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Source: Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA)

Democracy is alive and well in the teaching profession with 18 secondary teachers nominated for the 2019 Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand board elections. Candidate Michael Cabral-Tarry answers some questions for the PPTA News

Teaching council board candidate – Michael Cabral-Tarry

What do you think the teaching council’s main priorities should be for the next three years? 

The teaching council must be our champions. They are the leaders of the profession. Their first priority must be to raise the status and profile of the profession. This might be by lobbying the Minister of Education to improve salaries and working conditions, or by ensuring PLD is always as fit for purpose as possible, or by ensuring that those entering the profession are as skilled and excellent as can be.

What experience do you have that would make you a good fit for this role?

I’ve been a TIC, dean, SENCO, and learning area leader. I’ve helped establish a national subject association. I’ve been on BOTs, on ministry and NZQA taskforces, and currently lead the largest PPTA region in the country.  I know the stresses we have. I know what changes must be made to our profession. Most importantly, I know how to be the determined and informed voice who can make changes happen.

 Are you a PPTA member, and if so, how have you been involved in PPTA?

I am very involved in PPTA.

  • Branch chair at Whangarei Boys’ High School from 2011-2013.
  • Northland Central NET from 2009-2013, and was on PPTA’s national Establishing Teachers’ Committee throughout this time.
  •  Member of PPTA’s Rainbow Taskforce for Safe Schools, 2010-2012 and 2015-2017.
  • Deputy regional chair of the Tamaki Makaurau Auckland region in 2014, and regional chair 2015-present.
  • Currently the branch chair at Auckland Girls’ Grammar School.

 What is the main thing that the council should be doing to raise the status of the teaching profession?

The teaching council must become the loudest champions for the profession. They must help fight to reduce workload and improve work-life balance. To raise our status, the teaching council should be leading a media campaign to show that educators across the profession work hard, deserve every cent of salary, are vital and essential cogs in the machinery of civil society, and that teaching itself is a worthy and first-choice career.

Tell us about your teaching career and why you are a secondary teacher?

  • I always wanted to be a teacher. It’s something I’m good at and really enjoy. I find teaching infinitely exhausting and endlessly rewarding – simultaneously the easiest and the most challenging job I’ve ever had.
  • 2008-2013: TIC History, Whangarei Boys’ High School
  • 2014: Sabbatical year
  • 2015: SENCO, Hato Petera College
  • 2016: Subject specialist, English and History, Albany Senior High School
  • 2017-present: Learning Programme Coordinator, Senior Social Studies, Auckland Girls’ Grammar School

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Democracy has returned to our profession. No matter who you vote for – and I hope it’s me! – these elections are important. I know I’d be a strong advocate for all of us, and I look forward to being your voice on the council. Ko te whakaako he mahi whakamiharo, me nga kaiako e whakaki ana i nga akonga ki te maere mo te ao.

A full list of secondary teaching candidates is available on the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand website (

Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand 2019 elections – Candidate directory for secondary teachers sector (PDF)

Last modified on Tuesday, 12 February 2019 17:36