Our leadership team
Secretary for Education
Iona Holsted was appointed as Secretary for Education in 2016.
Prior to this, Iona was the Chief Review Officer and Chief Executive of the Education Review Office. Between 2007 and 2014, Iona held four senior management roles at the Ministry of Social Development, including Deputy Chief Executive – Students, Seniors and Integrity Services. In this role, she was responsible for services to seniors (superannuation payments), Studylink, and the integrity of the benefit system. Iona also spent six years as a Deputy Commissioner at the State Services Commission.
She started her career as a primary school teacher in Auckland, later becoming an advocate and researcher for the Public Service Association, and then as General Manager of a community-controlled primary health care organisation.
Iona has completed an executive leadership programme at the INSEAD Business School, and studied strategic leadership at Oxford University. She has been a mentor with the New Zealand Institute of Management since 2007, is a Member of the Executive Leadership Learning Network, and has served on Barnardos and YMCA Greater Wellington Boards.
Iona has a Higher Diploma of Teaching from Victoria University of Wellington and trained as a teacher at Waikato College of Teacher Education.
Acting Deputy Secretary for Sector Enablement and Support
Helen joins the Leadership Team until the end of September 2021 from her role in Sector Enablement and Support.
Helen has been the Associate Deputy Secretary Resourcing and Early Learning Delivery, overseeing national office support across early childhood education. Helen in her role as Associate Deputy Secretary oversees the early learning and school resourcing functions, which includes the development of a new Education Resourcing System (ERS) for the sector.
Helen joined the Ministry in late 2012 when she came on board to set up a new, integrated regional structure and service approach. Since then Helen has worked on various change, business improvement and capability initiatives, as well as spending time with the Education System Policy team working on the Ministry’s response to the independent Tomorrow’s Schools Review.
Prior to joining the Ministry Helen worked at the New Zealand Department of Corrections in leadership roles spanning service design, change, organisational design and human resource management, and worked as an human resource consultant.
Helen has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business and Administration.
Acting Deputy Secretary Parent Information and Community Intelligence
Rose is the Acting Deputy Secretary, Parent Information and Community Intelligence (PICI). Rose joined the Ministry in 2016 as a Programme Director, and has been acting Deputy Secretary since October 2018.
PICI's focus is engaged parents and whānau supported by communities with high expectations because they are critical partners in any child’s education success. PICI designs and drives initiatives that support parents, whānau, communities, iwi, and employers that help every New Zealand child or young person progress and achieve.
Rose has significant experience in programme and change management, and service design and implementation within the NZ public sector, with a focus on implementing future-focused improvements that deliver real benefits for end users. Rose co-led the cross-agency design and implementation of the biggest legislative change to criminal procedure in 50 years.
Before joining the Ministry, Rose was Programme Manager for NZQA’s Future State Programme, and prior to that she was in the Service Transformation and Service Design teams in the Ministry of Justice.
Rose has a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Politics from the University of Auckland, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Policy from the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington.
Head of Education Infrastructure Service (EIS)
Kim is a highly experienced operational and policy leader who has been with the Ministry since 2000. She has led significant change in the Ministry, specialising in building value, driving good business practice and high standards of public service.
She has led programmes to unwind bulk funding, bring together multiple policy teams into one group, and managed major staffing reviews. As Programme Director for the Schools Plus initiative, she led a cross-government approach to lift achievement in education by developing pathways between secondary and tertiary education.
Kim was involved in the early part of Christchurch’s recovery, driving the business case for the capital works programme through to Cabinet’s approval. As Head of EIS, Kim introduced the first new schools PPP (public-private partnership) in education.
In Kim’s role as Head of Education Infrastructure Service (EIS), she is responsible for ensuring New Zealand’s schools are safe and inspiring learning environments, and oversees management of a $23.5 billion property portfolio, with a $600 million annual property spend.
EIS also delivers school transport assistance to more than 100,000 students in rural areas and students with special needs, drives better use of technology in schools through improved ICT infrastructure and the upgrades of all school IT networks, and ensures accurate, on-time payment for state education school employees.
Kim holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and English and a Diploma in Secondary Teaching from Canterbury University. Prior to joining the Ministry, Kim worked at the Department of Internal Affairs and the State Services Commission.
Acting Deputy Secretary for Graduate Achievement, Vocations and Careers
Andy is the Acting Deputy Secretary, GAVC. He has been with the Ministry since 2017 as Group Manager, Tertiary Education where he led through a number of major policy changes including the Reform of Vocational Education, and the introduction of a first-year fees-free.
He has been working in labour markets, skills and economic policy for more than 15 years, working across multiple agencies and portfolios.
Much of this has been in tertiary education, including six years in operations and as a Policy Manager at the Tertiary Education Commission. He worked at The Treasury on a range of issues, including as Senior Advisor to the Secretary to the Treasury. Prior to coming back to Education, he was Manager of Skills and Employment and Immigration Policy at MBIE.
Andy’s passion is taking opportunities for change in complex, dynamic systems. He likes connecting policy with practice, and old-school evidence with real-world stakeholder perspectives. He is committed to working in close partnership across government agencies, and between policy and operations.
He originates from the far north of England, coming to New Zealand in 2004, where he lives with Michelle and three Wellington-born children. He has a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Policy from Victoria University.
Deputy Secretary Early Learning and Student Achievement
Ellen started as Deputy Secretary, Early Learning and Student Achievement in 2017. The Early Learning and Student Achievement group supports education leaders to lift progress and achievement for all children and young people. The focus of the group is on supporting New Zealand’s curricula, assessment of children and young people’s learning progress and achievement against the curricula, the provision of personalised learning pathways for children and young people, and a quality and sustainable education workforce.
Prior to taking up this role, Ellen was Deputy Secretary for Strategy, Planning and Governance for the Ministry. During her time in this role Ellen led the Update of the Education Act and the Review of Funding systems, along with leading work for the Ministry on business strategy, organisation performance, risk and assurance, legal services, communications, ministerial services and support for the Secretary for Education.
Ellen joined the Ministry from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), where she was Deputy Director for the Policy Advisory Group and policy advisor to the Prime Minister on social sector issues. Prior to her three years with DPMC, Ellen had spent almost five years at the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), where she held a variety of roles including General Manager Social Sector Strategy, General Manager Planning, Performance and Governance, and Deputy Director of the Chief Executive's Office.
Ellen began her public service career at the Treasury and holds a Master of Arts in Geography from the University of Auckland.
Dr Andrea Schöllmann
Deputy Secretary Education System Policy
Andrea took on the role of Deputy Secretary Education System Policy in 2013. She joined the Ministry of Education in 2007, and since then has held a number of senior management roles in the tertiary, international and system policy areas. Prior to this, Andrea worked at the then-Ministry of Economic Development in regional and sector development roles for seven years.
The Education System Policy Group is responsible for strategic policy advice on education system settings, including advice on the system’s ability to deliver material improvements for learners at all levels. The group provides policy advice on early childhood education and schooling, and on the performance of the education system for Māori and Pasifika learners. It also has a focus on strengthening the medium to longer term strategic focus of the education system, and manages the Vote Education Budget.
Andrea holds a PhD and a Masters degree from Lincoln University, where she lectured for some years in tourism geography. She emigrated to New Zealand from Germany in 1990, so she also holds a number of German qualifications in the area of business management and administration, and she worked in the private sector in Germany.
Deputy Secretary Business Enablement and Support
Zoe was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Business Enablement and Support group in 2015.
The role is responsible for the Ministry’s organisational capability ensuring the critical people, processes, systems and infrastructure is in place to achieve the business strategies of the Ministry. The functions within this group include IT, Finance, People Capability, Business Services and Procurement.
Prior to working for the Ministry, Zoe was seconded from the Ministry of Social Development to work as Director of the Ministerial Inquiry into Novopay. She was appointed to the Ministry’s Leadership Team as the Director of the Secretary’s Office in 2014.
Zoe has held a range of senior roles in the Ministry of Social Development, including General Manager Care and Protection Support in the Child, Youth and Family Service and General Manager Strategy and Service Development in Work and Income.
Zoe has a Bachelor of Laws from Auckland University.
Deputy Secretary Strategy, Planning and Governance
Emily was appointed to the role of Deputy Secretary Strategy, Planning and Governance in 2017. In this role, Emily is responsible for business strategy, education system stewardship, planning and governance, risk and assurance, legal services, communications and ministerial services.
In her previous role as Group Manager International Education, Emily led the Ministry’s wider international education engagement strategies, international education policy development, and key government-to-government and multilateral education engagements (such as OECD, APEC, UNESCO and counterparts in Australia). In this role, she has worked across the Ministry, with Ministers, the education sector and other government agencies such as NZQA and TEC, ENZ, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and Immigration New Zealand to develop and support international education.
Prior to working at the Ministry of Education, Emily held various senior management positions at Immigration New Zealand (MBIE), including as Executive Director to the Head of Immigration New Zealand and leading the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) programme bringing Pacific Island seasonal workers to New Zealand to support our horticulture and viticulture sectors. She has had two stints in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, and started her public service career working in the Office of the Clerk at Parliament. Since March 2017 Emily has also been the Secretary of Education's nominee on the Fulbright NZ Board.
Emily originally hails from Central Hawke’s Bay, and achieved her Honours degree in International Relations (Politics and Modern Languages) from Victoria University of Wellington.
Dr Daryn Bean
Kaiwhakarite Matamuri mo te Matauranga Maori | Deputy Secretary Maori Education
Dr Daryn Bean is the Deputy Secretary Māori Education. Daryn joined us from NZQA, where he has been the Deputy Chief Executive Māori since 2009 and before joining the Ministry as Deputy Chief Executive Strategic and Corporate.
He has extensive public sector experience at the interface of Māori development and brings high-level relationship management skills, strategy and leadership development capabilities in the areas of education and community development.
Daryn has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to Māori leadership, development and education.
From Te Arawa, Daryn recently gained his Doctorate in Government from Victoria University of Wellington specialising in Māori leadership practice in the New Zealand public sector. He also holds an Executive Masters in Public Administration from ANZSOG and post-graduate degree in management and a Bachelor of Business Studies degree from Massey University.
Acting Deputy Secretary, Evidence, Data and Knowledge
Alex is the Acting Deputy Secretary, Evidence, Data and Knowledge (EDK).
The EDK Group exists to deliver high quality evidence to inform policy, practice and strategy and is responsible for the Ministry’s data assets, providing analytical capability, and disseminating insights to the wider system.
The Deputy Secretary also acts as the Senior Responsible Officer for Te Rito, which aims to provide easily accessible, trusted and safe information to support the wellbeing and achievement of New Zealand ākonga.
Prior to working at the Ministry, Alex has held senior management roles within the health, local government and sport/recreation sectors.
He is a former Country Manager for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, General Manager of Water Safety New Zealand and had an active governance career spending eight years on the board of Skills Active, and chairing its subsidiary company Qualworx.
Alex holds a postgraduate honours degree from Victoria University of Wellington, an undergraduate degree from the University of Otago and a is currently completing a Masters of Management.
Deputy Secretary Office of the Secretary for Education
The Office of the Secretary provides high-level strategic advice, and manages key external relationships across the education and wider public sectors. It works with all business groups in the Ministry to co-ordinate and provide advice to the Secretary and Ministers.
Sean began his public service career on the frontline as a Case Manager at Work and Income. Prior to joining the Ministry, Sean spent ten years at the Ministry of Social Development, holding a range of roles in operational, policy and corporate teams, including Executive Director of the Auckland Region, and Deputy Director of the Chief Executive’s office.
Sean joined the Ministry of Education in 2014 to create the Government, Executive and Ministerial function, before taking up his current role.
Sean has a Masters in Public Administration from Victoria University and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.
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