National hui 2019 workshop presenters

Ally Bull - Evaluation Associates

Ally is an education consultant, currently based in Auckland. She has worked in a wide range of roles within education, including teaching (Years 1-10), middle leadership, distance education, pre-service and in-service teacher education, assessment resource development and research.

Ally has a strong background in primary science and future-focused education. She has a particular interest, and experience, in supporting educators to critically examine their current practices and to explore different ways of meeting the educational needs of young people in todays rapidly changing world. She has also worked with schools to help them to connect more closely with families, whānau, and the wider community about issues in education.

She is committed to working towards a more equitable system for all learners in Aotearoa New Zealand and believes that an important aspect of this is supporting educators to become more aware of the assumptions that underpin their existing practices.

Workshop title and synopsis

Internal review through the context of curriculum

Schools are struggling with an over full curriculum  how do you decide what big ideas are too important to leave to chance? Who should decide?


Andrew Savage and Christina Thornley - Teaching Council

Andrew Savage is a Lead Advisor Innovation & Collaboration at the Teaching Council. He was formerly Deputy Principal and History teacher at Wellington High School and has been involved in education for the past 17 years as a teacher, curriculum leader and leader of professional development. Since moving to the Teaching Council, Andrew has been involved in progressing the Leadership Strategy and has a particular interest in leadership as a quality rather than a role or position of responsibility, He has been an advocate for effective collaboration between education settings.

Christina Thornley is a Lead Advisor Innovation and Collaboration at the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. She has a strong interest in understanding how Our Code Ngā Matatika, Our Standards Ngā Paerewa can positively influence outcomes of well-being, learning and achievement for children and students. Before taking up her role at the Council, Chris was involved in research and professional learning and development projects.

Workshop title and synopsis:

Growing your educational leadership

This workshop will be an interactive session focused on how to use the Educational Leadership Capability Framework to inform leadership development in your school across the different spheres of responsibility and roles. You will have the opportunity to explore how the framework can be used as a tool for critical reflection and as a lens to identify strengths and needs for positional and non-positional leaders.


Davida Suasua - Tangaroa College

Davida Suasua (nee White), a descendant of Ngāti Tāma, Te Rārāwa and Ngāti Kahu, has taught in South Auckland for over 20 years.

The current Principal of Tangaroa College in Otāra had the privilege of researching for Professor Linda Smith from 2002-2004. She represented NZ in Rugby Union with the Blackferns, a Rugby World Cup champion and a multiple National Champion title holder (Auckland Womens XV Rugby team - The Storm, Counties Manukau Rugby team The Heat). In her capacity as a successful coach, Davida led the 2006 Samoan Womens team Manusina to the Rugby World Cup in Canada. She is the only woman to coach in the pretentious Auckland 1A 1st XV Rugby competition (2002-2008). These experiences have offered her the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of people to meet the common goal of increasing achievement and well-being.

As a Māori leader, Māori educator, Māori parent and Māori learner, education for Davida is a journey of insight, disappointment and inspiration. Davida understands from firsthand experience the impact of policies and processes that have affected the outcomes of many New Zealand children, particularly Māori and Pacifica. Her uncompromising belief that all students can learn, given a positive learning environment, strong and knowledgeable leadership, committed and focused teachers, an encouraging community and a supportive family.

Workshop title and synopsis

See me for who I am, for I am Maori” 

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari he toa takitini.

I come not with my own strengths but bring with me the gifts, talents and strengths of my family, tribe and ancestors.

How we treat Māori in our community, is like a bad Christmas gift from the in-laws, stash it away, and only get it out when they visit. It has its own commentary of how you use it and how grand it is, but once the in-laws have left, back in its box it goes, forgotten, until the next visit.

We have a Pōwhiri next week, we have a Māori parent Hui, we have visitors, we have a staff meeting, we need a waiata, we need a group of Māori students to sing, perform, we only need them for an hour or maybe less.

See me for who I am, for I am Māori, not a bad gift’ 

As social creatures we are wired to connect, and our own very well-being and mental health rely upon our developing positive and effective relationships, something very few of our Māori students report experiencing in our schools. As leaders and teachers, we know having positive relationships that promotes care and commitment, high expectations, and improved and sustainable outcomes, fundamentally reduces educational disparities and promotes equity.

Research has shown that developing a schools and classrooms culture as if they were extended families, provides educators with a setting where Māori students belonging, participation and individual learning is supported and developed. This relationship based education has much to offer, it also gives active expression to Te Tiriti ō Waitāngi because it promotes the idea of partners in education (Article 1), acknowledging Māori students distinctive differences (Article 2), in ways that promotes benefits for Māori and all students (Article 3).


Ezekiel Raui

At only 21 years of age, mental health advocate Ezekiel Raui has accomplished some incredible achievements and says he owes his success to his whānau. Business grad Ezekiel Raui is the first member of his family to graduate from uni. The Te Rarawa descendant was also chosen as valedictorian and spoke about the importance of helping others.

Its all good and great that we get to celebrate our successes but at the same time there are people without, outside of the four walls that we celebrate in, that need our support and that's where we should be focusing our attention.” 

Other highlights throughout his life include receiving a Queen's Young Leaders Award at Buckingham Palace and meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their royal visit to Aotearoa last year. Earlier this month Raui was named in Forbes 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs List. Raui says his humble upbringing inspired him to work in mental health.

I found out later on in life that I grew up homeless for about five or six years. I've lived everywhere, from the side of the street to in our car that mum and dad have.” 

Workshop title and synopsis
'He kai kei aku ringa - Leadership development through from a youth perspective'

Ezekiel will share his youth leadership journey. The focus will then turn to a discussion about how leadership can be nurtured and grown and the role of schools in this.


Gina Smith - Te Kura o Paetumokai 

Tēnā koutou katoa

Ko Gina Smith tōku ingoa

Ko te tumuaki o Te Kura O Paetumokai

Gina has the privilege of leading a full primary school in the progressive town of Featherston in the South Wairarapa. She trained as a primary teacher and then moved into the secondary sector before returning to the school she had always wanted to lead. Gina, and her amazing team, have worked hard to turn an underachieving school into a successful kura that celebrates and incorporates the Ngati Kahungunu principles and Te Tiriti O Waitangi. She is looking forward to the next step in the journey, which will see Te Kura O Paetūmokai becoming a fully bilingual school.

Workshop title and synopsis

From Featherston School to Te Kura O Paetūmokai

This is a journey through the last five years of Te Kura O Paetūmokai. It will look at the celebrations and pitfalls of using the principles of Te Titiriti O Waitangi and the Ngati Kahungunu Curriculum to lead our school into the future. There will be plenty of time for us to share ideas and discuss the benefits of a treaty-centric school.


Jason Ataera - Tairangi School

Jason is Principal at Tairangi School in Porirua East. This is a full primary school, 60% Pacifica and 30% Maori. Everything Jason does is to co-create a society where we all benefit from the full potential of each other.

Workshop title and synopsis

Engaging with our Community, and Universal Design for Cultural Engagement. The why, how and the what?


Kerry Forse - Orere School

I am Principal of Orere School in my third year of principalship. I have worked in education for 18 years in small and large schools. Orere is my first U1 school and has challenged both my leadership and teaching practice.

I have always had an interest in Māori learning as Māori and completed 2 years of Te Ara Reo at Te Wananga o Aotearoa early in my teaching career to support my classroom practice. I am particularly interested in how schools can support those who have a disconnect from their culture or where school might be the only place, they learn about being Māori. This is something that I struggled with myself being estranged from my father who I found out in my teen years was Māori.

One thing I am enjoying about being a principal is being able to lead change in the school with a focus on being culturally responsive.

Workshop title and synopsis

U1: A Culturally Responsive Journey
What I inherited! What Ive changed. Where to next?

Orere is a rural, coastal school with a very small community. Since 2017 the school culture has changed dramatically. In some ways leading change in a small school is easy as there are only a few people to bring on board. In other ways it can be extremely difficult. There are only a few adults to do all the work and one family or child can have a huge impact on the success of any change. With anything from 45% to 65% of the school roll being Māori / Pasifika (depending on year) using a culturally responsive lens in decision making is just good practice.


Mary Chamberlain - Evaluation Associates

Mary is a director of Evaluation Associates and an education consultant. She is currently Chair of the Curriculum, Progress, and Achievement Ministerial Advisory Group and a member of the NZQA board. She works with school leadership teams and a number of other organisations on education projects.

Mary is a thought leader in curriculum and one of New Zealands most highly respected educators. She has deep knowledge about what it takes to design an effective education system. She spent 10 years as a group and senior manager in the Ministry of Education, where she led the development of the New Zealand Curriculum. Mary has also been a teacher, principal and adviser to schools. She became a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the New Years Honours announced in 2012 for services to education.

Workshop title and synopsis

Curriculum leadership and change
How good is your current curriculum? What areas show real impact for learners and what areas may need refreshing? In this workshop we will identify the features of an excellent local curriculum and consider the kinds of experiences students would need to enjoy to make these features a reality.


Rochelle Inwood

Rochelle Inwood is a principal in her fourth year of principalship, and twenty years' experience within education. Serita Drewery is our Maori Student Achievement leader - who also has been at Korakonui School for four years. Korakonui School traditionally has been a rural school which is the hub and heart of a farming community. Our story is not so much about Leading in times of Change but more that it is time for change - all learners need to feel valued and enjoy success, and the journey we will share is in relation to our Maori students achieving success as Maori within our setting.

Workshop title and synopsis:

Every Learner Learning Everyday

The vision of Ka Hikitia is that Māori learners enjoy educational success as Māori. The challenge is what does this look like in action, and how would we know if its happening or not? At Korakonui School, we have been on a journey to create our own version of a MASAM (Maori Achieving Success as Maori) Framework. We are in the process of consulting with our community to define what success does mean to them, we have a draft Korakonui School MASAM framework, and we currently have strong Maori student achievement data which has been positively recognised at Ministry level. We are happy to share our journey so far.