> to provide a sanctuary space for the wholistic growth, self-exploration, education and empowerment of Children, where they have reflection time and cultivate confidence to be caretakers of themselves, one another and our future world.

he waka eka noa

At the CIA we understand and support the emotional wellbeing of your unique Child as they grow to be their greatest self. We do this through a carefully tailored and structured programme based on the foundations/guiding lights of wellbeing, creativity, nature and unity.

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We align with New Zealand Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, the Education Review Office (NZ) Good Wellbeing Practices’, and embrace the philosophy of Hauora and the four pillars of wellbeing Te Whare Tapa Wha.

>>Taha hinengaro / mental health
>>Taha tinana / physical health
>>Taha wairua / 
spiritual health
>> Taha whanau / 
family health

Our values mirror Lyttelton Primary School with the daily practices of Manaakitanga / Respect, Ngakau aroha / Empathy and Manawanui / Perseverance to support and guide positive behaviour.

creating peacefully together


Lou Buckingham
Founder of the Children’s Imagination Academy

My background qualifications are in Children’s Community Service Management (Dip), Psychology (BA), Therapeutic Bodywork (Shiatsu Practitioner), Children’s Yoga Teacher (RKY). For 7 years I directed the Organ Factory Children’s creative programme in Melbourne, Australia. I then started Imagination Yoga and Imagination Dance and have been the junior drama teacher at LAF (Lyttleton Arts Factory) since 2016. After learning about the Christchurch earthquakes and the statistics of kids anxiety and PTSD, I felt a great pull to come back to New Zealand to help children in need. My knowledge is in a creative approach to wellbeing, offering tools to stay calm in the chaos and maintaining positive mindset through the challenge of these formative years.

One in five young New Zealanders will be affected by anxiety or depression by the age of 18′


As a highly sensitive person, my adolescent years were extremely challenging and I have spent my adult life learning how to manage the raw emotions and influx of energies on a daily basis. I feel strongly about emotional wellbeing education being introduced at primary school age kids level, as developmentally this is the best time to learn. Showing kids a path of cultivating inner strength, creative thinking and prioritising their self care, I believe is absolutely vital.

looking inwardly to create outwardly

Parents keep saying “IF ONLY this opportunity had been available when I was a kid!”

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