In August 2021, the Minister of Education announced the establishment of a new contributing primary school (Year 1 – 6) in Cambridge West. This page provides information for those who may be interested in being elected to the establishment board of trustees for the new school.

Establishment Board role

An establishment board for a new school consists of five members (including iwi representatives), appointed by the Minister of Education, to oversee and assist in the process of setting up the school. The principal or principal designate is also a member of the establishment board. While a permanent staff member of the new school cannot be appointed or co-opted to the establishment board under clause 9(2)(external link), if a member of the ESB becomes a staff member after they are appointed/co-opted, they may remain on the board.

One of the primary tasks of the establishment board is to develop a vision for the school.

The work of an establishment board is voluntary, as is the work of an elected board, although attendance fees and travel expenses may be paid. An establishment board remains in office until the Minister (or delegate) approves the transition to an elected school board. Usually an elected board should be in place within six months of the school opening.

Ideally an establishment board will be made up of local people. As far as reasonably practicable, board members should reflect:

  • the ethnic and socio-economic diversity of the student body of the school
  • the fact that approximately half the population is male and half is female
  • the character of the school and its community.

They should have an interest in education (or knowledge and understanding of schools) and the time to devote to the project. The establishment board may co-opt up to four members to achieve a gender and ethnic balance, and add skills and expertise.

The establishment board may be appointed two to three years prior to the opening of the new school, depending on the type of school. During the early weeks of its establishment, the full board is likely to need to meet weekly, not including any sub-committee meetings. It is expected meeting frequency will reduce once the principal has been appointed and construction has commenced.

Contact details

Nominations close on 4th March, 2022. Information packs containing nomination and eligibility declaration forms are available by contacting Holly Chapman (Education Advisor Network) on 027 208 4641 or

Indicative timeline to open school

Action Description Date
Establishment announced The Minister announced the establishment of Cambridge West school. (Link to gazette notice(external link)). 19/8/2021
Registrations of interest open The Ministry seeks registrations of interest from potential board members. 18/2/2022
Registrations of interest close All applications including CVs and declaration of eligibility forms must be received by this date. 4/3/2022
Selection panel considers applicants A panel including members of the Ministry, NZSTA, and iwi consider applications. 11/3/2022
Appointments made The Ministry notifies successful and unsuccessful candidates. 31/3/2022
Establishment board begins work The establishment board begins work to prepare the school to open.  May 2022
ERO begins readiness review ERO will conduct a readiness review, acting as a critical friend to the board, ensuring the school is ready to operate. This involves meetings with the board and staff before and after the opening of the school. September 2023
School opens The school opens. February 2024
Establishment board continues work The establishment board remains in office until the Ministry agrees the school is ready to move to an elected board, and the Minister approves the change. Establishment board members are permitted to stand for the elected positions. When ready (usually 6–9 months after opening)

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