Meet our new presidential team
PPTA members will start 2021 with a brand spanking new presidential team. Congratulations to incoming president and vice president Melanie Webber and Chris Abercrombie.
Tāmaki Makaurau born and bred, Western Springs College media studies teacher Melanie Webber will be familiar to members. She has been part of the presidential team since 2017 when she was elected as junior vice president and feels privileged to be a voice for teachers during this time.
Melanie is thrilled to be elected by members to represent their interests, particularly in such “curious times.”
“The issues that seemed so big at the start of the year – the NCEA review, a grasping teaching council, school funding inequities and making the promises of the accord real are no smaller now, but have been overshadowed by Covid-19.
“That’s not to say that these things are unimportant, and we must not take our eye off them as things change so quickly around us. We need to continue to make sure that teacher voice, the professional voice, is heard loud and clear when decisions are being made.”
Melanie is passionate about public education and teaching. “I want the best possible education system for students, and this doesn’t happen without making sure that we first have the best possible system and conditions for teachers.
“Now more than ever we need to be speaking up for what is right for schools, for students and for teachers. I am proud to be part of a union that does this, and I am a proud to be chosen to speak on members’ behalf,” she said.
“Me mahi tahi tātou mō te oranga o te katoa. We must work together for the wellbeing of all.”
We are all part of this journey
James Hargest College history teacher Chris Abercrombie is excited and humbled to have the opportunity to represent members as junior vice president.
“I’m looking forward to working alongside both the members and PPTA staff to improve the working conditions for teachers. As we know teachers working conditions are our students learning conditions,” he said.
Chris believes working to reform the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand will be one of the biggest challenges for our association.
“The teaching council needs to stick is to core functions and not engage in what increasingly looks like empire building.”
The upcoming collective agreement round will also present a new set of challenges in a Covid-19 world, he said.
Having had the experience of working in different positions in different schools and areas of New Zealand, Chris understands the varied pressures we have all faced around the motu.
“Having these experiences means that I can be the voice that will speak for the wide range of teachers that we have in Aotearoa New Zealand. I face the issues and obstacles that we face but I’ve also felt the incredible joy and sense of pride that we all have had as teachers within our classroom and our schools.
“We are all a part of this journey. Every school – from Te Tai Tokerau Northland all the way to the bottom of the waka where I live – should have what they need so that they can truly bring out the best in their teachers, their students, and their communities. When we work together, we can do that.”
Chris plans to listen to members and fight for what we need to bring out the best.
“I’m looking forward to cracking into the mahi!”