Governance & Policy

The Board of Trustees are elected in accordance with the Education Act 1989.

Board meetings are held in two parts. All members of the public are welcome to attend the first part of the meeting and details of these are available in the Events Calendar. If there are confidential matters that need to be discussed, following the public part of the meeting the Board moves into “committee” and this section of the meeting is only open to the Trustees and the Principal.

Annette Gittos

Annette has been a Board of Trustee member of Newtown School since 2012 and has contributed to several areas while serving on the board, including chairing the Finance and Property Committee and working along side the principal to write the school’s charter and strategic plan. Along with the role of chair, Annette is a member of the new building design project team. She has found it a rewarding experience being on the Board and working alongside other parents and staff of the Newtown School community. 

Annette’s background is in economic development and currently works in International Relations for the Ministry for Primary Industries.


victoria_edocs_188284Victoria Esson

Victoria Esson works as a senior manager at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. She has two girls at Newtown School, Billie in Te Whānau o Waitangi and Trixie Belle in Te Whānau o Harakeke.

As an ex-teacher who has experience working with the New Zealand School Curriculum, she is excited to see the impact that innovative learning environments are making to teaching and learning and keen to see how students can increasing be empowered to be active agents in their own learning working with families to better integrate home, school and the community as sites for authentic learning.

She is also committed to ensuring that Te Ao Maori and te reo Maori become an everyday competent for all learners at Newtown.

Victoria is responsible for the monitoring of the financial  performance and property management functions of the Board, she is also on the Health and Safety and Community Engagement subcommittees.

Mark Brown

I am proud to the principal of Newtown as it rebuilds itself towards a future focussed 21st century school learning community.

I have been a principal for 30 years – 24 years at Victory Primary School in Nelson. Prior coming to Newtown I was the Region Manager for the Ministry of Education - Nelson Marlborough West Coast. I was then appointed as Chief Advisor of Schools and Communities for the Ministry of Education.

Bernadette my wife and I have 6 adult children and 5 grandchildren.

I believe that we will transform our school into an innovative teaching and learning environment with the Board of Trustees, staff and community working collaboratively together.

Kelvin Harper

Te-Whanau-Harakeke1Since moving to Wellington from Invercargill in 2010 I have been teaching here at Newtown School. I have taught from year 1 to year 6 and love the challenge the different year levels bring.
In my spare time I enjoy getting active and being involved in a range of activities including rugby, mountain biking and tennis. 




Julie Bennett


Julie has two daughters who attend Newtown school and a third who will start later in 2016.  She is committed to equal opportunities for all children at the school, so that they are able to develop into the best that they can be.  She would also like to ensure a safe and healthy school environment and is on subcommittees responsible for the schools new build as well as ensuring existing buildings and grounds remain safe.  Professionally Julie has a PhD in public health and works part-time as a Research Fellow for He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health at the Wellington branch of Otago University.



Daniel Petersen

Daniel has a daughter that started at Newtown School in the Ngāti Kotahitanga class in 2016 and he loves to show his support of the kaupapa and the whānau by being a parent representative from the māori immersion class.

Daniel believes in the vision and values of Newtown School and enjoys  the opportunity to be a part of the decisions that will help us achieve our short and long term goals. He brings to the table a perspective as a parent and passion for Te Reo Māori and Te Ao Māori teachings, also his honesty and drive to see the right decisions being made for our Ngāti Kotahitanga students.

Ngā mihi ki a koutou te whānau


Lucy Kebbell


Lucy is the mother of two Newtown School kids – Estella and Sylvie.  Her background is in law but she now works at her family business, Commonsense Organics.  She is passionate about improving learning outcomes for all kids enrolled at Newtown School and ensuring that each child has the best possible experience while at school. In 2013 Lucy helped establish the parent/whānau group (FANS) and has been serving on the Board of Trustees since 2014.  She is on both the Policy and Community Liaison committees of the current board.  Please feel free to approach her to discuss either of these areas or anything else relevant to school governance.   She’d love to hear from you!

Karen O’Leary

Karen is the head teacher at Adelaide Early Childhood Centre just up the road from Newtown School in Colombo Street. She is absolutely passionate about the positive impact good education can have on tamariki, whanau and community. Karen thinks respectful and reciprocal relationships build the foundation for this. She values diversity and appreciate that contributions to a community can occur in a wide variety of ways. 

If you would like to get in contact with the Board of Trustees please email 

Meeting Minutes

January 2018

February 2018

March 2018

April 2018

May 2018

June 2018

July 2018

August 2018

September 2018

October 2018

November 2018

December 2018