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NZSTA is the voice of school boards in New Zealand, providing services to New Zealand’s 2,500 state and state-integrated schools and kura.
We are a values-based organisation; one that is determined to provide the very best services and support to our members, our education sector stakeholders, New Zealand schools and their communities.
As the professional body for school boards, NZSTA is at the heart of school governance. We influence and inform policy and sector outcomes; we support and enable school boards to flourish; we connect like-minded people through our learning and networking opportunities; we strengthen communities by helping students achieve.
NZSTA was established in 1989, following the introduction of New Zealand’s largest school reform, Tomorrow’s Schools. We are a not-for-profit incorporated society with charitable trust status.
A major review of the education system resulted in the development of ‘Tomorrow’s Schools’, a ‘grassroots revolution’ that saw school communities, whānau and parents determining the shape and practice of children’s education.
The School Trustees Association (later to become New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) was established. It included representation from the School Committees’ Federation (SCF), the Secondary School Boards’ Association (SSBA), the Area Schools’ Association, the Education Boards’ Association (EBA), the Māori Council and the Māori Women’s Welfare League.
The first trustee elections were held on 1 October amidst huge enthusiasm within almost 3000 districts — setting in place the biggest exercise in democracy in Aotearoa New Zealand, outside the parliamentary and local body elections.
The first NZSTA Constitution was adopted at the inaugural AGM in May. Regions were independent associations, and the national body acted as a co-ordinating body.
NZSTA’s mission was to ‘promote lay representation in education and work on the behalf of children in schools.’
NZSTA secured its first contract with the Ministry of Education to support school boards with governance and employment advice
The NZSTA ‘helpdesk’ was established, a free telephone ring-in service, which proved to be a “lifeline” for principals and school board members.
Today the helpdesk is a national office-based Advisory and Support Centre, fielding around 2500 enquiries every month.
NZSTA services expanded to include proactive HR support, and regional hubs created in Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland.
The Education and Training Act was passed, outlining four primary objectives for boards:
Awhi rito (parents)
Tūpuna (grandparents and ancestors)
Our logo depicts the harakeke plant, which represents the whānau (family) in Māori thought.
The rito (shoot) is the child. It is protectively surrounded by the awhi rito (parents).
The outside leaves represent the tūpuna (grandparents and ancestors).
As well as representing New Zealand school boards through our role as a professional membership organisation, NZSTA also delivers a range of services to all boards, regardless of membership status, as part of a contract-for-service with the Ministry of Education.
Combining our membership and operational outputs supports our mission as the leader for effective school governance Whakamana! Whakaora! ki Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Our contracted services are available to all state, state-integrated and partnership schools in New Zealand.
NZSTA is always focused on how we can best support New Zealand school boards with relevant, practical, accessible, and consistent information, resources, and learning.
Our communications to all boards include:
Becoming an NZSTA member board will enable school boards to access our full range of communications, publications, resources and support. Take a look at some of the benefits of membership here (link to Member benefits info and graphic)