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Commissioner Update 20 October 2022

20 Oct 2022

Kia ora koutou,

Firstly, I would like to say thank you to everyone who has sent through questions and feedback since my first message to the school community at the end of September.

I would like to update you on a couple of key matters:​​​​​​​

The first is that I am pleased to say that I have asked Dr Denise Powell, the former Chair of the Board, to work with me in a part-time capacity to provide stakeholder and governance support. Denise will be familiar to many of you and her governance experience and relationships with stakeholders will greatly assist me in my role.

Secondly, as I mentioned in my initial update, I intend to set up a Governance Advisory Group.

There is much to be done to make sure the organisation can go back to having a full board again and I will be relying on the Advisory Group to give me the wide variety of perspectives that are needed for good decision-making around governance matters.

I have asked Denise to assist me with the establishment of this Group and to be the initial Chair, so you may hear from her in the future as she carries out that work.

I have decided that the group will be made up of 10 people – this is larger than I was originally anticipating but ensures that we are including a good range of stakeholders. Six of these people will be appointed by me, one will be elected by staff, and three will be names offered to us by key stakeholders.

The make-up of the Group will therefore be as follows:

  • Two parents of Deaf and Hard of Hearing learners (to be appointed)
  • Three previous board members (to be appointed)
  • One Turi Māori representative (to be appointed)
  • One staff representative (to be elected by staff)
  • One Deaf Children New Zealand representative (to be nominated by Deaf Children New Zealand)
  • One NZSL Board representative (to be nominated by the NZSL Board)
  • One NZSTA representative (to be requested from the NZ School Trustees Association)

Once the Group has been established, I will communicate the names of the people involved.

I previously also signalled my intention to establish a Student Advisory Group so that we have a way for our learners to have their needs and wishes communicated to myself and to any future Board. This group will be made up of senior students.

Those of you who are parents of teenagers will be aware that these students go on study leave very shortly in preparation for NCEA exams. I will therefore focus on setting up this group in early 2023.

I know there are many people keen to provide governance advice and guidance for me as Commissioner, as well as operational advice and guidance for the organisation’s leadership team as well. In addition to the two Advisory Groups my intention will also be to use other ways to gather perspectives from a wider group of stakeholders on specific topics and pieces of work as needed.

Thank you for your patience as I set up these important groups to support and enable our next steps forward.

I wish you all the very best for Term 4 ahead.

Ngā mihi nui,