Thank you to our presidents for summarising feedback from clusters for our Workload Survey. The survey gives us a snapshot of the mahi that is taking most of the energy of principals in Tāmaki Makaurau currently.  This feedback will continue to ensure our lobbying of workload matters is targetted specifically to APPA principals' stress points.
While the survey is open for a few more days we thought you would be interested in the results to date.
Interim Results: (Highest to lowest priority in terms of workload)
  1. Staff Well Being (ave score of 2.78)
  2. Student Attendance & Engagement
  3. Student Well Being
  4. Staff Recruitment
  5. Sourcing Relievers
  6. Curriculum Refresh
  7. COVID leave & Payroll
  8. Revised ERO Model
  9. Accessing PLD (ave score of 7.89)
Trends we noted in the commentary:
  • There were many comments asking for the Curriculum Refresh to be slowed down so we can give this important work the time it deserves.
  • Requests for the MoE via Bulletin or Directors of Education  to "tell us the must dos, and the can dos"
  • Staffing is a concern for many 
  • A number of respondents asks for 2023 Staffing to be set early, or just match 2023.  
  • There is a growing concern about our workforce
  • Changes to the Annual Reporting (SPaR) schedule were helpful. 

Steve King

A reminder to those interested in being more closely involved in the work of the APPA that we are holding a Council Zui at 10.30am - 11.30am on Thursday 2 June. 

Please note that this is an open meeting and presidents, council members or those interested in the current or future work of the APPA are very welcome to attend. For part of this meeting we will be working in breakout groups on specific focus areas. 

The link to the Zui is below, please put the link directly into your calendars as the open nature of this meeting means we will not be sending out invitations through zoom itself.  I will send a reminder for this meeting next Wednesday.  

Here is the link to the Zoom Meeting

Kyle and Wendy

Is your school ready for the national media spotlight? (Seminar for Principals, APs, DPs)

The phone rings and it’s One News wanting to talk to someone about a serious allegation! Or the news van arrives unannounced and reporters enter reception with the camera rolling! Is your school ready to deal with this?

If not and you’re a Principal, DP or AP, you need to come to the seminar “The School Leaders Survival Guide to dealing with News Media Threats,” on June 16 in Manukau. Everything will be covered from mastering media interviews to planning for any negative media event that can seriously damage the reputations of schools and school leaders.

The Seminar will be presented by School Leader Media Trainer, Pete Burdon. For all the details, simply click the link below.

 Take me to the Seminar page

 Pete Burdon 

Tēnā koutou katoa me ngā mihi ki a koutou kua mahi 

Once again we are facing a challenging term in what is proving to be another difficult year.   I thank you for your hard work, adaptability and resilience. 

We are seeing some resurgence of Covid currently and are likely to be impacted by further resurgences and other winter illnesses as we move through this term. Some of us are needing to think Red when we are in Orange and to return to some of the Health and Safety Procedures we had hoped were behind us.  Each school leader is responding to the needs of their communities on a daily basis, and this is wearying mahi, particulary as many have also joined the Covid Club. And yes, the auditors are in too. 

Your cluster colleagues, your APPA Executive, and our Directors of Education are at the end of the phone or email.  Please reach out if you need to talk through any aspects of school organisation, moving to remote learning, need a sounding board for your decision making, or to calm your wairua.  

Some relatively good news this week in that the ARF has been extended in to term two. Be aware that the disregarded sickleave provision only applies to the 7-14 days of the infectious period, and does not cover subsequent Covid related health matters, short or long term.  We have been sharing these Covid concerns, and other issues with the local Ministry, NZEI, and with those in Wellington.  As part of Peak Bodies we have been escalating matters on your behalf. 

This week our thoughts are with our APPA colleagues who are dealing with some distressing circumstances in their schools.  And, to the the families and colleagues who are suffering immense grief at Robb Elementary, we stand with you, aroha atu ki te whānau. 

Wendy Kofoed

The day Steve King and I returned from visiting the Hilton in Taupō last year the country went into the lockdown that scuppered Conference 2021. However, the good news is that now we are in Orange we are able to once again have our conference. We are grateful that our speakers are all able to make it so all signs are pointing to yet again another great APPA Conference.

The dates are Tuesday 21 - Thursday 23 June. This is the weekend before Matariki offering attendees the option of staying down in Taupō to enjoy the long weekend. This has become a very popular event so much so the conference has already sold out and we now have a growing waitlist. If you haven't booked your accommodation at the Hilton, you will need to make this a priority as rooms are filling fast.

This year we have a different social activity for the Wednesday afternoon. We know thta this activity will be a hit but our lips are sealed until we get to conference.

Both the start of conference drinks on the Tuesday night and pre-dinner drinks on the Wednesday night will be held in the expo area in the carpark under the new wing, and of course, all breaks during the conference will be held in the expo area.

Please complete this survey by Monday 9 May to let us know who from your business will be attending.

Included in the above survey are fields to update our database to allow us to have the right contacts for the right people in your business. Once we have this updated information we will send you your agreement for signing and returning.

Tēnā koutou e te whānau o ngā hoa kaipakihi,

Last term started with the uncertainty of how Omicron would affect our schools. Thankfully, for many of our member schools we were able to get through and keep our school open throughout it all and boy, were we looking forward to the break to take a breath! We start this term knowing that we are going to face continued disruption with staff and students having to stay away at times due to Covid or other winter illnesses. However, we have trust that our systems and people are resilient enough to get us through.

We hope that you, our business partners, have also been able to build up a good level of resilience as you navigated your business through Omicron in order for you to continue to provide the goods and services that you do.

Now that we are in Orange of the CPF we are back into planning events and activities that promote collegiality, knowledge and hauora, and are mutually beneficial for both our member principals and business partners.

We look forward to once again being able to work with you kanohi ki te kanohi.

Ngā mihi,

Kevin Bush

Staffing Survey April 2022

The APPA gathered data to understand how widespread the problem of not being able to appoint to a vacant position is and what impact this has on the schools affected. It is really vital that we keep putting current data in front of the Ministry and Media to support our ongoing concerns about quality teacher supply. Thank you for completing the survey. 

Heath McNeil

Kia ora ngā Tumuaki ō Tāmaki Makaurau

Once again school leaders across Tāmaki Makaurau have faced a challenging and demanding term, and it is with some relief that it is almost at an end. We assessed multiple risks, developed plans at speed, and utilised our combined strength in helping to shape the response to the unique situations we faced. Thank you all for being the steady, calm face for your communities once more.

We worked hard to have our students at school for the whole term, and over the last few weeks have tracked their growing presence, participation and progress. And that data is worth tracking.  It has been a joy to have so many students back in school this term.  Our challenge next term will be supporting the students still needing encouragement to return to school.  Celebrating the engagement and learning of this term may help in this regard. 

Thank you to Tanya Harvey and Deirdre Alderson our two Directors of Educaton, Auckland who were at the end of the phone or email when we needed support this term.  They and their team put in long hours, and were hugely responsive to the needs we faced, as they arose.  Two well deserved chocolate Easter Eggs delivered to our whaea. 

I know you will be telling your teams to take the opportunity to rest up and recharge, and we all need to follow this advice. The Covid-19 Omicron outbreak impacted our own and staff wellbeing, and we all must take time to catch our breath and to replenish mind and body. 

On behalf of our tamariki, whānau and wider communities, thank you for your mahi this term, it is greatly appreciated.  Ngā mihi nui ki a koe.

Noho ora mai


The APPA Executive are delighted to present the 2022 Principals' Conference in beautiful Lake Taupō.  Our Conference is being held at the Lake Taupō Hilton, from June 21 to 23.

We have a stunning line up of speakers;

  • Nigel Latta
  • Kathryn Berkett
  • Vaughan Fergusson
  • Tom Sainsbury
  • Steve Smith
  • Greg Steele & Gretchen Stone
  • Zoe Timbrell

Additionally, as well as presenting a Keynote presentation, Greg Steele & Gretchen Stone from Harrison Stone, will also be offering an open door “clinic” for anyone who wants to drop by and ask a question about any legal issue that their school may be facing. 

Registrations have almost closed due to high demand, so if you're planning to attend, please register before Thursday April 14.

The APPA, a group of Auckland principals, and the Directors of Education for Auckland have been working with Natasha Barnett, Group Manager Resourcing to clairify the additional relief funding for COVID-19 staff related absences.  Progress has been made and hopefully further clarification will be forthcoming. Natasha and her team are working hard to ensure clarity on this matter and that schools are reimbursed all that they are due. 

The resourcing team are aware of the time it takes for we in schools to process the refunds.  They will shortly pilot a process to see if they can do more of the administration on behalf of schools.  There will also be a checklist of all funding available coming our way soon. 

Thank you to Tanya, Natasha and our pilot principals for your support in this matter.

Staffing Survey 2022 - April

The APPA would like to gather data to understand how widespread the problem of not being able to appoint to a vacant position is and what impact this has on the schools affected.

It is really vital that we keep putting current data in front of the Ministry and Media to support our ongoing concerns about quality teacher supply. We are aware that there are clusters that have no issues, as well as clusters that are under significant strain.

The Executive are in constant communication with the MoE and the Media. We appreciate you taking the time to do this, and should take less than three minutes to complete.

Please complete this survey by 12pm Wednesday 6th April.

Thank you in advance.

Following our AGM, members were asked to identify;

  • What themes should underpin Auckland Schools' COVID recovery?
  • What support do Auckland Principals most need?
  • What are the three most important issues that should drive the Executive's Advocacy.

Your executive held a strategy meeting this week to work through and prioritise your feedback to us regarding our key areas of focus for 2022.  It was difficult to narrow down your suggestions as all are of importance.  We will update you on our key areas of mahi after our next executive meeting.  There was strong commonality across clusters, and you will not be surprised by the suggestions made. Working together in our clusters and sharing ways of working through APPA, will support us moving forward.

Whilst there is still further teasing out to be done, the Executive are hopeful of sharing our 2022 Annual Plan in the next few weeks.

Steven King

Kia ora koutou

Thank you for your attendance at our recent APPA Zui.  I have attached the slides from the health presentation below.  Thank you to Alison and Pip for taking the time to talk with us.  

We had excellent attendance from our membership at our Zui.  This method of connecting with our membership will certainly be factored in to our 2022 Calendar moving forward, in our 'APPA Hybrid Model' of connecting both digitally and with kanohi ki te kanohi meetings. 

What great news regarding all schools receiving a supply of Rapid Antigern Tests. Like the mask supply, and the funding contribution for Covid response, having resources come directly to the school is appreciated. This may be  the start of a MOE model where equity of resourcing for all schools is as of right. 

While we are still faced with Omicron infections in our schools, and with high daily case numbers, it is good to know that we are on the other side of this surge though we are not out of the woods yet by any means. 

As I mentioned last week, our APPA principals have needed to continuously pivot and adjust to meet the needs of our tamariki, whānau and staff.  It has been really challenging work, and constant change is hard, and we are all experiencing this pressure.  We have seen strong manaakiatanga and rangatiratanga from principals both formally and informally and we need to continue this support of each other.  Reach out if you need to, kia kaha, ngā mihi nui.   

Noho ora mai

Wendy Kofoed


It is with heavy hearts that we announce the APPA Choir Festival will not take place in 2022.

We have decided to make this decision early so that people are not left hanging with last minute decision making. There is a great deal of cost involved as well as time and effort with rehearsals.

Given the current landscape we remain a little uncertain as to whether there will be opportunity to bring children together to sing under CPF Orange.

We know this is disappointing. The Festival is a highlight for many children and indeed staff. Leyette Callister will inform Choir trainers on Thursday this week.

We are looking forward to starting up the choir festival in 2023!

Kia ora ngā Tumuaki o Tāmaki Makaurau

Well the past few weeks have been a whirlwind. Once more Auckland principals lead the way in dealing with Covid-19. With all of the planning and organising, contact tracing spreadsheets, looking for staff, completing Critical Worker Exemption scheme documentation, reading bulletins, collecting RATs from the MoE offices and being the go to people for all things COVID related in your school we could be forgiven for thinking that this is all we have been doing.

That being the case, the APPA Annual General meeting is fast approaching. We have set this up for Friday the 11th of March from 10am through to 11:45am. The actual AGM should only take 30 mins and then we will focus once more on a Covid related session. Please put the time aside to join us.

The Agenda, meeting link and papers for the AGM will come out early next week. We are looking forward to welcoming a new APPA President in Dr Wendy Kofoed and a new Vice President in Kyle Brewerton, both elected unopposed.

A few weeks ago I sent the following letter to Iona Hoslted on behalf of all our colleagues.

Kia ora Iona

On behalf of the Auckland Primary Principals' Association I want to thank every member of the Ministry of Education team for their hard work during this unprecedented challenge we collectively face. 

Schools rely on everyone at the Ministry to help us do the right thing. We have heard countless stories of MoE staff going the extra mile to support individual School Leaders as they navigate the uncertainty ahead.

Thank you for the mountain of information you have to process in order to give us the advice we need quickly. Thank you for listening to the countless pieces of advice that you have received from the sector. You have looked at things from our perspective and made sensible and pragmatic changes where you can. Thank you for treating us fairly and with respect - even when you may not be given that courtesy in return.

Know that we support you all, we value the work that you do and we are grateful that you are in our corner. We know the many long hours that you are doing - we are doing them too. Like you all we want to get things right and make sure our children are becoming awesome human beings.

We are all guilty of being quick to complain, we are of course human! We don't take the time to appreciate the many amazing things we have achieved when we work together. In essence, what we don't do enough of is say 'thank you'. 

So, from all of us in Tāmaki Makaurau, thank you for all you have done and thank you for all you are about to do in the next month or two.

We have come a very long way in our relationship with the Ministry. We get a lot more done when we are pulling in the same direction.

Thanks again for all your work, we hope to see as many people as possible at the AGM.

Ngā mihi

Stephen Lethbridge


We are delighted to announce the rescheduling of the 2022 APPA Principals' Conference. 

Due to the restrictions associated with COVID-19 Omicron Phase 3, we were unable to proceed with our scheduled conference dates in Term One.  However, we have managed to secure new dates in Term 2.

The 2022 APPA Principals' Conference - "All You Can Eat Leadership", will now be held at the Hilton Lake Taupō, from Tuesday June 21 to Thursday June 23.  Friday June 24 is a public holiday to honour Matariki.

Whilst all Conference Centre bookings have been transferred, unfortunately delegate accommodation has been cancelled.  Delegates will need to rebook their accommodation.  Please use the following link, to access the APPA discounted pricing.


I hope all of our business partners are doing well as we navigate yet another Covid variant but more importantly, I hope you and your whānau enjoyed a wonderful Christmas break. 

My break was very indulgent - I indulged in too much food and booze, too much sun and nowhere near enough exercise. Hence, the rubber has hit the road, or more accurately, the blubber has hit the road, as I try to drop the extra kilos. 

The start of the year saw an upgrade to the APPA Google account and we now have dedicated email addresses. My APPA email address is so please use that email to contact me. My school email gets swamped and emails get lost in the Promotions tab.

Omicron has meant we've had to change things and information about the conference and our online presence are below. We are also hopeful that next term we will be able to return to our luncheons once we are back in orange.

As business partners, if you have ideas on how we can promote our you, our business partners, please contact me at the email address above. Please also feel free to contact me on 09 292 7706 or 027 292 7706.

Ngā mihi nui,


I recently read in a Gapingvoid post …

We used to say, “Our world is very different from the one our grandparents knew”. Nowadays, it’s more like “Our world is very different from the one last Tuesday”. Everything changes faster than our ability to process it.’

Like me, I'm sure you've spent the past six to eight months spending way too much time planning only for those plans to change. APPA has heard of schools starting to be impacted by omicron and or aroha goes out to those schools.

The past six to eight months have been challenging for APPA to find ways to support our business partners. Using the technology that has enabled us to connect with our member schools, we have developed a Business Partners backdrop for APPA exec to use on our Zoom calls. A little bit of subliminal advertising.


Similar to the Elevator Pitch, APPA wants you to share with us your newsletter pitch so that we can add these to our APPA newsletters.

Please send these to 

Unfortunately, our conference has been affected by Covid. Due to the uncertainty of whether we would be through omicron or not by the end of March the conference committee has made the decision to not go ahead with the conference on the planned dates.

The good news is that Steve King has been able to work with the Hilton, Taupō to secure new dates for Tuesday 21 - Thursday 23 June leading into our new statutory holiday for Mātariki.

We are hopeful that the speakers we had arranged will all be able to make the new date.

Naturally we are excited about getting our conference back up and running and we're looking forward to see our Business Partners join us again.