Finding the right person for a new role at Carlton School was going to be a tall order, thought principal Gaye O'Connor, but now she believes the school has found the best possible applicant.
Robin Ohia with a background in kura kaupapa education and expertise in digital learning comes with all the right credentials to lead the school in te reo and Maori custom and protocol education.
"We wanted someone who can teach the staff as well as the pupils and work with families.
"Robin is already looking at adaptations to the national guidelines for Maori education and making them right for our school."
Mr Ohia has worked as a teacher and technical support with the three kura kaupapa schools in Whanganui as well as designing digital Maori learning programmes for the Ministry of Education and for Macquarie University in Australia.
Alongside those roles he has been running his own small company providing graphic design, photography, consultation and IT services.
"We are so fortunate to have found someone with these skills and experience," said Ms O'Connor.
"Robin has already put forward some excellent ideas about connecting with families.
"Some parents are quite fluent in te reo while others are not and he has suggested getting families together to socialise and share knowledge," she said.
A second applicant had Maori language fluency but Robin's connections and experience gave him the edge.
"We were able to offer her another position at the school and she will be able to support Robin's work as well."
The school held a digital expo last year to demonstrate its e-learning and Ms O'Connor said it is a bonus to have Mr Ohia's digital knowledge and experience on board as well.