Meet the Playhouse Challenge Judges

Robin Tinga – Tenants Protection Association

Robin Tinga is a volunteer Board member of Tenants Protection Association (TPA) in Christchurch. A father of two children, he works in mechanical engineering at Wyma Engineering in Hornby, - generous sponsors of the Playhouse Challenge. As a wheelchair user, Robin’s current interests include off-road handcycling and home DIY. A place to call home is a basic need, yet one which many struggle to find. Robin believes that as a community we need to support our most vulnerable. “Please support the passionate, dedicated staff of TPA and Birthright in this worthwhile funding initiative,” Robin says.

Jane Lancaster – Birthright Canterbury

Jane Lancaster is the Chairperson of Birthright Canterbury Trust and a trustee of Birthright NZ. She has been involved with Birthright Canterbury since 2012. She says, “I’m getting involved with the challenge because it brings together, in a unique way, a playhouse as a symbolic reminder of the shelter needs of our families and the needs of all children to develop and thrive through creative play.” In her work life she is a consultant with Catalyst Ltd, which provides independent, specialist advice to companies in the food and agricultural sectors. Among other roles, she is also a Board member of Food Standards Australia New Zealand.


John McGrail - Design Director, Dalman Architects

John McGrail is Design Director at Dalman Architects. He has more than 20 years’ experience as a registered architect. During this time, he has completed projects across a number of sectors, including residential, aged care, commercial, and churches, throughout New Zealand and overseas. Dalman Architects is a private architecture and interior design studio with 23 staff across its offices in Christchurch and Auckland. We believe people are shaped by the spaces they inhabit and we view architecture and interior design as a responsibility in creating enriching spaces.

Blanche Head – Early Childhood Educator

Blanche Head has had more than 40 years in education. She is currently teaching at Haeata Community Campus, leading the transition into school for new entrants. She was previously the head teacher at Bromley Kindergarten and has always worked closely with the community. Safety and accessibility for all children are two of the key features Blanche will be looking at when judging this year's Playhouse Challenge. "The playhouse has to be something that children are drawn to - a place where they want to be. It should encourage exploration and promote wonderment - a space for them to invent their own ideas. It would be nice to see elements that nurture creativity including different textures and materials, tactile play equipment, spaces that catch light in different ways for example,” Blanche says.

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