Board of Trustees

All of New Zealand's state schools have a board of trustees (BOT). The BOT is the Crown entity responsible for the governance and the control of the management of the school, and are accountable for the school’s performance.  

The BOT is responsible for determining the strategic direction in which the school is heading (in consultation with parents, staff and students). The board must also ensure that its school provides a safe environment and quality education for all its students.  Boards are also responsible for overseeing the management of personnel, curriculum, property, finance and administration.

The Principal is the board's chief executive in relation to the school's control and management. The Principal is required to comply with the board's general policy directions; but has complete discretion to manage the school on a day to day basis.

Who is on the BOT?

At Matakana School, our Board is made up of:

  • The Principal of the school
  • One elected staff representative
  • Five parent elected trustees
  • Co-opted trustees (as needed)

Trustees are elected by the parent community and staff members.  Elections for parent and staff trustees are held every three years.  A by-election can occur at any stage in the 3 year election cycle if an elected trustee resigns from the board and thereby creates a casual vacancy.

What does the BOT do?

Every Board must prepare and maintain a School Charter. The purpose of a School Charter is to establish the mission, aims, objectives, directions, and targets of the Board in relation to the Government’s national education guidelines (NEGs), national administration guidelines (NAGs) and the Board’s local priorities.

The school board has the overall responsibility for the school, including meeting certain legal obligations, responsibility for property, personnel, financial management, reporting to the Ministry and school community, and meeting national requirements set by the Ministry of Education.

The BOT makes decisions that the Principal and staff then put in place. It must also monitor and report annually on its progress towards those goals.

BOT Meetings...

Boards typically meet once a month between February and December. Meetings are open to the public, however, they are not public meetings where everyone has the right to speak. Speaking rights can be granted in advance by the Board Chair. Sometimes parts of Board meetings are closed to the public when the board is discussing confidential matters. BOT members are also involved in Board sub-committees which meet as required to discuss issues. Recommendations from these meetings are presented to the full board for approval.

Can I get involved?

Standing for the BOT is a great way to get involved in your child’s education. Training and support are available to make carrying out this responsibility easier.

Elections are run every three years and in order to stand for the board you must confirm that to the best of your knowledge you are eligible to be a school trustee. The website of the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) has and excellent website with lots of great information for current or potential trustees.

If you are interested in standing for election, a good idea is to talk to a current BOT member. You may also like attend a couple of BOT meetings to get a better idea of what goes on at the meetings and about the responsibility involved.

Matakana School Board of Trustees


Grant Clifton 


Robyn Peach

Secretary & Policy

Natascha Hurt

I.C.T, Health & Safety

Jonathan Beadsmoore


John Taylor

C.R.F.S & Sponsorship

Melita Campbell

Grants & Cookbook project

Cate Ashwell 


Darrel Goosen

Staff Representative

Wendy Chittenden


Introducing the Board of Trustees  

Grant Clifton 

Hi my name is Grant Clifton, my wife Yvonne and I have two daughters.  Alexa is in year 5 at Matakana School and Madison is in year 8 at Mahurangi. We have lived in Matakana since October 2011. I have worked in banking and finance Industry for nearly 27 years, having worked at 2 commercial banks and for 8 years as the director of sales & marketing for an Auckland based property finance company. In 2012, I decided to give up the nearly 2 hour commute and have decided to set up my business as a registered financial advisor, I have an office in Warkworth.   I specialise in property finance and helping people out with finance planning and personal finances.  We love living in Matakana for the vibe the place has, for all the recreational facilities it has close by and most importantly the great friendly people that live here.   I enjoy seeing children thrive not only in education but in sporting and recreational activities as well. I believe Matakana offers a great place for this to happen. 

Robyn Peach 

Hi.  My name is Robyn Peach.  My husband, Darrin, and I live in Matakana.  We have holidayed in the area for the past 12 years, and 3 years ago decided this is where we wanted our kids to grow up and go to school.  We decided to give up living in Auckland, so we now have chickens and sheep, and lots of lawns to mow!  We have two boys at Matakana School – Ben in year 3 and Ollie has just started as a new entrant.  We are loving the vibe and friendliness of our community.  My background is accounting, specifically in the business advisory area.  I have worked in large chartered accounting firms, and then I spent some time working as an accountant for various industries including athlete management and software development.  I am a chartered accountant, although I haven’t practiced as a CA since Ben was born.  Matakana school is a fantastic school, and I look forward to seeing the school continue to thrive and grow with the continued caring involvement and participation from the parents.  I am loving seeing my children grow and mature with the many opportunities available to them through the school.

Natascha Hurt 

My family and I have lived in Point Wells for the past 10 years. I was raised in Cape Town, South Africa and then spent many years working as a corporate solicitor in London.  When I met Mark, he brought me to New Zealand, to show me his beloved Point Wells. I knew the moment he took me down to the Point Wells estuary for a feed of oysters and cockles, that this place was special and that we would be incredibly lucky to raise our family here.  My passion for where we live extends to Matakana School now that I have Abby (aged 7) and Chelsy (aged 5) attending Matakana School. Charlie (aged 3) will follow soon. My girls love their school and I couldn’t ask for more.  I believe the environment we put our children in is integral to their happiness, well-being and development. Matakana School continues to develop as a school and I would love to be part of that process. A school that equals the majestic environment we live in, is something to be very proud of.

Jonathan Beadsmoore

I have two daughters one presently a student at Matakana Primary and the other who is at Totara Hill Montessori and will be starting at Matakana Primary next year.  Our family has been living in the Rodney area for nearly 10 years; my wife and I moved here after living in the Franklin District for a couple of years, our first stop when we emigrated from the UK. I serve in the Navy and am currently working at the naval base in Devonport.

I joined the Royal Navy from school and after completing a physics degree I have spent the majority of my 30 year career at

sea as an officer in the Executive  Branch, first in the UK then here in New Zealand.  I began navigating ships which led to responsibility in combat roles and then command.  Throughout my time in the Navy I have been involved in operations planning, project management and leadership.  I have experience in managing teams in high pressure roles and more recently have been involved in the management of a complex project for the Defence Force.  Throughout my career my greatest enjoyment has been afforded by the close working relationships that evolve at sea.

I am now quite enjoying being a landlubber for a change as it is giving me the chance to get involved in the local community, I am a member of the Ahuroa Volunteer Fire Brigade and am keen to play a part in the life of our girls' schools.

I would relish the opportunity to work with other parents and staff members of the Board to help keep our school a central part of the community.  The Navy has given me many experiences working in collaborative environments and I feel I will be able to contribute in the cooperative atmosphere of the Board of Trustees.  

Our family loves the life that living in the Rodney area makes possible and we enjoy the beaches, bush and ice-cream shops that proliferate  - I'm particularly partial to Charlie’s liquorice gelato....

Cate Ashwell 

Glenn and I have two kids at the school - Eloise and Tom, in Year 1& 2 respectively in 2016.  We have owned our house in Point Wells since 2011, but moved here permanently from Devonport in late 2015.  My background is in food marketing for 10 years here and in the UK, and for the last 12 years, online retail.  After a stint with a Telecom subsidiary I set up my own online retail consultancy in 2006 helping large retailers with their online business strategy.  During this time I also set up an online event business and a not for profit industry association.  I have put business on the back seat for a bit since we moved here, which has given me the time and energy to be part of the school community.  I am very happy to be responsible for fundraising for our lovely school.  It's a necessity, and a great way for all parents to feel part of their children's education whilst having fun meeting and working with other great Mums and Dads.  Thanks in advance for your help!

Melita Campbell 

My husband Grant and I have 2 daughters at Matakana School – Poppy (Year 4) and Lulu (Year 2).  I grew up in Auckland and from a young age spent every weekend and school holiday at our family bach in Omaha. After having children, we knew we wanted to live in this beautiful region full time, and moved to Warkworth 6 years ago.  I have over 20 years’ experience in the Events industry, including 8 years with V8 Supercars Australia as Corporate Hospitality Manager, and subsequently as General Manager NZ.  Since moving to the area I have setup my own business consulting to event promoters, including as the Event Director for Greenstone Entertainment, as well as working with local organisations to bring events to this area which have an economic benefit to our community. Grant and I have also recently purchased the Rodney franchise for Carlton Party Hire.  I feel very fortunate to have our children at such a fabulous and unique local school, and strongly believe that one of the great gifts you can give your children is to help them discover their passions, talents and strengths and then give them the opportunity to explore and express these. 

John Taylor 

My name is John Taylor and I am 50 years of age and reside in Matakana. Up until recently I was a police officer but I have now work for an insurance company as a fraud investigator.  I have been married to Natalie for 26 years and we have a 9 year old daughter called Ruby who is in year 5 at Matakana School.  I am originally from The United Kingdom and have lived in New Zealand for over 14 years now. We moved to Matakana in June 2012 having found that as a family we seemed to be spending more and more time in the area, we decided to take the plunge and move up here to live.  As well as being a beautiful area to live in I now know what a fantastic community we live in with Matakana School being at the centre of that community.  I spent 3 years on the board of trustees between 2013 and 2016, this was a role that I loved and it made me appreciate what dedicated people all the staff are at Matakana School.  I only left the role because of the long hours I sometimes had to work as a police officer, I now feel that I can dedicate more time to the school.  I am a motivated person and have gained a lot of skills in my 28 years in the police and I know that I can utilise some of these skills on the board of trustees. 

Wendy Chittenden 

I have been teaching at Matakana for over 20 years. I started teaching in the Junior end of the school and was the Junior Syndicate Leader for several years.  I trained as a Reading Recovery teacher and have specialised in working with students requiring additional academic support, as well as working with students with Special Needs. I live in Matakana with my partner Chris who works locally and have a daughter, Emma, who is studying and working in Auckland.  I love living in this beautiful area and think we are very lucky to have such amazing backyard to enjoy. I believe we have a wonderfully unique school, which benefits from the incredible dedication and support of the staff, families and wider community.

Darrel Goosen 

New Zealand became my home in 1998 after spending the first part of my life in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. I have never been happier than to call New Zealand home! 

I taught at several outstanding schools in Auckland before taking on the Principal’s role at Matakana School in July 2010.

There is an old Hebrew saying that I hold very close to my heart ‘Confine not your children to your own understanding, for they were born in a different time’. That’s what makes understanding children’s learning so important to me.
My wife, Janet is a teacher and I have two adult children, Selkirk and Erynne. I love friends, family, fishing, tramping, reading, movies and gastronomic delights!


To contact a member of the Board of Trustees, please email or write care of the school office.  Emails will be directed to the Board Chair.  You may also leave a message at the office on 422 7309.




Minutes of the BOT meeting - 4th December 2017.pdf93.24 KB
Minutes of BOT meeting - 30 October 2017.pdf34.06 KB
Minutes of the BOT Meeting - 11 September 2017.pdf80.92 KB
Minutes of the BOT Meeting - 14 August 2017.pdf68.08 KB
Minutes of the BOT Meeting - 19th June 2017.pdf32.14 KB
Minutes of the BOT Meeting - 22 May 2017.pdf32.26 KB
Minutes of the BOT Meeting - 20 February 2017.pdf42.91 KB
Minutes of the Board Meeting - 20th March 2017.pdf35.38 KB
Minutes of the BOT Meeting - 12 December.pdf35.25 KB
Minutes of the BOT Meeting - 14 November 2016.pdf37.12 KB
Minutes of the BOT Meeting - 17th October 2016.pdf37.46 KB
Minutes of the BOT Meeting - 12 September 2016.pdf37.39 KB
Fundraising Statement.pdf465.96 KB
Minutes of the BOT Meeting - 15th August 2016.pdf67.61 KB
Minutes of the BOT Meeting - 20th June 2016.pdf66.6 KB
BOT - End of Term 2 Update .pdf117.42 KB
Minutes of the BOT Meeting - 9th May 2016.pdf69.67 KB
Minutes of the BOT Meeting - 21st March 2016.pdf308.56 KB
Minutes of BOT Meeting - 22 February 2016.pdf59.23 KB
Minutes of the BOT Meeting - 30th November 2015.pdf68.4 KB