Meet some of your new national executive members

PPTA Te Wehengarua national executive is the Association’s governing body, made up of members – everyday working secondary teachers – from the 24 regions throughout the motu, and Māori and Pasifika teacher representatives. PPTA News introduces three of the new members elected for this year.

Shontelle Helg, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland southern ward 

Ensuring teaching and learning in South Auckland is seen in a
positive light and making sure teachers’ voices are heard during
the implementation of the new NCEA Level 1 are some of the key
issues for PPTA Te Wehengarua members in Tāmaki Makaurau
southern ward, says Shontelle.
After she gets to grips with what being an executive member
is all about, Shontelle wants to focus on making sure
intermediate and middle school teachers and learning coaches
have a voice. “I also want to make sure South Auckland’s voice
is represented and heard.
“Our schools are doing amazing things for our learners, we
have such a rich multicultural nature in South Auckland and it’s
important to celebrate it.”
Shontelle, who is a Learning Coach at Ormiston Junior College
(OJC), has been an active member of PPTA Te Wehengarua
throughout her 20 years of teaching. Highlights of her union
activism so far include being the youngest recipient of the Guy
Allan award for activism and seeing the OJC branch, of which
she was chairperson, grow from two to three members, when it
started, to more than 60 members when she stepped down.
The best things about PPTA Te Wehengarua are its solidarity
and inclusiveness, she says. “When we come together on union
matters, the unspoken, shared reason we are all here is for the
betterment of those that follow us.”


Shannon-Mae Read, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa

Working with more of the membership, not only activists,
is one of Shannon-Mae Read’s goals as an executive member.
“A lot of our members don’t have direct access to executive or
understand the structure and how the union works.”
Shannon-Mae, Head of Art at Upper Hutt
College, has been PPTA’s Hutt Valley Rainbow representative
for the last three years, and branch secretary for five years.
She is also a member of the Network of Establishing Teachers,
having begun teaching only eight years ago.
She says workload is a key issue for members. “The collective
agreement settlement was a step forward financially but in
terms of conditions, it didn’t make a significant dent in our
workload. I think it speaks to bigger issues in the profession as
well – it’s why we don’t have as many teachers coming through
and why many are leaving.”
For her, the best things about PPTA Te Wehengarua are
whakawhanaungatanga and community. “There is no better
network of humans who care. I could also add PLD (professional
learning and development) and everything I’ve learnt about the
profession and workers’ rights – but it is ultimately he tangata,
the people.”


Hemi Ferris-Bretherton, Te Huarahi Mana Motuhake

Hemi says his top priority as an executive member is to place
kaupapa Māori to the forefront and advocate for his kaiako Māori fraternity. “My first experience of an
executive meeting recently was certainly an eye opener. I had been warned that there are many different standing committees and many HXs (decision making papers) that come before you to speak on.”
Hemi, a teacher of Te Ao Haka at Te Kura o Hirangi, says he
is looking forward to working on the executive in ‘a post
settlement phase’ and meeting challenges posed by the new
coalition government.
“The issues for kaiako Māori are numerous and include a
shortage of resources, realigning the TRM (Te Reo Māori)
standards, and schools’ ability to find relievers for teachers
wanting to take part in meaningful PLD.”
Hemi says the lack of access to the MITA (Māori Immersion
Teachers’ Allowance) has long been a bug bear for many kaiako
in mainstream settings. The Community Liaison Allowance
trial, part of the new collective agreement, is an attempt to
address that. “This is being trialled currently in a number
of areas throughout the motu and I’m really hoping that it
becomes successful.”

Last modified on Tuesday, 23 April 2024 10:26