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

Chair Person Natascha Hurt
Property Mike Sutherland
Grants Adam Wooler
C.R.F.S & Sponsorship Melita Campbell
Treasurer Cate Ashwell
Principal Darrel Goosen
Staff Representative Wendy Chittenden


Natascha Hurt - Chairperson - Secretary & Policy

My family and I have lived in Point Wells since 2007. We have three children that attend Matakana School. I have a legal background, having practised as a corporate solicitor in London for most of my career.

I was elected to the Board of Trustees in June 2016. The school board of trustees model is a successful way in keeping the community connected with its school. In Matakana, the school and its students are incredibly lucky to be supported by an engaged and generous community.

It has been a privilege to be part of this function and a very rewarding role. It has given me a deeper appreciation of what it takes to educate a child. The team at Matakana School is outstanding. They put in so much time, effort, care and kindness each day to ensure the best educational outcomes for our children.

Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 2.11.59 PM.png

Mike Sutherland - Property

I have lived in this area for the last 10 years having moved up from the South Island and now have three boys at Matakana School in year 1, 4 and 5.

My partner Kirsty and I run a local business and value this creative community that we live in. At the heart of small communities like Matakana is the Primary School. I would like to be a part of contributing to the positive culture of the school.

Our family are into being outside a lot. Kids have amazing opportunities up here to have freedom in the outdoors.  

Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 2.08.12 PM.png

Cate Ashwell - Treasurer

Glenn and I have had our place in Point Wells since 2011 and have lived here permanently since 2015.  We have Tom, year 5, and Eloise, year 4, at school. I have a business background in food marketing and online retail, working in New Zealand and overseas for corporates, startups and my own consultancy. I was elected on to the board in 2016 and have done both the fundraising role and the grants role.  Seeing all of the hard work it takes to run a school, I feel very privileged to be able help Darrel and his great staff deliver such a high standard of education to our community. It's very rewarding work.

Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 2.23.05 PM.png

Melita Campbell - C.R.F.S & Sponsorship

I have had the privilege of being part of the Matakana School Board for the last 2 years, responsible for fundraising and events. This role has given me an appreciation of the school dynamics and the strong partnership between the school and its community. I have been absolutely amazed at the contribution made by the management team and staff to our school.

I have over 20 years’ experience in the Events Industry.  My background in this sector coupled with being a local business owner lends some of the practical skills required in supporting the school in a fast-growing and high achieving environment. 


Adam Wooler - Grants

I moved to New Zealand three years ago with my wife, Katherine and my daughter, Ella-Rose who is in year 2.  I am 53 and have spent many years wanting to return to NZ after falling in love with this amazing country.

I am currently the Chief Operations Officer with Surf Life Saving NZ. My professional career has been one of service to the charitable cause of saving lives. Community education and the education and training of our members has been a large part of my work, so I am passionate about education.

I have been extremely impressed with the way Matakana School is run, and the commitment and enthusiasm that the Principal and teachers show. I would love to be a part of helping to maintain such a wonderful learning environment and to do my bit to ensure the governance, stewardship, finance and strategic direction of the school continued to provide a safe and prosperous background for this learning to occur.

Wendy Chittenden - Staff Representative

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 - Principal 

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.