Category Archives: News

Crisis in Teaching

Recent newspaper reports speak of a crisis in teacher supply, especially in Auckland. The high cost of housing was cited with at least one school indicating their interest in building their own houses to attract staff. Teacher unions have spoken of the need for an “Auckland Allowance” to top up salaries similar to the “London Allowance”. However, the same would have to apply to police, nurses and anyone living in Auckland.

There is a crisis in teaching and its reasons are many: increasing class and school sizes, increased compliance and accountability with a low trust model from the government and Ministry, especially under the previous Minister. But, perhaps the biggest cause of the teacher crisis in supply, retention and morale, is the increasing rate of harassment and bullying of our teachers.

Teacher well-being is under attack and it impacts on student learning. Bullying, harassment and violence against teachers and principals is on the rise. It is well documented in Australia but no so much in New Zealand. The favourite tool is via social media and is often anonymous. It should be noted that the NZ Police recently commented about negative attacks on their Facebook in Canterbury and medical organisations report similarly.

The NSW Auditor-General reported a 34% increase in 2015/16, in the number of claims resulting from allegations of bullying, harassment and violence (23.06.2017). The Australian Principals Occupational Health & Safety and Wellbeing survey of 4,000 principals found 41% had experienced threats of violence and 36% had experienced bullying (2016). Chris Presland, president of the NSW Secondary Principals Council says “Schools are very, very soft targets for anxious, stressed and unhappy parents” – far easier targets than other authority agencies. Teachers in Finland, Singapore, South Korea etc., enjoy greater levels of respect and “no one would dare abuse a teacher”. However, in Australasia there is “a feeling that we’ve got a right and capacity to say what we think”, but unfortunately some people take it too far. In the United States funnily enough, such issues are not as high due to the highly litigant nature of their society i.e. teachers sue.

Prof. Donna Cross, University of Western Australia wrote an excellent paper on “Teacher Wellbeing and Its Impact on Student Learning”. In a nutshell, morale drives teacher exodus. She cites some pretty powerful statistics:

  • 41% of Australian teachers report high levels of stress and make more mental stress claims than any other industry.
  • 40% of Australian school principals report feeling stressed or bullied.
  • One third of school principals experience an incident of physical assault.

The New Zealand data is much harder to find in that it doesn’t seem to be collected. However, a staff wellbeing and concerns survey was conducted with the staff at Matipo Primary School (2017). The findings were:

  • 25% of staff felt they didn’t feel safe from parents.
  • In relation to negative Facebook comments:
  • 85% felt hurt.
  • 92% lose enthusiasm or energy to contribute more.
  • In relation to positive parental Facebook comments:
  • 96% reported pride and confidence.
  • 74% felt keen to increase energy and enthusiasm.

Some comments from the survey included:

“We do more than ever for the children at this school, often at the expense of my own family”.

“We do more and it is appreciated less. The school had a glowing ERO report. The situation is depressing and it gets me down. I really don’t know what more we can do”

“We all work above and beyond our job descriptions for the children in our classes – which can often be destroyed by negativity towards us”.

“It would be great to see and hear more positive and supportive feedback from the community”.

Teacher supply is getting harder and quality teacher supply much harder. This school got an outstanding ERO report 12 months ago. The staff of this school do an outstanding job and the school has an outstanding reputation. It needs to be stressed that is just takes a few individuals to create the impression of an undermining of the school and staff. The fact is that the great majority of the school community, probably close to 99% are tremendously supportive of the school.

  • $20,000 of school donations paid to date.
  • $11,000 sales from the Book Fair.
  • $732 for the Child Cancer Society.
  • 80% attendance at the Learning Expo.
  • Wait list for out-of-zone admissions.

In summary, I am saying this is a school of excellence with really committed staff. They are well worthy of your positive support and I respectfully ask that you reflect on the influence that negative comments on Facebook cause.

Thank You!

Thank you to the following parents who have so wonderfully supported the school with their voluntary service for sushi distribution and for road patrols supervision.

Sushi: Diane Berben, Nicky Beazley, Tanya Howie, Lisa Hamilton, Tania Bowen, Vanessa Preston, Amanda Lowe, Anita Corcoran, Kim Schriefer, Alex Yovich, Natasa Vujnovich, Alexia Santamaria, Linda Crombie, Karen Bosnich-Wood, and Tori Cotton-Everitt.

Road Patrols: Debra Stuart, Lisa Biesheuvel, Talia Pilalis, Libby Clark, Trudi Bragg, Luke Reid, Bea Traub and Julie Ellis.

Also a special thanks to Navin Ramachandran, who has been hosting computer programming classes voluntarily over the last three years.

We really appreciate your support.

Paul Wright appointed as new Principal of Matipo Primary

5th July 2017

Dear Matipo community,

The Board of Trustees is delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Wright as the next Principal of Matipo Primary School. Paul will lead the school from the start of Term 4 this year.

Paul has been Principal of Clayton Park School in Manurewa for the past 13 years. Prior to this he was Associate Principal at Lincoln Heights School in Massey and before moving to to New Zealand in 1997, Paul held a variety of school management and teaching positions in the United Kingdom. Paul’s leadership is well recognised for building and sustaining high levels of student achievement at Clayton Park. He is respected for his commitment to quality professional development and the way he models, supports and coaches teachers. He has a passion for diving, sailing, music and the arts. Families at Clayton Park speak of the way he develops deep personal connections with whanau and the community. Paul and his wife Cathy live in Titirangi and their family are confirmed Westies at heart.

The Board felt that Paul’s vast experience as a principal in managing all aspects of his school, his proven track record of innovation and strategic thinking, and his high level of qualifications made him the best fit for our school. This appointment is the result of a rigorous and thorough recruitment process, guided by an external education consultant. Following the final interviews of shortlisted candidates, our Board was unanimous in this decision.

Paul says “It is an absolute honour to be given Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of such a strong and vibrant learning community. I am excited and looking forward to building on the traditions and strengths of the school, to lead Matipo into the future.”

This is a time of major transition for Matipo, and we would like to once again acknowledge Wayne Bainbridge for his outstanding years of leadership at Matipo Primary and the rich legacy he leaves behind. Discussion is underway to find an appropriate way to farewell Wayne at the end of Term 3 and details for this will be shared soon.

Nga mihi nui,
Vanna Blucher (Chair) and the Matipo Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees Newsletter Term 2

3 July, 2017

A time of change

Dear Matipo community,

Welcome to the first newsletter from our reinvigorated Board of Trustees. We aim to update you on Board activities with regular newsletters and we welcome your feedback.

The Board usually meets on the third Monday of every month in the school staffroom, starting at 7.30 pm and the community are welcome to attend. Should you wish to address a matter to the Board at a meeting, please contact us before attending to check the protocol. Dates for the meetings will be mentioned in the weekly school newsletter, and the next meeting will be held on 24 July due to the school holidays. Copies of past Board meeting minutes are currently available in the office foyer.

The Board of Trustees provides direction for the school in its governance role and community consultation is an important part of this process. A by-election for new parent representatives was held in May and three new trustees were elected. Nathan Rarere, Vanessa Preston and Rebecca Lamb have joined Vanna Blucher (Chair), David Windler (Treasurer), Natalie Kennerley (Staff Rep), Wayne Bainbridge (Principal) and Faga Siaki (Parent Rep) in making up our full Board . Thank you to all candidates and voters, we value your involvement and interest in the governance of our school.

Following the change in composition of our Board we are holding a Meet the Board evening for parents and whanau in the first week of Term 3. More information will be provided closer to the date.

SAVE THE DATE: Meet the Board Evening, Wednesday 26 July, 7.30pm

As you may be aware, the Board has recently been investigating several confidential complaints. We take complaints very seriously, and have been working with external advisors and the New Zealand School Trustees Association to resolve these and ensure that processes are followed properly. The School Complaints Policy outlines that parents should contact the teachers concerned in the first instance, then the Syndicate Leader if not resolved, then the Deputy Principal, then finally the Principal. The Board can only consider complaints against the Board or Principal, or complaints that have not been resolved by following the complaints process.

Our long-standing Principal, Wayne Bainbridge is retiring at the end of Term 3. Wayne has held the reins at Matipo Primary for 28 years and led the school and students to much success over this time. He will be greatly missed. The Board is currently recruiting for a new Principal under the guidance of a respected education consultant, and we have had a high number of quality applicants. The level of interest in this position attests to the reputation and strength of our school and current Principal. We look forward to sharing more information with you about the new Principal appointment very soon.

Finally, a big thank you to our dedicated staff at Matipo, who pour their hearts and souls into teaching and caring for our children every day. Thank you also to the many parents and whanau who volunteer or assist our school in different ways. You are greatly appreciated.

Wishing you all happy and safe school holidays.

Nga mihi nui,

Vanna Blucher (Chair) and the Matipo Board of Trustees


We value your feedback – please feel free to contact the board at this address:

Newsletter #20 June 29th

Warm Welcome To
Nathan Brunel-Morvan, Rosa Skellon and Justin Tran. We wish you a long and enjoyable time here at Matipo Primary School.

Happy Birthday This Week To
Nathan Brunel-Morvan, Mikayla Tombs, Ella Page-Wood, Rosa Skellon, Arthur Bell, Emily Stuart, Zac Wilson, Justin Tran, Eve Lambourn-Bennett, Henry Ramsay, Matthew Rockel, Carlos Cash, Ethan Clark, Billie Circuitt, Isabella Dodd and Aiden Sanderson.

Book Week
Last week we had the excitement of the Book Fair. A total of $11,500 worth of books were sold, of which $4,000 commission was earned for Mrs Knight to buy new books for the library. Thank you for all your support and especially to our volunteers Ally Gracewood, Kirsty Ibbotson, Merryn Robertson, Tori Cotton-Everitt, Ellen Williams, Karen Dobbs, Vanessa Preston, Jill Jessop, Jude Brunel-Morvan, Linda Crombie, Vicky Petley, Natalie Kennerley, Lisa Hamilton, Alex Yovich, Hollie Colegate, Joanna Holland, Kristie Penwarden, Janine Thomas, Amanda Lowe, Scott Faulder and Kelly Rarere.
Book Week concluded with a Book Character Parade presented by the Taonga, Aroha and Mana syndicates. What a wonderful effort by children and staff. The overall winners for their costumes were Jacob Hallows, George Fisk, Brianna McMahon, Imogen Wroe and Cassandra Kinross. Photos of the parade can be seen on our Facebook page.

Term 3 After School Classes
Enrolments for Term 3 after school classes opened this morning. We have five after school classes to offer. Please see the enrolment form for more information.

Tomorrow’s assembly is at 2.15 pm in the hall for the Tamariki and Aroha Syndicates, and will be hosted by Room 7.

If you have any spare pants for children, we’d love to have them for our sick bay. Also, any unused newspaper for our art room.

Soccer Field Day
There were many tired kids and satisfied parents at this week’s soccer field day. The boys A-team just missed the final finishing a credible 3rd place. The boys B-team won their competition. The NFF organised a non-competitive girls football tournament. The players of the day were Seth Stylianou, Josiah Tavita and Chelsea Doughty. Thank you Mr Simpson and Mr Nemaia for a great day, and to parents Bruce Ellis, Steven Bonkovich and Andrew van Dolleweerd for helping out. Also to the refs from Rutherford College, particularly three ex-Matipo students – Ryan Verney, Dylan McDonald and Joshua Smith.

Urgent – Parent Wardens Wanted
We are seeking parent help at the busy corner of Taikata & Matipo Road crossing on Monday afternoons and Wednesday mornings. Please call the office, 834 6909, or see Mrs Clark, Rm 1 if you can assist (8.00am – 8:45am or 2.45pm – 3.05pm). If you are able to assist on any other day, we would love to hear from you.

Term Dates
June 30 School Speech Competition 11.30am
July 04 Learning Expo 9am – 10am
07 Term 2 Ends
24 Term 3 Starts

Learning Expo
Tuesday 4th July 9 – 10am
All classes welcome you to join them in this term’s Learning Expo.
This is an opportunity to visit your child’s class, look at their books, and see their work displayed. Each class will have a little experience planned where they will demonstrate their learning or talk about their learning outcomes.
We would love to see you there!

Matipo History: Significant Events Last 30 Years

1988    School’s second fire destroyed the last classroom left from a permanent block roughly where the hall is.

1993    Major police issue around paedophile Peter Campbell. Security guards and police on site.

1994    Three new classrooms sank into the rugby field being delivered and had to be towed out by a bulldozer.

1995    Governor General Dame Catherine Tizard visited.

1998    Rt Hon Helen Clark visited to open new Admin Block.

1999    ‘Elvis’ Stankovich concert.

2000    Jonathan Hunt – Speaker NZ Parliament visited.

2002    Trip to Parliament to meet Speaker Jonathan Hunt who welcomed each child individually into the state dining room.

2006    Gold Coast Trip! Mrs Forgie taught every child to swim in the motel swimming pool.

2015    Hall fire!

Matipo History: Famous Visitors

Darren Liddel – Weightlifter
Eroni Clarke – All Black
Bob Harvey – Mayor
David Fane – Actor
Chris Carter – MP, Minister of Education
Debra Wai Kapohe – Soprano
Harry Ngata – Soccer Player
K-Lee – Singer
Oscar Kightley – Actor
Danny Hay – Soccer player
Noah Hickey – Soccer Player
Cindy Kiro – Children’s Commissioner
Winton Rufer – Soccer Player
Tamati Coffey – TV Presenter
Robert Rakete – Mai FM DJ
Jay Jay Feeney – The Edge DJ
Yvonne Willering – Netballer
Patrick Ah Van – Warriors Player
David Tua – Boxer
Louisa Wall – MP
Paul Ifill – Soccer Player
Ronald Suniula – USA Rugby
Mahe Drysdale – Rower
Sarah Couley – Olympian
Alfred Ngaro – MP
Siona Fernantez – Olympian
Maria Tutaia – Netballer