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
Treasurer Grant Clifton
Secretary & Policy Natascha Hurt
Property John Taylor
C.R.F.S & Sponsorship Melita Campbell
Grants & Cookbook project 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. The Board of Trustees’ primary role is to exercise its powers in such a way as to ensure that every student at the school is able to attain his or her highest possible standard in educational achievement. It is 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.

Grant Clifton

Hi my name is Grant Clifton, 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 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. 

Cate Ashwell - Grants & Cookbook project

Glenn and I have had our place in Point Wells since 2011 and have lived here permanently since 2015.  We have Tom, year 4, and Eloise, year 3, 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.  My role on the board is to apply for grants to secure funding for equipment and projects that we might otherwise not be able to afford ourselves, e.g. a classroom set of Lego Robotics and a mobile science trolley that can move around classrooms.  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.

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

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 - Property

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 utilize some of these skills on the board of trustees. 

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.