Establishment board and authorisation board

The charter school | kura hourua Establishment Board provides strategic oversight and advice on the implementation of the charter school model.

The establishment board is working with the Ministry of Education and the Associate Minister of Education. They are advising on key decisions relating to the initial establishment of the charter school model and ongoing functions and management of the model.

The establishment board will continue until the authorisation board is set up later in the year.

The authorisation board will be an ongoing statutory board with between 5 and 7 members. They will be empowered to make decisions on key matters such as the approval of new charter schools and use of interventions such as closing a charter school.

They will also have oversight of the performance management system and provide strategic advice to the Minister responsible for charter schools on key policy settings.

Members appointed to the charter school | kura hourua Establishment Board

Justine Mahon (Chair)

Justine Mahon is a leading New Zealand educator, with considerable experience as a teacher and principal in the tertiary, secondary and primary education sectors, along with experience in teacher training and development. She possesses expert knowledge and experience in the strategic development of curriculum and pastoral programmes in the primary and secondary sectors, across all socio-demographic profiles.

In recent years, Justine has played a leading role in the Knowledge Rich School research project which she has implemented at St Cuthbert’s College for girls where she has been the principal since 2018. She has also, along with 3 other Auckland principals, established a robust, alternative 'In-School Initial Teacher Education' model in conjunction with the University of Waikato. 

Doran Wyatt

Doran Wyatt is a partner at Russell McVeagh and leads their real estate and construction practice. He specialises in commercial and Crown property matters, including acquisitions and disposals, developments, construction and leasing, seismic building issues, corporate real estate and social infrastructure. He works with a diverse range of government, domestic and international private sector clients.

Before joining Russell McVeagh, Doran was at another New Zealand law firm for 13 years, 5 of these as a partner. He has previously practised in the UK where he specialised in property development, joint ventures and real estate funds. He has previously advised the Ministry of Education on private investment projects for education infrastructure on Crown land and school site acquisition.  

Elizabeth Rata

Elizabeth Rata is a professor in the School of Critical Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland. She has been an English teacher and English department head at Hilary and Tangaroa Colleges in Otara, followed by teaching at St Paul’s College for Boys and (now closed) Queen Victoria School for Māori Girls.

Professor Rata was a founding member of the group which established kura kaupapa Māori and as secretary of Te Komiti o Nga Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tamaki Makaurau played a significant role in the Runanga's successful campaign for legislative recognition, and policy and operational development. She is recognised internationally as a curriculum expert. Her work includes the design of the Curriculum Design Coherence Model and she edits the Research Handbook in Curriculum and Education, a major publication containing 40 chapters by curriculum experts from around the world. 

Glen Denham

Glen Denham is currently headmaster of Wellington College. He was principal at Massey High School West Auckland from 2015 to 2022. Glen has had successful experience in the United Kingdom’s Academy Model of schooling, where he was the executive principal at Oasis Community Learning Multi Academy Trust in London for 6 years.

Glen took 3 schools from 'special measures' to 'outstanding' in 3 years. One of his academies was named in the top 5% of all schools in England for 3 years running. He opened a sixth form which was in the top 5% for all sixth forms for 4 years running. Glen also opened a football academy with Crystal Palace at Shirley Park. His leadership has been endorsed in the House of Lords in England by Rt Hon David Laws MP, Minister of State for Schools (Department for Education). 

John Fiso

John Fiso ONZM also known as Fiso John Fiso, holds a chiefly title bestowed upon him by his father’s village in Samoa. John has extensive governance and management experience in education, health and economic development sectors. He has served as chairman of the Independent Tertiary Education Providers of NZ (ITENZ) and on the boards of Pacific Co-operation Foundation, Ako Aotearoa, Volleyball NZ and the Pacific Business Trust.

John was made an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit for services to sport, education and the Pasifika community and was named Wellingtonian of the Year for services to education in 2016. John founded the NZ Institute of Sport, a three-tier education institute with foundation, vocational and graduate programmes.  

Dr Nina Hood

Dr Nina Hood is the founder of The Education Hub, a not-for-profit with a mission to bridge the gap between research and practice in education. Under Nina’s leadership, the organisation has grown considerably, and its resources are used in most schools and early childhood centres across New Zealand and increasingly internationally. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at Koi Tū, the Centre for Informed Futures at the University of Auckland, where she leads their work on the future of education.

Nina has taught at Epsom Girls Grammar and Mt Roskill Grammar in Auckland and was also an academic at the Faculty of Education, University of Auckland for 7 years where she specialised in education evaluation and knowledge translation. From 2015 to 2021 she was on the school board of St Cuthbert’s College. 

Neil Paviour-Smith

Neil Paviour-Smith has over 30 years’ experience in various roles in New Zealand capital markets. He has been managing director of Forsyth Barr since 2001. Neil has had an active involvement in education through school and university governance, reflecting a strong personal interest.

He was on the school board of Wadestown School for 14 years, including 10 years as the board chair. He was a council member of Victoria University of Wellington for 9 years and held the posts of Pro-Chancellor for 2 years and Chancellor for 4 years.

He is a director of Wellington Free Ambulance, NZX and the NZ Initiative. He is a former Director of NZX and Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CAANZ) and former chair of the NZ Regulatory Board of CAANZ. He is a Fellow Chartered Accountant, Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the Institute of Finance Professionals NZ, having chaired its predecessor the NZ Society of Investment Analysts. Neil was an inaugural recipient of a Sir Peter Blake Trust Leadership Award in 2005.

Rōpata Taylor

Rōpata Taylor has governance and executive management skills with over 20 years of private and public sector commercial and business development experience. He has held an executive leadership role as General Manager People and Culture at Wakatū Incorporated since 2002.

He is a graduate of the University of Otago and has previously worked in the education sector in senior roles at secondary and tertiary levels. He has held trustee and director roles and is currently Chair of Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust. He provides expert evidence on customary matters in judicial proceedings. He is a specialist adviser to community groups, local and central government and NGOs.  

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