The Mind Lab Gisborne is now Tōnui Collab!

Since launching in 2015, The Mind Lab Gisborne has inspired over 32,000 school-aged children to get excited by science and technology through innovative, hands-on workshops. In a bold move, Founder Frances Valintine (CNZM) has decided to gift the business to the Gisborne community from 1st June 2019, under the new name, Tōnui Collab.

“I’m thrilled by the impact we’ve managed in Gisborne. It’s the right time to hand over our vision to Tōnui Collab, who will continue to provide students with hands-on, creative and exciting ways to use technology and digital tools,” said Frances Valintine.


The original Gisborne team will remain at Tōnui Collab, at the same address, with the current Centre Director, Shanon O’Connor taking up the role of Founder and Director.

“My team is passionate and committed to creating engaging learning experiences for every child in our community,” Tōnui Collab Director, Shanon O’Connor said.

“I’m fortunate to have learnt through Frances and The Mind Lab about the power of collaboration and the importance of communication, critical thinking and problem-solving to equip children with the skills they need for a successful future beyond school.”

Tōnui Collab will continue to offer future-focused workshops for school-aged students, as well as professional learning and development workshops for teachers.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) workshops explore robotics, electronics, engineering, coding, graphic-design, augmented and virtual reality, film making, animation, and 3d modelling.

The Mind Lab Gisborne was extensively supported by the Eastland Community Trust (ECT). ECT is continuing that relationship with Tōnui Collab, to enable more young students the opportunity to take part in workshops. Their financial support means students pay just $2 for a 2-hour workshop for sessions during school hours.

“Our vision is to create transformative learning experiences for our young people. We also strive to empower educators across our community – in the classroom, out on the waka, on the marae, in the taiao – to collaborate and to enhance opportunities for our young people,” Shanon O’Connor said.

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