The Board

Board’s Responsibilities

The Board is the entity responsible for the governance of the school and is accountable for the school’s performance. The Board is responsible for ensuring that the school complies with all its legal and policy requirements and sets the school’s strategic direction in consultation with parents, staff and students.

The Board is legally required to perform its functions and exercise its powers in such a way as to ensure that every student in the school is able to reach his or her educational potential.

The Board is the employer of all staff in the school and is also responsible for overseeing the management of personnel, curriculum, property, finance and administration.

Difference between the Board’s role and the Principal’s role

The Board sets the policy and direction of the school through its charter, strategic plan and policy and the Principal is responsible, along with the staff, for implementing this. In essence, the Board decides what it wants the school to achieve and the Principal determines how the school should go about achieving it.

The Board is made up of at least five elected parent representatives, a staff representative and the Principal, and meets regularly with dates published in the school newsletter and on the School Calendar. If you have matters you want to discuss with the Board, contact the Board Chairperson, in the first instance.

From Left: Mana, Alice, Hamish, Nick, Michelle, Jayne, Nathan

Michelle Hooper MNZM Board Chair

I work in major international sport event delivery and specialize in leading teams of people through project management to bring great events/ ideas to life. We are very passionate about sport and the role it plays in developing communities and kids and would love to see that become a more integrated part of Waiheke Primary School for all kids. Our eldest Hugo is 12, Monte is 10 and Mia our youngest is 7. 

Nick Shaw Tumuaki | Principal

I am a proud born and bred West Aucklander. I moved to Waiheke with my wife, Desney, and our two young sons, Grayson and Elliot (who both attend WPS), at the end of 2018 for the principal position here at Waiheke Primary.  

I started my teaching career in 2008 and have a passion for developing the 'whole child', ensuring that we offer a diverse curriculum that provides all children the opportunity to pursue their passions and be successful. 

Alice Mew Deputy Board Chair

My husband Johnny and I moved to Waiheke from London in 2017, following ten months of bliss travelling the world as a family. I am a New Zealander (Johnny is English) and we wanted to give our girls (and ourselves) the kiwi lifestyle. We chose Waiheke for the colourful, diverse community, connection to nature and sense of adventure - and we absolutely love it.

Our youngest daughter Frida attends WPS, (with our eldest having graduated at the end of 2023) and during our time at the school, we have seen the teachers, staff and parents go above and beyond to deliver on the school's values to provide an inspirational learning environment where kindness, individuality and creativity are nurtured. I joined the Board in 2019 as I wanted to do my bit to help.

My day job is as a Senior Investment Strategist at the NZ Super Fund (NZ's Sovereign Wealth Fund) and the skills and experience I bring to the WPS Board include strategy, governance, financial acumen, and the ability to work constructively in a team to achieve outcomes.

Nathan Tawhai Parent Rep.

I grew up in Central Auckland in the early 80’s so I had the benefit of not being consumed with technology. 

After high school I qualified as a professional chef, working in many Auckland restaurants and travelling the world with my now partner. I moved back to Auckland and started a new career, qualifying as an audio-visual technician, and for seven years did festivals, concerts, plays and conferences with Spyglass then Oceania. During this time, my wife and I bought a house on Waiheke and decided to call this place our new home. 

Today we have two kids, with our daughter at Waiheke Primary and our son at Waiheke Community Day Care. Wanting to be closer to my whānau, I started my third career as a heavy diesel mechanic, and now work for Fullers at the Waiheke Bus Company, and am finishing my apprenticeship.

During my years here on the motu, I have embraced the community, freedom, beauty and lifestyle that this special place has to offer.

Hamish McCullough Parent Rep.

I am a Registered Valuer, working on Waiheke Island.  My background is in property and finance, with over 25 years of private and public sector experience in these areas.

I am Married to Sanna and our son Charlie is in year four at WPS. We have lived on Waiheke Island for the last 18 years and enjoy the strong sense of community, in which the school plays a central role.

My personal journey in education stated in a small rural primary school and continued through the New Zealand state school system and on to university, also in New Zealand. A solid education has served me well and at various times I have returned to study. I place a high value on education and our teachers, as one of the primary ways of creating the widest available set of options for our kids.

I welcome the opportunity to support Nick and the team in their work, setting up our kids with the tools they need for the next stage of their education, wherever and whatever that may be.  

Esther McDonald

Bio coming in 2024

Jayne Alexander Staff Rep.

I have been teaching at Waiheke Primary since 2016 and joined the Board in 2019 as the Staff Rep.  I moved to Waiheke with my partner George and daughter Poppy from Pukekohe/Tuakau.  Poppy started at WPS in Year 2 and is now at Waiheke High School.  We thoroughly enjoy the environment on Waiheke and the community values the motu offers.

I am originally from the UK and before teaching I was a land surveyor. I thoroughly enjoy teaching and the joys tamariki bring.  There is never a day the same as another!

Andrea Hutchins Co-opted Member

I am a communications advisor, currently for NZ Post, with a journalism background in daily newspapers and business news. I understand the value and importance of strong communication between the school and its community, including open engagement, consistency and information for whānau, parents and caregivers. 

My husband Nick and I have three children at Waiheke Primary and I’ve supported their journey as much as possible through parent help and the Parents and Co committee. 

While the South Island is our tūrangawaewae, we chose to live on Waiheke to be part of a close community, for the connection to nature and the chance to bring up a family with these foundations. Because of these special factors, Waiheke has now become our home and our kids’ place in the world. 

Waiheke Primary embodies many of the values that attracted us here; a sense of shared belonging, kindness to others and connection to the environment, along with excellent, inquiry based learning. 

It’s a privilege to be part of a team of passionate board members doing all they can to set our kids up for their best future.