Te Kura

Our staff

We have more than 450 teaching and specialist staff based in Wellington and in offices around the country.

In 2008, we introduced a regional learning delivery and support model aimed at strengthening connections with students, their whanau, and community. One of the ways we are doing this is by increasing the number of staff working in local communities.

Another is by grouping our learning advisors and teachers into four regional teams that are aligned with the Ministry of Education’s regional offices – Northern, Central North, Central South, and Southern. Teachers from different subject areas and disciplines work together to increase their understanding and engagement with students and their families.

Our regional staff also include relationship coordinators and kaiarahi (guides) who work with schools, alternative education providers, community and government agencies to co-ordinate regional initiatives to boost student engagement and achievement. Our liaison teachers work directly with students and families to provide extra support if you need it.

Our staff are led by a senior leadership team made up of the Chief Executive Mike Hollings, Deputy Chief Executive - Operations and Performance Viv Rogers, Deputy Chief Executive - Ako Marg McLeod and Chief Advisor, Strategy Regan Dooley. We are organised into three wahanga (areas):

  • Learner Services – which includes the four regional teaching teams, early childhood, the development team, curriculum and online learning. The DCE - Ako, Chief Executive and managers of these areas form our Learner Services runanga.
  • Operations and Performance – which includes enrolment services, human resources, finance, our information resources group, media services and distribution.
  • Advisory wahanga/Chief Executive’s office - which includes communications, organisational performance, planning and reporting, and support for the Board of Trustees.

Board of Trustees

Like face-to-face schools we have a Board of Trustees responsible for ensuring the school is governed and managed according to the relevant legislation and the National Education Guidelines. Our Board members are:

  • Karen Sewell (Chair)
  • Gillian Heald
  • Maxine Moana-Tuwhangai
  • Stuart Middleton
  • John Chemis
  • Ruma Karaitiana
  • Mele Wendt.

Karen Sewell, DNZM
Karen was appointed Chair of the Board of Trustees in 2012. Prior to her retirement in 2011, she was Chief Executive of the Ministry of Education and Secretary for Education and, before that, the Chief Executive and Chief Review Officer for the Education Review Office.

Karen has taught at schools in the UK and in New Zealand, including Onslow College in Wellington and Green Bay High School in Auckland, where she was Principal. She has been the recipient of a teaching fellowship at Victoria University Wellington, a Nuffield Bursary at the University of London and has also been an Inspector of Secondary Schools in NZ. Karen has a strong commitment to improving educational outcomes for Māori and Pasifika students. Karen was made a Dame of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2016.

Gillian Heald B.Sc., M.Ed.(dist.), Dip.Tchg., MNZM.
Gillian has held many leadership roles in education, including principal of Rangi Ruru Girls' School, co-director of Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti and Guardian of the Secondary Futures project.

She has extensive experience in governance roles and is currently Chair of the NZ Olympic Education Commission and serves on the board of NZQA (the New Zealand Qualifications Authority), and CORE Education Trust.

Maxine Moana-Tuwhangai

Maxine Moana-Tuwhangai is a qualified Chartered Accountant with a background in the dairy, telecommunications, health, justice, education and local government sectors. She chairs Te Kura’s Risk Assurance Committee.

Maxine is an accredited Environmental Commissioner and has sat on a number of resource consent hearing panels. She is currently the Chair of Waikato Tainui’s iwi authority, Te Whakakitenga o Waikato, Chair of the Upper Central Zone Board for New Zealand Rugby League, Chair of the Central Waikato Catchment Committee for Waikato Regional Council and Trustee for the Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Awards Trust. In the past Maxine has sat on the boards of the Waikato Institute of Technology, Chaired the Proprietors of Taharoa C Block Inc and is a past member of the Maritime Authority.

Stuart Middleton 
Stuart is the Director of External Relations at the Manukau Institute of Technology, where he has responsibility for educational pathways/transitions and Pasifika development. Stuart is a member of the Ministerial Cross Sector Forum on Raising Achievement and the Youth Guarantee Advisory Group. He has worked as a consultant throughout the Pacific and taught at many South Auckland schools, including as Principal of Aorere College, as well as at the Auckland College of Education. In 2010 Stuart was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education.

John Chemis
John is the current Chief Executive Officer of Eastbay REAP, covering the Eastern Bay of Plenty region. REAPs work across all sectors and age groups, supporting educational opportunities in our rural communities. Their prime focus is to meet need and make a difference.

With a teaching and senior management background in primary, secondary and tertiary, coupled with more than 20 years’ active governance in all those sectors including kohanga reo, John brings a grassroots approach. John’s particular areas of focus are rurality, community development and working alongside Maori community/learner aspiration.

Ruma Karaitiana

Ruma is an experienced company director with a long career in management, consultancy and business. He has recently retired after over ten years as Chief Executive of the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation. Although most of his working life has been in commercial management Ruma has maintained an active involvement in education through governance roles and part-time teaching. He has held governance and teaching roles in both the tertiary and compulsory education sectors and has a particular interest in pedagogy in a digital and distance learning environment.

Ruma currently chairs the commercial arm of his Iwi post-settlement as well as serving on the boards of Education Services Ltd and The Central Energy Trust. He also represents Iwi interests on the Lead Group of the economic development initiative, Accelerate25.

Mele Wendt BA, DipTchg, CertMgt

Mele spent a total of 24 years in the education sector - first as a secondary school teacher and then at Victoria University of Wellington as the founding Pacific Liaison Officer where she established the recruitment services/activities for Pacific students and families. She was then appointed manager of the domestic student recruitment and course advice office for Victoria University. Then for 10 years Mele served as Executive Director of Fulbright New Zealand.

In the last two and a half years Mele has been doing consultancies in various areas including scholarships, governance, Pacific peoples’ development, and organisational capacity building. She also has a governance career spanning 20 years serving on a variety of boards, and is currently the Chair of the Pasifika Education Centre board.