Who’s who?

March 2011


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Associations, unions and more – here’s a brief guide to the education sector.

Early years

The Early Childhood Council represents 1200 ECE centres, both commercial and community owned. It described the government removal of a 80 to 100 per cent qualified teacher funding band as “a blow for many early childhood centres”.

President: Margie Blackwood.

The nation’s more than 600 kindergartens are run by regional associations. A national umbrella group is New Zealand Kindergartens Inc. 2010 saw it protest changes to government funding. President: Janice Bromell. Two hundred kindergartens belong to a separate national body – EC Leadership. The valuable and unique Playcentre movement is lead by New Zealand Playcentre Federation. President: Maureen Woodhams.

Te Kohanga Reo National Trust provides strategic guidance to kohanga, which are concluding their third decade of operation.

Back to school

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) is the union for primary and ECE teachers and support staff. It’s big: more than 50,000 members. Settled collective agreements for teachers and principals in December. Strongly critical of national standards. New president for 2011: Ian Leckie, a Bay of Plenty principal.

The New Zealand Teachers Council plays a key role as the professional and regulatory body for teachers and their training and registration, including those working in Māori-medium settings in early childhood education, schools and other related education institutions. It provides professional leadership in teaching and contributes to safe, high quality teaching and learning environments for children and other learners. Director is Dr Peter Lind.

The Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) is the union for secondary teachers. About 18,000 members. Last year remembered for increasingly bitter (and unresolved) contract negotiations which led to rolling strikes. Earlier stoush over night-school funding cuts. Expect relationship with the minister to remain challenged.

President: Kate Gainsford.

Teachers can also join their relevant subject associations, run by teachers for teachers. They are volunteer groups formed from specific learning areas and generally maintain wikis, websites and links with useful resources. Subject associations provide networking and PD, and contribute to curriculum development (see panel for list of subject associations).

The New Zealand Principals’ Federation has 2300 members, though its executive is dominated by the primary sector. Has campaigned loudly against national standards, which it sees as a “considerable risk”. President: Peter Simpson.

Laura Collins is executive officer of the Teachers Refresher Resource Committee (TRCC) established by Dr Clarence Beeby in 1946 to encourage teachers to take the lead in their own professional development. The Committee members, who are all volunteers, are nominated by NZEI, PPTA and TEU. TRCC has unique experience of a cross-sector, cross-union dialogue, which listens to the wider education sector and the Ministry of Education’s priorities.

Membership overlaps with the Secondary Principals’ Association (SPANZ), led by

Pat Walsh, and the Secondary Principals’ Council – a sub-group of the PPTA. Many principals also meet through regional associations, and through Te Akatea Māori Principals Association, which has members from primary and secondary schools including kura kaupapa Māori.

The New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) represents boards of trustees, and provides them with training and support. Its national leadership, led by president Lorraine Kerr, has stepped into

the national standards debate on the side

of the government, criticising the views of other groups.

Advocates for well-resourced Pasifika education include the Pasifika Education Centre and FAGASA (Association of Teachers and Parents for the Teaching of Samoan in

New Zealand).

Tertiary players

Universities New Zealand is the new name

for what was the Vice-Chancellors’ Committee. It has legal powers of quality control for tertiary qualifications, while the re-branding reflects an increased emphasis on lobbying and public relations for the eight universities.

Chair Derek McCormack talks of high demand for places and a “constrained funding environment” as unprecedented challenges.

NZ ITP leads advocacy for 12 of the nation’s institutes of technology and polytechnics, and is chaired by James Buwalda. There were

14 members but EIT and Tairawhiti merged

and Telford Polytechnic has become part of Lincoln University.

In 2009 six large institutes left and formed their own association, called the Metro Group. These are CPIT, MIT, Otago Polytechnic, Unitec, Weltec and Wintec. They have begun collaboration in areas such as course design.

There are three wānanga: Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Te Wānanga o Raukawa, and

Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. The latter was the last, in October, to reach settlement with the Crown over a Treaty of Waitangi claim concerning insufficient capital funding.

Tertiary Education Union. The TEU is now two years old, following a merger between unions in the university and polytechnic sectors. Membership is around 12,000. President: Dr Sandra Grey, who in this referendum year is also spokesperson for the Campaign for MMP.


Education Minister Anne Tolley oversees the school and early childhood sectors. She’s had her hands full, with opposition to national standards, protracted teacher contract negotiations and changes to ECE funding.

Tertiary Education Minister Steve Joyce has the job of balancing demand for university places against increased costs. He coughed up an extra $55 million for places this year.

Associate Ministers of Education are

Pita Sharples (Māori Party) and Act’s

Rodney Hide.

The Tertiary Education Commission manages the detail of government’s $3 billion-plus annual tertiary funding. Investments reflects strategic goals and not just simple student numbers. Sir Wira Gardiner, described by the The New Zealand Herald as a “fix-it man for both major parties”, has been the chair since June last year.

The Ministry of Education gives policy advice, develops the school curriculum and creates resources and training for teachers. Led by Secretary for Education Karen Sewell.

Subject Associations include:

  • Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Arts Educators (ANZAAE)
  • Aotearoa New Zealand Federation of Social Studies Associations (ANZFSSA)
  • Biology Educators Association New Zealand (BEANZ)
  • Careers and Transition Education Association (CATE)
  • Commerce and Economics Teachers Association (CETA)
  • Dance Aotearoa New Zealand (DANZ)
  • Drama New Zealand (DNZ)
  • Education Outdoors New Zealand (EONZ)
  • German in Aotearoa New Zealand (GANZ)
  • Home Economics and Technology Teachers’ Association of New Zealand (HETTANZ)
  • Horticulture and Agriculture Teachers Association (HATA)
  • Music Education New Zealand Aotearoa (MENZA)
  • National Association of Media Educators of New Zealand (NAME)
  • NZ Association for Computing, Digital and Information Technology Teachers Inc (NZACDITT)
  • New Zealand Art History Teachers Association (NZAHTA)
  • New Zealand Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE)
  • New Zealand Association for the Teaching of English (NZATE)
  • New Zealand Association of Classical Teachers (NZACT)
  • New Zealand Association of French Teachers (NZAFT)
  • New Zealand Association of Japanese Language Teachers (NZAJLT)
  • New Zealand Association of Language Teachers (NZALT)
  • New Zealand Association of Maths Teachers (NZAMT)
  • New Zealand Association of Psychology Teachers (NZAPT)
  • New Zealand Association for Philosophy Teachers (NZAPT)
  • New Zealand Association of Science Educators (NZASE)
  • New Zealand Association of Sociology Teachers (NZAST)
  • New Zealand Board of Geography Teachers (NZBGT)
  • New Zealand Chinese Language Association (NZCLA)
  • New Zealand Graphics and Technology Teachers Association (NZGTTA)
  • New Zealand Health Education Association (NZHEA)
  • New Zealand History Teachers Association (NZHTA)
  • New Zealand Institute of Chemistry – Chemistry Teachers Group (NZIC)
  • New Zealand Institute of Physics Section (NZIPES)
  • New Zealand Reading Association (NZRA)
  • Physical Education New Zealand (PENZ)
  • Spanish Teachers Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (STANZA)
  • Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages New Zealand (TESOLANZ)
  • Technology Education New Zealand (TENZ)