PPTA Executive - meet your representatives

National Executive is elected by members.

Executive is the governing body of PPTA Te Wehengarua and is charged with implementing Association policy as determined by Conference. The Executive normally meets five times a year.

All Executive members

National Executive is elected by members and is made up of representatives from the 24 regions, plus Māori and Pasifika representatives. Members also elect the PPTA president, a full-time position based in Wellington, for which the incumbent can take up to two year's leave from his or her school.


Jack Boyle Sacred Heart College 

Senior Vice President:

Angela Roberts Stratford High School

Junior Vice President:

Melanie Webber Western Springs College


Te Whare Turuwhenua

Kaitautoko (Te Huarahi):

Gazala Maihi

Executive members:

Te Huarahi Māori Motuhake: Henare Hutana Te Aute College, Miriama Barton Hamilton Boys’ High School, Wiki Te Tau

Komiti Pasifika: Natalie Faitala Wesley College

Aoraki: Miles Winter Mountainview High School


Kylee Houpapa (Southern) Auckland Girls’ Grammar School

Lawrence Mikkelsen (Eastern) Selwyn College

Austen Pageau (Northern) Birkenhead College

Melanie Webber (Western) Western Springs College

Bay of Plenty/Central Plateau: Glenn Cassidy Tokoroa High School

Canterbury: Jacinta Grice Hillmorton High School, and Jonathan Handley-Packham Hornby High School

Counties-Manukau: Rodger Barlow Pukekohe High School

Hauraki Coromandel/Western Bay of Plenty: Graeme Bridge Aquinas College

Hawkes Bay/East Coast: Karen Gibbs Taradale High School

Hutt Valley/Wairarapa: Chris Carr Hutt Valley High School

Manawatu-Whanganui: Rob Torr Wanganui Collegiate School

Nelson/West Coast: Ellen Curnow Buller High School

Northland: Graham Sharp Okaihau College

Otago: Joe Hunter Otago Girls’ High School

Southland: Chris Abercrombie James Hargest College

Taranaki: Simon Reid Opunake High School

Waikato: Elizabeth Ross

Wellington/Marlborough: Kevin Greig Aotea College, and Graham Smith Marlborough Boys’ College


Jack Boyle - PPTA President

Jack Boyle Exec 2017

School: Sacred Heart College Lower Hutt (on leave without pay while PPTA President)

Tēnā koutou

I’ve been an activist at all levels in PPTA, from branch chair to representing the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa as an Executive member before being elected the Association’s Junior Vice President last year and now President for 2017/18.

Why did you stand for election to PPTA Executive? I believe that high quality, well-resourced public education is a cornerstone to achieving fairness and equity in society, both in Aotearoa/New Zealand and abroad. 

I’m committed to PPTA because I know that professional advocacy and industrial strength are critical to ensuring that we can create the best conditions for teachers to meet the needs of our nation’s young people.

If there was an overarching goal for me in taking on this role it would be wanting to ensure that teaching remains a great job: that is, I want to do everything I can to ensure our professional roles are supported by reducing unnecessary bureaucracy and increasing access to high quality Professional Learning so that we can continue to make that difference to NZ students. Together, I'm confident we can make that happen.

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Chris Abercrombie - Southland region

Chris Abercrombie Exec 2017

Chris Abercrombie - Southland region

School: James Hargest College

Teaching Subjects: History and Social Studies

Why did you stand for election to PPTA Executive?  I stood for Executive for a couple of reasons. I'm a firm believer in unionism and the power of standing together in solidarity. I also wanted to be a voice for the smaller provincial and rural branches that make up my region as to often their voices are not heard.

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Miriama Barton - Te Huarahi

Miriama Barton Exec 2017

Miriama Barton - Te Huarahi

School: Hamilton Boys' High School

Teaching Subjects: Te Reo Maori / Junior Mathematics

Kia ora koutou,

My Why: I am particularly interested in looking at kaupapa Maori issues and be an advocate or mouthpiece for Maori teachers across the nation. It is important that Maori issues are supported. For my personal professional development, I want to work with a group of professionals for the betterment of all teachers and believe that teaching is a very worthy profession for us and our tamariki in schools.

"He kakano au i ruia mai i Rangiatea"
I am a seed descended from the heavens.

Nga mihi

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Graeme Bridge - Hauraki Coromandel / Western Bay of Plenty region


Graeme Bridge Exec 2017 

Graeme Bridge - Thames Valley / Western Bay of Plenty region

School: Aquinas College

Teaching Subjects: HOF Arts and teaching Visual Art

Why did you stand for election to PPTA Executive? There are times, the moments when all is well with the world. Then there are times when the slope is too steep and going in directions that have the potential to not end well. Good or bad I believe we are here to make a difference. I am a firm believer in the power of our collective voice. A voice that matters.

I have been actively involved in PPTA my entire teaching career. Getting off the fence to become a branch chair in my second year of teaching. Over the years I have been a branch chair in several schools, a regional chair, a regional treasurer, a member of the bargaining team for the STCA (twice), on the national executive as I am now and an advocate for all things PPTA.

The advantage of being in the classroom for so long means that I know what it is that matters. I have endeavored always to be that reasoned voice. To cut through the rhetoric and passing fads. To ask the tough questions. To seek justice, to empower, to enlighten and to look forward. But not to be so future focused that we drop the ball in the present. Adding my voice to the power that we have collectively.

PPTA is the voice of our profession. Our advocate both as an association and industrially. Change may not happen as quickly as we would like at times but it does happen. Through my involvement in collective bargaining and as a member of the executive I have seen firsthand the power of that collectivism. It inspires me to be there to protect and not just persevere our collective. To move forward into a brighter future.

I know that we make the difference that matters for education in Aotearoa. It is the reason I am a committed member of the PPTA whānau.

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Ellen Curnow - Nelson / West Coast region

Ellen Curnow Exec 2017

Ellen Curnow - Nelson / West Coast region

School: Buller High School

Teaching Subjects: English and Drama

Why did you stand for election to PPTA Executive?  I believe that teachers need to stand up for our profession and have a say in the system we work in. We can help ensure that education in Aotearoa is fair and equitable for all our students.

I have a particular interest in ensuring that students in rural and isolated communities receive the same opportunities as those in larger centres.

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Natalie Faitala - Komiti Pasifika

Natalie Faitala Exec 2017

Natalie Faitala - Komiti Pasifika

School: Wesley College

Teaching Subject: HOD English

Why did you stand for election to PPTA Executive? I wanted to put myself forward as the Komiti Pasifika representative on the PPTA so that I was sure that there was a Pasifika voice at the highest level of PPTA decision making. 

I enjoy the challenge of contributing to forming new PPTA policy and tackling issues in education and particularly those that impact Pasifika students, teachers and communities.

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Karen Gibbs - Hawkes Bay / East Coast region

Karen Gibbs Exec 2017

Karen Gibbs - Hawkes Bay / East Coast

School: Taradale High School

Teaching Subjects: Mathematics and Statistics

Why did you stand for election to PPTA Executive?  

I stood for Executive because I wanted to represent regional members’ views and opinions at national level and take every opportunity to promote the needs of our region.

I also wished to work on behalf of all our members to ensure that teaching takes its rightful place as an attractive, first choice career option.

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Kevin Greig - Wellington / Marlborough region

Kevin Greig Exec 2017 

Kevin Greig - Wellington / Marlborough region

School: Aotea College

Why did you stand for election to PPTA Executive?  One might say that I have moved through the ranks of PPTA somewhat accidentally. Involvement as an active member began for me as a branch secretary under a long-serving and well-respected Branch Chair. I attended Mahi Tika as well as some additional training for branch officers and enjoyed the experiences immensely. Attending regional meetings and observing at an annual conference led to taking on the Regional Secretary position as, once again, a long-serving officer retired. Seeing how important this level of activism is, I decided to take on the role of National Executive Member in place of another retiring activist.

Getting to know how this organisation runs and how dedicated the people who run it are has been incredibly gratifying.

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Vince Hapi - Te Huarahi

 Vince Hapi Exec 2017

Vince Hapi - Te Huarahi

School: Wesley College

Teaching Subjects:
1) HOD Māori "Te Reo me oona tikanga"  2) Carpentry Technology teacher to junior students 3) Exponent of kapa haka

Why did you join the PPTA Executive?

* I am passionate about being a member of the PPTA Executive, I bring governance experience from Tainui.
* I represent the best interests of Te Huarahi Māori Motuhake
* I exemplify "Te Reo me ōna tikanga"
* I am a humble family man

Proverb- Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi  engari taku toa he toa takitini / My strength is not mine alone, my strength and valour is you my whānau.

* I believe I can contribute and give added value within the korowai of kaupapa Māori.
* As a collective voice I believe I represent the needs of all Te Wehengarua members.
* To provide professional development and to work with an awesome team who have the best interests of teaching at heart

King Koroki quoted a famous proverb " Mahia te mahi hei painga mo te iwi" / Be proactive and productive to benefit the people.

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Kylee Houpapa - Southern Auckland region

Kylee Houpapa Exec 2017 supplied portrait

Kylee Houpapa - Southern Auckland region

School: Auckland Girls' Grammar 

Teaching Subjects: English, Year 13 Dean

Why did you stand for election to the PPTA Executive? I believe in the power of public education to impact positively on the future of our society - our rangatahi, our young people.

I am proud to work with committed and transformational teachers who are doing wonderful things every day in their classrooms.

I stood for the PPTA Executive because I believe in what we do; we are a collective voice to protect and improve the working conditions of our members. In doing so, we are protecting and improving the experiences of all teachers and, most importantly, our students.

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Joe Hunter - Otago region

Joe Hunter Exec 2017

Joe Hunter - Otago region

School: Otago Girls' High School

Teaching Subjects: te reo Māori, Social Sciences, Dean of Māori students

Why did you stand for election to PPTA Executive?
I think it's essential for teachers to have a proactive professional body. We work together for the good of our students and our society, so we need to know what is actually going on in education at national level.

Increasingly we're seeing the selling off of good quality public education for political and commercial gain. I want us to be involved in the coherent planning, development and delivery of education. It's key to the success of our communities.

I want to see our profession valued and trusted by our government. I'm proud to stand up as a union activist and I love teaching.

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Lawrence Mikkelsen - Eastern Auckland region

Lawrence Mikkelsen Exec 2017 

Lawrence Mikkelsen - Eastern Auckland region

School: Selwyn College

Teaching Subject: HOD, Media Studies

Why did you stand for election to PPTA Executive? A strong PPTA is the only defence against the current neoliberal political ideology that is increasingly trying to undermine and eventually de-professionalise the teaching profession via Charter Schools, COOLs, global funding and legislation designed to weaken union membership.

There is power in a union. The union makes us strong.

Kia kaha.

Ngā mihi

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Vinnie Monga - Waikato region

Vinnie Monga Exec 2017 

Vinnie Monga - Waikato region

School: Fairfield College

Position: School Guidance Counsellor

Why did you stand for election to PPTA Executive? I stood for this position again in 2017 as I am enthusiastic, committed and passionate about representing Waikato members as our Executive member.

I am a "die-hard" unionist and value "fair play" and it provides the forum to challenge the Ministry when our Aotearoa education system and conditions are under threat.

It is the opportunity to "be the vocal conscience of our members".

Nō reira, tēnā koutou katoa.

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Simon Reid - Taranaki region

Simon Reid Exec 2017

Simon Reid - Taranaki region

School: Opunake High School

Teaching Subjects: Mathematics and English

Why did you stand for election to the PPTA Executive? I had been Regional Chair and I was aware of the quiet erosion of standards and members conditions in teaching. I was impressed by the work PPTA was doing to maintain a high quality public education for students and teachers and hoped that I had something to offer both the executive and members in the Taranaki Region.

'Excellence in education is when we do everything that we can to make sure they become everything that they can.' Carol Ann Tomlinson

Terry Robson - Northland region

Terry Robson Exec 2017

Terry Robson - Northland region

Kia ora koutou,

My name is Terrence Robson but most people call me Terry.

I am a Science, Math and Physical Education teacher at Okaihau College approximately 20 minutes North West of Kerikeri.

The idea of standing for election to the Executive of the PPTA appealed to me because I felt our noble profession was under attack and I wished to apply myself to an organization that opposed the marginalizing of the NZ education system and to help bring more common sense to government policies seemingly set to dismantle the public education system.

I wanted to represent and support the Associations Northland Members who do such a good job under often difficult conditions.

Kia kaha, kia ora… Cheers,

Graham Smith - Wellington / Marlborough region

 Graham Smith Exec 2017

Graham Smith - Wellington / Marlborough region

School: Marlborough Boys' College

Teaching Subjects: Physics, Electronics and Science.

Why did you stand for election to PPTA Executive? I became active in the PPTA out of a sense of frustration caused by the experience of being employed in fixed term positions – in what should have been permanent positions. 
I took on the role of Branch Chair at Marlborough Boys' College despite not having a permanent position. 

I am a strong supporter of making the present STCA real. It is of real concern to me that there are so many teachers on fixed term arrangements who are not getting the true benefit of the present hard fought rights under the Collective Agreement. I believe that this in undermining the profession, especially in the case of beginning teachers.

I also believe in a quality public education system. I am totally against the creeping privatisation that I perceive is taking place.

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Rob Torr - Manawatu-Whanganui region

Rob Torr Exec 2017

Rob Torr - Manawatu-Whanganui

School: Wanganui Collegiate

Why did you stand for election to PPTA Executive? We are PPTA and PPTA is us. As your Executive member I strive to represent your views and to be your voice in this region.

PPTA is not National Office, and it is not made up of small voices. PPTA is made up of your bold voice in this region, with strong opinions on all subjects, including those others do not want to tackle. I will continue to represent this voice to the best of my ability.

Together we do make a difference, and together we shape our PPTA.

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Last modified on Thursday, 25 January 2018 16:41