Gerrit Raichle, Managing Director of Awhina, is responsible for the day-to-day management; he is also the Centre Administrator.

Gerrit joined Awhina in 2003 in a full time capacity when he took over the day-to-day management, allowing his wife Bernadette time to develop her consultancy work.

He brings many years of experience working initially with underprivileged children in Germany and later with disabled adults in New Zealand in a Social Therapeutic Community based on Steiner principles.
The knowledge, principles and values gained during these years formed a strong foundation for his ongoing work at Awhina.

Gerrit completed his degree in Social Pedagogy (BA) in Stuttgart, Germany in 1984 and his diploma in Curative Education and Social Therapy at Hohepa Homes, Clive, Hawkes Bay in 1992.
He also completed the Preparatory Course for Steiner Teachers at Taruna, an anthroposophical Adult Education Centre in Havelock North, Hawkes Bay in 1985.

Gerrit provides the possibility of a male role model and a ‘father’ figure for the children.


Bernadette Raichle, founder and co-director of Awhina is engaged in consultancy work and anthroposophical Early Childhood teaching programmes in China, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

Bernadette completed her Diploma of Steiner Kindergarten Teacher at the Wynstones Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten Training, Gloucester, UK in 1987 and her Diploma of Teaching, Early Childhood, NewZealand in 1994 .

She worked as a Rudolf Steiner Kindergartener for 10 years prior to founding Awhina in 1995.

Bernadette is involved in the professional development of practitioners and from time to time in weekly pedagogical meetings.

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