Charter School Working Group Members Announced
Press Release by Education Minister Hon Hekia Parata and Associate Education Minister Hon John Banks
Wednesday, March 28 2012
Education Minister, Hekia Parata, and Associate Education Minister, John Banks, are glad to announce the appointments
for the New Zealand Model of Charter School Working Group.
“Our focus is unrelentingly on raising achievement, in particular for those groups of students who have historically
been under-served by the system,’’ says Ms Parata.
“We already have a number of different types of schools operating in New Zealand, such as kura, religious schools,
single-sex schools, private schools and co-ed schools. Charter schools are just another option, giving parents and
students more freedom to choose the type of education that best suits their learning needs.
“The Group will consult with a wide range of people, including the teaching profession, unions, parents, businesses,
communities and educational experts from around New Zealand and around the world, to determine what charter school model
will work best for New Zealand. I look forward to their findings.’’
The New Zealand Model of Charter School Working Group will be led by Wellington businesswoman Catherine Isaac.
Ms Isaac has served on a number of Boards including school Boards of Trustees, and was a member of the Welfare Working
Group in the previous parliamentary term.
Also appointed are former Christchurch Mayor and founder of Discovery 1 and Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti, Vicki Buck, CEO of
Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu - The Correspondence School, Michael Hollings, and Dr Margaret Southwick of Whitireia Community
Founder of Onehunga Business School & Just Water International CEO, Anthony Falkenstein, University of Auckland Director of Alumni Relations and Development,
John Taylor, and the Dean of Te Puna Wānaka and the Director of Māori and Pasifika Studies at the Christchurch
Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Hana O’Regan complete the Group.
Associate Education Minister John Banks says he is proud of the team that has been assembled.
“These are high quality individuals who bring an impressive mix of skills and experience from the education and business
sectors. These include a proven track record of innovation in education, an understanding of the needs of disadvantaged
communities, as well as a thorough understanding of Maori and Pasifika needs,” says Mr Banks.
“The charter school initiative is one of the most exciting initiatives we have to contribute to solving our most urgent
educational problem; the long tail of underachievement.
“I look forward to working with the Group who will now begin consulting with the community and fleshing out the policy
issues around how best to develop a New Zealand model of charter school,” says Mr Banks.
The Board will meet for the first time next week where it will lay out a program of work that will include community
consultation and research. This process will culminate in advice to the Associate Minister of Education on how best to
implement a New Zealand model of charter school drawing on the best practice of overseas models.