The conference committee are keeping a close eye on the alert level settings and are busily working in the background to be as flexible as possible. I am sure you can all appreciate the logistics involved in coordinating a conference with the added challenges of a Delta variant outbreak.

Keep an eye out for updates in the next couple of weeks.

Jane Bush is keeping a close eye on the impact of Alert levels and the upcoming Rehu Tai Festival of Oral Language. Rehu Tai is a little different to the Choir Festival and we can be a bit more responsive to any changes that need to be made as a result of Alert Level changes.

If you have any questions about your cluster events please email Jane

Our business partner Linewize has put together some Webinar opportunities for family and whānau, the first starting tomorrow night.

You can find details of the webinars available here. This would be a useful resource to share with communities.

Our thanks to Saunil and the team at Linewize for supporting schools.

Following on from the successful meetings last week we have two more drop in sessions next week. Our thanks to the Auckland Regional Team and to Helen Hurst the Deputy Secretary for Sector Enablement and Support.

Asking and answering questions in the Zoom environment with a hundred participants was a challenge. The chat feature was useful - but the volume meant that similar questions were asked and answered multiple times. So how about we capture questions and we can share these with the MoE prior to the sessions - members of the APPA Executive will capture the answers or follow up actions on the document for future reference. Please add your questions to this document.

You should have received a couple of calendar invites from the Director of Education Auckland. Here are the links to the Zoom meetings...

Monday September 6 at 1:30pm

Tuesday September 7 at 12:30pm

Remember these meeting are optional and you are most welcome to attend both if you wish.

APPA Executive

Once again we find ourselves in a position of cancelling the APPA Choir Festival.

We are incredibly disappointed and know there will be a great many children from around the region who will miss out on the opportunity to perform at the Auckland Town Hall.

After consulting with the Choir Trainers and Festival Organiser, Leyette Callister, we have decided that we cannot progress given the uncertainty around lockdown and length of alert levels. We are fast approaching the deadline for venue refund and we cannot guarantee that our choirs will be able to rehearse in the lead up to the 8 performances.

Once again, we will start the planning for the 2022 event. Our heartfelt thanks to all those who have been involved, we share your disappointment.

Stephen Lethbridge, APPA President 

Kia ora awesome Auckland region leaders!

Firstly, thank you all for your continued hard work in this difficult time. We have at least another two weeks at level 4, but one could argue that is a lot easier than managing the dreaded level 3.

Our thoughts are with those affected by the severe weather earlier this week. As a resident of Huapai and ex Principal of Taupaki I can honestly say this is the worst flooding we have seen in a very long time. The water is slowly receding and our thoughts are with those whānau who are directly affected.

The APPA are meeting regularly with Regional and National Ministry officials around alert level conditions and the practical implications for us in schools. One silver lining in this cloud of level 4 is that we get to see how the rest of the country handles Level 3.

Vaccinations, mask use at Level 3 and the digital divide are the top issues that APPA is progressing with the MoE.

We have passed on the requests for priority vaccination for teachers and as expected this has been met with a standard response from the Ministry of Health that all New Zealanders are eligible for vaccination as of the 1st of September. Our advice to schools is to encourage staff to take any appointments they can get and schools should be flexible to allow this to happen. Let us know your thoughts...

The 31 August Bulletin noted the rationale behind no mandated mask use in schools at level three. These guidelines are from the Ministry of Health. We still think that mask use in Delta is important as the virus ignores age. As teachers, we think that teaching children to wear masks properly is doable - like we taught them to wash their hands. We need to remember that the guidelines are revised at each alert level change. Just because mask use is not mandated at Level 3 doesn't mean it will not be a feature of level 2. Let us know your thoughts...

The digital divide and equity of access to internet connection remains a key priority for schools in the Auckland region. APPA is continually asking questions. It is clear that the fix isn't just more devices - it is hard to use a device without stable and cheap access to the Internet. Whilst we are waiting for 'the powers that be' to move on this we have a responsibility to ensure that our school's do everything we can to solve the issue. Many schools over the past year have re-prioritised funding into additional devices and have worked hard with staff to develop their online learning approaches. Yet connectivity at home is a massive hurdle. We are working hard to get this addressed. Let us know your thoughts...

Again, if there is anything we can do to help and support you, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact any one of the APPA Executive Members.

Take care of yourselves, look out for your colleagues and be kind to yourselves. Now more than ever we need optimism - mariu

He ua ki te pō, he paewai ki te ao. Rain at night, eels at dawn.

Stephen Lethbridge

APPA President

Kia ora koutou

What a quick turn of events today. I know many of you will be zooming, on conference calls and in shared docs as I write this note. This the first time we have been at Level 4 since the start of last year.

I know that this will cause worry and concern for you, your staff and those children and families you serve. Once again our communities will look to us to be the source of trusted information and the voice of calm in troubled times. And, once again we will deliver.

The Ministry Bulletin will be our go to source of information, this is a time to carefuly read those bulletins. What is clear is that Level 4 means schools will be closed and no one will be onsite. At this stage that means no distribution of materials, devices to anyone - please no exceptions.

The APPA have been in meetings with peak bodies and the Ministry today, you can expect a call from a Ministry person on the 18th of August checking in on you and your school. That is a great time to ask any questions arising from the bulletin.

What may be useful is to have some cluster Zoom meetings for Principals with the Auckland Ministry Team at key points. We are in the process of setting this up with Isabel Evans - these are not compulsory but may help... we will keep you posted.

If you have any questions you need answered please flick me an email, give me a call on 021 647 303, or you can email any one of our APPA Executive Members. We have a direct line to people who can answer quickly.

Just like last time, we do not want to burdon you with too many emails and will only communicate if absolutely necessary.

On behalf of all the children of Tāmaki Makaurau, thank you all for the work you are about to do. Remember to look out for each other and reach out if you need any support.

E hara taku toa i te toa takitahi, he toa takatini.

My strength is not as an individual, but as a collective.

Take Care

Stephen Lethbridge


Due to the Prime Minster's Lockdown announcement this evening, our Executive has postponed the Business Partner's Term Three luncheon due to be held tomorrow (Wednesday 18th) at Ellerslie Events Centre.

We will do our best to try and organise a future date as we know that many of you were excited about hearing our guest speaker, Nigel Latta. 

We thank you for your patience during these uncertain times. 

Kia ora koutou

Thank you to all our APPA Council representatives for attending the meeting last Thursday, barely a week after many of us attended the NZPF conference in Rotorua. There are so many meetings on our calendars so we are thankful that the council representatives prioritise time to discuss and progress the issues we face in our schools.

Linda Miller and Iva Ropati presented a condensed version of their Rauhuia consultation to the APPA Council. They shared some emerging trends from their consultation into Principal Professional Learning needs. It was somewhat surprising to hear that only 15% of principals nationwide completed their survey. We look forward to their report to the Teaching Council.

I am also involved in the Rauhuia space for the next two terms in a partnership between the Teaching Council and the NZEI that focusses upon the practice of leadership rather than on positional roles. I am working with Wellington based Deputy Principal Anastasia Aukuso-Lolo to gather voice of Senior Leaders, Team Leaders and Teachers with respect to the Teaching Council Leadership Strategy. I would welcome any and all conversations around how leadership is grown in your schools and how Rauhuia can support you in developing the future of our profession. Please contact me at

The Minister for Covid Response has signalled the proposed action if there were to be a community case of the Delta variant of COVID-19. This serves as a timely reminder for us all to revisit our Alert Level planning, making sure that we are prepared for any and all eventualities.

The Ministry of Education are engaging with the sector around Te Mahau within a redesigned Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga - the ESA within the redesigned MoE. There is an ongoing commitment from the Auckland Regional Office to engage with APPA, AIMS, ASSPA, Kōhanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa Māori, and ECE around the structures that need to be in place in order to deliver a strong localised and responsive service. We will keep you posted on the outcomes of these meetings.

I attended the Remuera Principals' Cluster meeting this past week. It was great to listen to the conversation around the many changes we will experience and how they will land with schools. I am looking forward to attending the North Shore Principals' Cluster Breakfast in September. If you would like me to come along to a cluster meeting please get in touch.

Have a great week leading your schools, and... thank you for all you do for the children of Tāmaki Makaurau

Ngā mihi

Stephen Lethbridge

APPA President

Already we are halfway through the year and hopefully we will get another full term of school in without any Covid disruption.

Our next APPA Business Partners' Luncheon on Aug 18. See below for more information.

The APPA Conference planning is well under way. We have a great line up of speakers for the conference which is once again in Taupō from Oct 20-22 - the week before Labour Weekend. A flyer will be coming out shortly about this.

Our next APPA Business Partner's luncheon is at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday August 18 at Ellerslie Events Centre with our guest speaker being Nigel Latta.

The following Business Partners are on our schedule to attend this term's luncheon. Once again, in the brackets following the company/organisation name is the number of representatives able to attend the luncheon as per the signed agreement. Sue Green will send an invoice for any representatives attending over this allocation.

ASB (5)

Perpetual Guardian (5)

Crewcare (4)

EdTech (4)

FujiFilm (4)

Norrcom (4)

Oasis (4)

Photolife (4)

Sebel Distinction (4)

UoA Faculty of Education & Social Work (4)

Edwards Sound (2)

Noel Leeming Group (2)

iLearn (1)

Learning Network New Zealand (1)

Park Supplies Playgrounds (1)

Reharvest Cushionfall (1)

All partners get a stall consisting of a table (approx. 900x600) with two chairs and be allocated a position at the venue according to partnership level. Access is available from 10:30 a.m. on the day of the luncheon which allows approximately 1½ hours to set up before the first members start to arrive.

To ensure we know that you will be attending, please complete the following RSVP.

Business Partner Luncheon Term 3 RSVP

Kia Ora Awesome School Leaders!

Halfway through the year already! It has been amazing to see how schools around the region have celebrated Matariki. Our children are really fortunate to have schools and teachers who help to create life long memories.

We have a few items to share in this update around our APPA Council work, as well as news of our Term 3 luncheon. One aspect of school that should be at the top of our list is the Curriculum Refresh.

Curriculum Refresh

Thanks to all our principals who attended the Curriculum Refresh Roadshow. A lot of infomration was shared as well as a lot of thoughts on curriculum development. It is important to see this as a refresh - not a rewrite. The timeline looks pretty intense and a key message to the Ministry team centred around ensuring schools and teachers had enough space and time to engage with change.

It was great to be talking about curriculum - something we all need to do more of. So please keep the dialogue going in your clusters so that we can hear about the impact of this refresh on your schools.

Thank you to those schools who hosted the roadshows. As promised here are the notes from the Ministry.

The Curriculum Advisory Group is still to be formed - it was to be announced in early May after expressions of interest closed in April - we are in July! According to the Ministry - "The Curriculum Advisory Group (CAG) will help to strengthen the Ministry's national curriculum leadership by providing expert advice on the direction for the curriculum work programme." It seems that a lot of work has happened without the "expert advice from academics and practitioners" in the CAG. However the Curriculum Voices group has convened. If you are a member of the Curriculum Voices Group or you hear that you have been appointed to the Curriculum Advisory Group please let us know.

Take time to recharge

The next couple of weeks are for you to recharge your batteries - we don't get company cars, boxes at the tennis, and we don't get corporate bonuses. We do get non-contact time - yes work needs to happen BUT be flexible about how you do that. Teaching and leading is a high energy job, take some you time - that is our perk of the job.

Have a great break with those you love and care for.

Stephen Lethbridge


The Work of the APPA Council (17.6.21)

Within the APPA  Council (made up of representatives from all Auckland Principals' Clusters) there are currently four work groups, each with a focus pertinent to APPA priorities and the NELPs.   These groups cover Curriculum Review NELP 6, Progress and Achievement NELP 6, Teacher Supply,  Learning Support.  

The Council was joined by an additional member form each cluster - this is a great way to include other principals in the work of the council and gives them an insight into the role of a Cluster Representative on the APPA Council.

Recent discussion of the work groups included:

Curriculum Review

  • Curriculum Review work programme & advisory groups ref groups timeline unrealistic in terms of principal wellbeing
  • Unclear of principal involvement in these groups 
  • NZPF Roadshow Principals Curriculum Update Meetings Underway with Perry and Kaylene.  Central Meeting held 9/6/2, with two  further Roadshow meetings  25/6 (East South), and 7/7 (North West). 
  • Worry about principal and staff wellbeing in pace of implementation. 
  • Where is local curriculum mentioned in the timeline?

Progress and Achievement and Records of Learning 

  • RECORD OF LEARNING  - digital progress maps. Alongside the curriculum refresh, Ministry staff are working with the sector to develop a holistic record of learning that travels with tamariki and shows how they are making progress, their strengths and where support is needed. This record will be collaboratively generated by tamariki, whānau and educators. 
  • Years and Curriculum levels describe the expectation of learners but these are not underpinned by progression, therefore possible lack of clarity about meaning of levels/curriculum levels.  Development of a holistic curriculum progression framework,  with curriculum levels becoming phases of learning. 
  • PACT being developed for other curriculum areas
  • Challenge of the diversity of records of learning currently used by schools. 
  • Legislation would need to change as currently need 2 written reports annually (many schools doing this digitally)
  • Learner-friendly language to support partnerships with whānau.
  • Sector differences - relevant when secondary are part of Kahui Ako and pathways 
  • Assessment at Year 9  (Literacy and Numeracy)- what implications does this have primary and intermediate progress mapping

Teacher Supply Resourcing and Capacity

  • ITE needs to be the focus, as quantity and quality are the key issues.
  • Can’t be addressed short term. Might get worse in the long term as young teachers go overseas once COVID settles down.
  • Campaigns to attract trainees are currently not sufficient. We need to get more good stories out there, to raise the mana and status of teachers. need more advertising using popular role models to show that teachers make a difference.
  • Need to address the training of teachers. One year is not enough to give enough input into the different curriculum areas. two years should be the minimum.
  • How will Teacher Ed change with Techs coming together? Will there be consistency?

Learning Support (Key concerns)

  • Funding is difficult to access
  • Well Being based on supporting with LS - Principal, teachers & support staff
  • Complexity of Needs
  • Volume of LS students
  • Shortage of specialised personnel
  • Lack of LSCs
  • Complexity of issues across the city
  • Wait time for support
  • Why is the review scheduled to take 18 months 
  • Where is the National LS database?

Please utilise cluster reps as a conduit to this mahi, feedback from our membership is much appreciated. 

Dr Wendy Kofoed
Vice President APPA

Our Term Two Luncheon had a large turnout - the chance to listen to Perry Rush and Liam Rutherford was well receveived

We hope you can join us for our Term Three Luncheon.

When: Wednesday 18 August 12:15 - 2:15pm

Where: Ellerslie Event Centre

Speaker: Nigel Latta 

Nigel trained as a Clinical Psychologist and worked for over two decades in the areas of forensic psychology and family therapy.

In 2010, as a result of his passion for science and science education, Nigel was invited to become an associate of the world leading Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study at the University of Otago. In 2012 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to psychology.

He’s written eight books which have now been published in 19 countries and 10 languages.

His television career has spanned almost a decade and he’s presented a number of series including Beyond the Darklands, The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show, On Thin Ice: Nigel Latta in Antarctica, and The Hard Stuff. In 2016, along with Arwen O’Connor and Mitchell Hawkes he co-founded a production company, Ruckus, and the team have since made numerous primetime television series including Mind Over Money, What Next, and The Curious Mind. In 2018 Ruckus was named New Zealand’s Hottest Production Company in the StopPress awards.

In late 2018, having decided it was time for something a bit different, Nigel and his partner Neela Hatangadi co-founded a tech startup to build a revolutionary parenting app.


When you signed up for membership at the start of the year you would probably have pre-paid for the lunches. That means we will assume you are coming.  If circumstances change, or you are bringing a guest, please let Sue Green know. If you didn't sign up - you need to let Sue Green know as well - you don't want to miss the food and dialogue!

Nigel is a major drawcard and will speak for an hour - make sure you arrive in plenty of time as we will serve lunch earlier than normal.

We welcome Saane Faaofo-Oldehaver to the Executive. Saane fills the NZPPA co-option position to the Executive. We hope to have the Aka Tamaki position filled very soon.

The APPA Executive travelled to Wellington for the NZPF Moot late last term. We used this opportunity to meet with the Ministry of Education, ERO, Minster Tinetti and Minister Hipkins.

ERO Meeting

We met with Nicholas Pole and Jane Lee to talk about the ERO trial experience. We shared that whilst the trial schools may be getting a significant amount of resource with regular visits and carefully constructed interactions, schools not in the trial were receiving a light touch. We also raised concerns around the evaluation of the project and were assured that this would begin promptly.

Ministry of Education

Iona Holsted and Ellen MacGregor-Reid hosted us at Mātauranga House and we were taken through the Education Service Agency information. We also shared our concerns around the accuracy of predicted student numbers across the region over the coming years as well as the inequity we face in terms of staffing and resourcing when compared to our Secondary School counterparts.

The ESA information was surprising. We found it difficult to see where local support for schools was going to be enhanced. In short, this looked like an internal reorganisation with additional Deputy Secretaries having oversight over the Northern, Central and Southern regions. Regional Directors of Education remain in place but will report to the newly created Deputy Secretary positions. It looks like this is as local as it gets! We shared some concerns over this and urged for sector consultation, but were informed that ESA establishment was the domain of the Ministry and consultation is happening within the MoE and that is where it will stay.

Minister Tinetti

It was great to connect with a fellow Principal in parliament. We talked about our issues with Learning Support, Learning Support Coordinators, Kāhui Ako, Curriculum Review, Workload, and the Education Political football. We were assured that 'one of us' was there now and things will start to happen... This was the first time we had met with Jan and we are looking forward to re-visiting these initial conversations to see how much traction the sector is getting.

Minister Hipkins

From the outset we emphasised that our relationship with the Ministry has never been better. Covid-19 has increased the level of trust between schools and the Ministry. We informed the Minister that we now needed to get traction on all the issues that we were facing prior to Covid - they haven't gone away and, in some instances, they are now worse. The Minister wanted to assure us that he was in awe of how Auckland had handled repeated lockdowns and he is working with his Associate Ministers to address the inequity in our system.

We shared our concern about the lack of 'local support for schools' in the ESA model. We said we could not really see any of his recommendations in the new model. This prompted him to state that local support was important and he will seek further clarification on the difference the ESA will make for schools on the ground.

We talked about vaccination roll out and it was quite clear that the Education Sector will not get any preferential treatment. We offered Auckland schools as community vaccination hubs and the Minister said that all options were on the table. As we left the Minister's Office the Vaccination team was walking in to update the Minister.

Executive Commitment

Your executive are committed to working with the Ministry to have the issues we face in Auckland addressed. We will have new people to work with due to Katrina Casey leaving the MoE at the end of June. Katrina has an amazing amount of institutional knowledge that will be hard to replace. We will continue to press the MoE to support us on the challenging issues we face in our region.

Once again we had an interrupted start to the year with Covid-19 level 3 status meaning that we had to hold a Zoom meeting in March. This week we held a face to face council meeting, it was so good to dialogue in person. At this meeting we shared the revised framework for the Council Meetings.

We want to move away from the traditional presentation of cluster reports to using the broad Council expertise to work on the issues we all face. Each cluster president/representative is in one of our Strategic Goal Groups.  These are:

  • Learning Support
  • Teacher Supply, Resourcing and Capacity
  • Curriculum Review
  • Progress & Achievement

Note the dates and the Cluster 'Newbie' column - we want Cluster Reps to bring along a colleague from their cluster so that we get some diverse voices around the table.

We are looking forward to the progress that the council makes in these areas.