New Principal for Wellesley

13 April 2021

Mike is coming to Wellesley from Te Mata School in the Hawke’s Bay and will commence on Monday 31 May. He has been in principal roles for over 25 years, 18 of these being at Te Mata School, a decile 10 primary school in Havelock North.


Mike is a charismatic and visionary school leader, having lifted the roll at Te Mata from 380 to more than 600 and alongside this, their academic standards in reading, writing and maths to among the top of their sector for academic performance.

The Board was highly impressed with his commitment to his students. He aims not only to know every name but their siblings, their parents and other important aspects in their lives. Mike completely embraces Wellesley’s philosophy of Bringing out the Best in each boy.

His track record shows that he works hard to ensure he has a happy staff who are always looking for the next challenge. The school has 10 ACET teachers (Advanced Classroom Expert Teachers), the most of any New Zealand state school.  In 2019, a Te Mata teacher was awarded the Genesis Best Primary Science Teacher Award.

Mike is the Kahui Ako leader for Havelock North, working with five other schools and 12 early childhood centres in the region to support and grow 3500 students and 300+ teachers.  He was awarded a Woolf Fisher Fellowship in 2017, which is awarded each year to the top 5 state school principals in New Zealand.  Mike used his fellowship to visit schools in six countries, including Thailand, India, Spain and Germany and has brought back and implemented some innovative ideas from this research period.

He also has extensive community networks, including being a director of the Hawke’s Bay Opera House, and currently is a Trustee of the Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust.

The Board was impressed with Mike’s vision for Wellesley, his commitment to the welfare of staff and students, and his ambitions for the education and experience that our school can provide in its unique setting.  Of Ngai Tahu descent, we were also impressed with his desire to share his own journey and to engage with local iwi to provide a holistic and relevant future focussed education for our boys.

From a personal point of view, Mike is married to Mary-Anne and they have two grown daughters, one currently working in Northern Ireland and the other has recently started studying at Victoria University.

Mike will join the school with excellent support around him and we know that he will be warmly welcomed by everyone in the Wellesley community.  We are currently preparing for Mike’s induction, so that he can hit the ground running.