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. However, unlike other schools our Board is appointed by the Minister of Education.
Our Board members are:
Nicola Ngarewa (Chair)
Nicola (Ngāti Ruanui and Ngā Rauru) was appointed as chair of the Te Kura Board of Trustees in July 2022. She is currently the principal of Spotswood College in New Plymouth and was previously principal of Tamatea High School and Patea Area School.
Before taking up her role at Te Kura, Nicola was the chairperson of the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. Nicola has worked in early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary teaching roles, as well as in prisons. She has a strong interest in authentic learning and describes herself as being passionate about disrupting the educational norm through transformative leadership and being Te Tiriti O Waitangi-led and future-focused.
In 2013, Nicola received a Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award for transformative work at Tamatea High School. In 2016 she was the recipient of the Taranaki Daily News Person of the Year for transformative work at Patea Area School, with the school receiving the National UNESCO award for Education - Global Citizenship 2018. Nicola is a member of the Advisory Board for N4L and the International Lego Foundation. She is also a NZ Honorary Advisor for Asia Foundation.
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 has over 23 years of governance experience and 17 years of leadership/management experience. Her roles have included being a high school teacher, the founding Pacific Islands Liaison Officer and manager of the student recruitment office at Victoria University of Wellington, and Executive Director of Fulbright New Zealand for ten years. In the last few years, Mele has been doing a mix of consultancy work and governance. She currently serves on the Te Kura board, Toi Mai Workforce Development Council, the Real Estate Authority, and Wellington Community Trust. Recent past chair roles included Massey University's Pacific Student Success Working Group, and the Pasifika Education Centre in Auckland.
Mele is Samoan (Malie, Vaiala, Lefaga) and palagi (NZ/Britain), and lives in Wellington. In January 2019, Mele was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her services to governance, the Pacific community, and women.
Simon, who has more than 40 years in education, joined the board in 2021.
For 27 years, he was the principal of two Marlborough schools, Fairhall School and Renwick School. He also led the establishment of the first Kahui Ako in Aotearoa of 21 schools, six kindergartens and 12 ECEs.
Simon is currently working as a consultant on education-related work and is a director on two other boards.
He served on the Education Council Aotearoa New Zealand from 2015 to 2019.
Barbara has had a long career in education, mostly as a secondary school principal. She joined the Te Kura board in 2021.
Up until 2022, she was the principal of Te Kura Tuarua o Raahui Pookeka (Huntley College).
Barbara is very familiar with Waikato, where she has been principal at Ngāruwahia High School and Te Awamutu College.
She was also the foundation principal at Albany Senior High School in Auckland.
Will (Ngā Puhi and Ngāti Maniapoto), who joined the board in 2022, is currently the Māori Manager of COMET – a non-profit education trust in Auckland. He is a former secondary teacher, teaching Te Reo Māori and Japanese. He is a member of the Auckland Council Henderson-Massey Local Board and in 2022 received a Fulbright Scholarship.
Hinerangi (Taranaki whānui, Tauranga Moana, Te Arawa and Samoa) joined the board in 2022. She and her husband, Kiwa Hammond, head up AATEA Solutions, a professional training and communications business based in Taranaki. Hinerangi is also a Commissioner for New Zealand’s Māori Language Commission (Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori).
In 2022 she was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit.