Our Board

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:

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

Karen Sewell

Karen is the former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Education and Secretary for Education. She has also been the Chief Executive and Chief Review Officer for the Education Review Office and Acting Chief Executive of NZQA. 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. In 2016, The Honourable Dame Karen Sewell, QSO, received her damehood in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to education.

Maxine Moana-Tuwhangai

Maxine 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

Mele has spent a total of 24 years in the education sector, as a secondary school teacher and then at Victoria University of Wellington where she established the recruitment services/activities for Pacific students and families. Mele has also served as Executive Director of Fulbright New Zealand. In the last two and a half years Mele has been doing consultancies that include scholarships, governance, Pacific peoples’ development, and organisational capacity building.

She also has a governance career spanning 20 years, and is currently the Chair of the Pasifika Education Centre board. Mele is a long-time member of the Institute of Directors and is also an active member of PACIFICA, Wellington Pasifika Business Network, Wellington Women Leaders, and SuperDiverse Women, and provides mentoring to a number of younger women. She is Samoan (Malie, Lefaga, Vaiala) and palagi (NZ, Britain) and grew up in Samoa and Fiji.