Welcome to new Board of Trustee members

As both new and experienced members of Porirua Boards of Trustees gathered in the Pataka atrium on 13 August 2013, Taku Parai welcomed everyone with a karakia before the Council’s Waiata Group broke into a beautiful rendition of He Kakano, led by Caroline Fotualii on guitar.

Mayor Nick Leggett acknowledged those who have been elected as Trustees in Porirua schools and said he had arranged the evening because he thought it would be useful for Trustees to find out about the Shine initiative and have an opportunity to talk to each other.

Rahui Katene, Chair of Shine Porirua, emphasised the value of schools sharing resources and interconnecting throughout the City. The work that school boards are doing was immensely valuable and she explained how Shine could contribute to bring individual efforts into a pool of collaborative effort.

Angela Ryan, from Mana Education Centre Trust, said that one of the issues Porirua has faced in the past is that initiatives are started, funding dries up and everything stops and has to start again. We all need to find a way to look at this collaboratively.

Angela mentioned some of the initiatives that Shine have introduced since the Education Summit on 14 June:

  • A volunteer in Pukerua Bay who has done a lot of funding applications has offered her services to help schools with applications.
  • Primary and secondary schools have started to talk about how they can work together more collaboratively.
  • Early Childhood are looking to have a combined poly-festival in 2014.
  • The Primary School principals have met to hear about a two-year literacy research initiative that Massey University, working with 5-year olds in Porirua. The initiative will start in 2014 using Joy Allcock’s work. Massey is looking for at least 100 5-year olds to participate and a further 100 from similar educational situations to be in the control group (these children may come from outside the area). Porirua will be leading this initiative nationwide.
  • 8 September is World Literacy Day and Joy Allcock has offered to make herself available to run a session for parents. Mana Education Centre will be open from 1-4 pm on the day to display games that families can play to develop literacy skills.

Izzy Ford, Chair of Rangikura School Trust Board, offered her advice following what she has learned after the three years she has served on her school board.

  1. Relationships are really important. Be visible in the school. The relationships established with the community helps ‘buy in’.
  2. Your role is important. You are more than a volunteer. You are part of a team that governs an organisation called a school.
  3. Ask questions.
  4. Go to training or bring the training to the school to make sure you operate efficiently.
  5. Participate, especially at the Board meetings. You were voted in so make sure that our children get the best deal and bottom line.
  6. Make sure our children excel in education. Change is here. It is no longer acceptable to allow the children in our community to be put into boxes.

Mike Evans, former Chair of Aotea College Trust Board, congratulated all the Trustees. He said that they were taking on a valuable role and wished everyone luck. He stressed four important things:

  1. Review policies
  2. Oversee education
  3. Support your principal
  4. Collaborate with other boards

Mike has been a Trustee at Aotea for six years. Statistics say that 30% of our college students leave the area. Wouldn’t it be great if most of our students went to local tertiary training opportunities?

Mike stressed how important school is. Aotea is as strong as it has ever been. The mood is good and all the children can now perform their school haka. He stressed what a great thing the Shine initiative is for Porirua – everyone bringing special qualities and working together.

In summing up, Kris Faafoi thanked all the new Trustees who have taken up the challenge and who are going to work for the next three years with the parents and children. He believes that Shine will mean that schools can work much more collaboratively in the future. Members of Boards of Trustees can make a huge difference in shaping the future of our young ones.


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