behavioral, social and developmental psychology. I have previously worked in Japan teaching Junior school students English. With professional development and like minded colleagues I have recently gained my Limited Authority to Teach which adds value to my position here at ADDI. It has always been my passion to work with children and after completing an Exceptional Learners course in my final year of study I was inspired to work with minds that work in diverse ways. Theoretically, these exceptional minds are our future.
I am a local Duke of Edinburgh Award Leader which is an exceptional programme that inspires our teenagers to personally challenge themselves as it is not a competition against others.  It pushes young people to their personal limits and recognizes their achievements.  . As the award leader I mentor and support  participants to complete their Award. Select activities for the different sections of the Award, and finding appropriate Assessors).
My skills are working closely with tamariki and staff to ensure we can get the most out of every opportunity and offer every opportunity.  I enjoy working across all age groups which is where the teaching and after school programme allow me to flourish. I have a warm personality which allows rapport and trust to be formed quickly. I believe this is a key factor to my success in my role as a teacher and leader in OSCAR.

Coming from a  small rural town I have always enjoyed the smaller environments educationally; it emphasizes the different minds and ways we all learn. Creating a classroom that caters for this is where my passion lies and ADDI is the perfect example of this. I endeavour to learn something from everything and believe lifelong learning is crucial to keep up with the changing curriculum.

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Tania Withers
Respite Care Coordinator/Kowhai Teacher

​I am qualified teacher and have returned to Taupo after working in Australia. 

"I have a wonderful hardworking sparky husband Nuku, together we help support our 9 beautiful tamariki who are all now adults.  They have also gifted us with gorgeous mokopuna.  To add to the mix we have two adorable puppies, Fonzie and Honey. Gardening and cooking are therapy for me, along with music in my ears taking me to my happy space.  I have a passion for working with tamariki of all ages and backgrounds and strive to tend to their needs both personally and educationally.  I relate very well with tamariki and their whanau, with open arms, making them feel welcome and giving a sense of belonging." 

I am loving my work here tutoring and supporting the tamariki.


Tania Chegwidden
Harakeke Teacher


Tash Thomas
OSCAR Manager

I'm a mum to 2 beautiful kids and I've worked 18 years in the hospitality and tourism industry but chose to say goodbye and pursue a career that aligned more with my passion which is working with kids. When the ADDI Oscar program manager job popped up, I took a leap of faith and applied.


Working in a place that really truly understands kids holds a special place for me, as I am a mum to a child with learning disabilities myself. I can't wait to get to know every wonderful child that comes through our Oscar program. 

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Kelly Rangihika
Kowhai Teacher

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Shiree Olsen

I’m 40-something years old and have lived in Taupo for the last 20 years.

My husband and I love living in Taupo especially with all the opportunities for our children to try new things.

Our children are 16, 13, and 11. The eldest two are at Taupo Nui A Tia College and the youngest is at Hilltop School.

Outside of my family and work I love to take our dog for walks, crochet soft toys and blankets which I hope to donate to charity, going camping in the summer, music, and trout fishing.

I’m really looking forward to working with children, and supporting them while they’re on their own learning journey.

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