Stephanie is a senior reporter for the Rotorua Daily Post.

Local people keen to stand

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Rotorua Principals' Association president and Ngakuru School principal Grant Henderson.  Photo/File
Rotorua Principals' Association president and Ngakuru School principal Grant Henderson. Photo/File

Rotorua principals are thrilled with the community's interest in standing for local schools' Boards of Trustees in this year's elections.

School trustee elections are one of the most significant democratic processes in New Zealand, taking place nationally every three years. This year will be the 10th election since the introduction of self-managed schools in 1989.

The 2016 campaign aims to attract candidates to stand for seats on about 2500 boards.

All parents of students enrolled in a state or state-integrated school are eligible to nominate themselves or someone else from the community, for election. If more people are nominated than there are places available, an election is held.

John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh said his school had no trouble finding people to stand up for trustee roles.

"We are very fortunate in Rotorua, we tend to have elections because people put themselves forward for these positions."

He said the school had past trustees putting their hands up again as well as people who hadn't been involved before coming forward.

"I don't think it's a good idea to have all new board members. The previous board members know the history of the college and the new ones bring fresh ideas.

"The job of the trustee has become a lot more complex so it's good to have a vast range of skill sets on the board."

Rotorua Principals' Association president and Ngakuru School principal Grant Henderson said he was pleasantly surprised by the number of new parents wanting to join the board.

"The election process is a good thing and we encourage all our parents to get involved. But it is important to remember the board is about governance so for those wanting to stand in this year's elections we are recommending they talk to current board members to understand what is involved."

Lynmore Primary School principal Lorraine Taylor said her school had received great support from its community, with a number of people going to board meetings.

Election project manager Janet Kelly said it was important a board reflected its community.

"A good balance of gender, ethnicity and skills around the board table will influence and support educational opportunities for each and every student in our schools."

- Nominations open May 6 and close on May 20. Voting takes place between May 25 and June 3.

- Additional reporting Kyra Dawson

What trustees do:

* Work with the principal and consult with staff, students and the community

* Set the educational goals and strategic direction of the school

* Monitor progress and inform parents on how the school is progressing

* Decide how the school's funding will be spent

* Select the school's principal and support the development of all staff

* Oversee the management of staff, property, finances, curriculum and administration

- Rotorua Daily Post

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