Get in touch
The potential of young people in Aotearoa New Zealand is limitless. Access to opportunity is not; nor is it evenly distributed. Aotearoa has one of the highest levels of educational inequality in the developed world. We are working to change this.
51 Othello Drive,
Aotearoa, New Zealand
PO Box 76073,
Manukau Box Lobby,
5 Freeman Way, Manukau,
Aotearoa, New Zealand
For general enquiries:
To enquire about our programme or your application:
To enquire about becoming an Ako Mātātupu partner school:
To enquire about becoming a supporter of our work:
For media enquiries:
Meet the team
Michelle Johansson - Kaitiaki | CEO
Michelle is committed to holding courageous spaces for our teachers to step up and change the world. She is particularly interested in the spaces where Education and Equity meet for Pasifika peoples.
Jono Smith - Te Mataiho | Deputy Chief Executive
Jono works to support the network of schools who employ Teach First NZ Programme participants, to effectively support participants to have a positive impact on students and school communities.
Liam Munday - Te Tupurautaki | Director of Strategy and Operations
Ko Tarata te maunga, ko Whangaroa te moana, ko Mamaru te waka, ko Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa te iwi. As a part of the Ako Mātātupu whānau, Liam oversees the finance, fundraising, operations and strategy areas of the organisation.
Whetuu Nathan - Kāuru Hōtaka | Programme Lead
Whetuu has served in a range of spaces in the education sector. Her focus has remained unwavering on Māori, Pacific and marginalised students, ensuring the education provided to them allows engagement and achievement to their full potential.
Richard Watkinson - Aka Tuakana | Mentor Manager
Richard works to support our network of in-school mentors as they develop the teaching and leadership skills of our participants. He has led English and Media Studies departments in the UK and Aotearoa, and more recently worked as a PLD facilitator.
Jeremy Downing - Kāuru Ako | Teaching and Learning Lead
Jeremy oversees our team of teacher educators and subject specialists, and works alongside our Kaihāpai, Programme Lead and Head of School, to support and develop our training teachers in their practice.
Seira Aukuso-Su'e - Aka Tuawhiti | Academic Quality Manager
Seira works in the Programme space to support our participants and academic staff to nurture positive learning experiences. With roots in Falealili & Māngere, she believes that the next generation will always be, and do, greater things than the last.
Ali Carroll - Kāuru Akatoro | Head of Recruitment
As an alumna, Ali has had the joy of learning from young people in two of our partner schools, De La Salle College, and Mount Roskill Grammar School. She currently leads all recruitment efforts, ensuring candidates are upholding of our young people.
Denyce Su'a - Kaihāpai me Taki Kairapu | Kaihāpai & Kairapu Lead
Dedicated to nurturing creative and brave learning spaces inside and outside our classrooms, Denyce also leads our Kairapu Network, working to ensure our alumni continue to feel connected with our kaupapa and supported in their next adventure.
Maria Sevao - Kaihāpai | Programme Manager
Maria supports and walks alongside our participants through their journey with Ako Mātātupu. She is an experienced teacher and believes education is the key in encouraging students to be changemakers in their whānau.
Penisimani Tapueluelu - Kaihāpai | Programme Manager
Mālō e lelei! With a decade of experience, Peni believes in creating a safe and positive environment before any learning happens. He brings his practical knowledge in dealing with mainly Pasifika learners as a whole and a community.
Charles Looker - Kaihautū me Kaihāpai | Programme Manager and Kaihautū
A Kaihautū is one who keeps the timing for paddlers on their voyage; so does Charles in ensuring that needs for Māori are met at every stage of the kaupapa, so that our paddlers have all that they need to continue their journey.
Billy Revell - Pule o le Nu'u (Nguturei) | Programme Manager
A firm believer of servant-leadership, Billy strives in his journey with us to create safe and creative spaces to allow others to tell their story whilst facilitating the growth of our village (Community).
Moana-Aroha Henry - Kaihautū me Kaihāpai | Programme Manager and Kaihautū
He uri tēnei nō Te Tai Tokerau. Moana-Aroha works with our current participants in Northland and the bottom of the South Island. She was part of the 2018 cohort and taught at Whangārei Girls' High School for two years.
Nyra Marshall - Kaihautū / Kaihāpai / Pouhāpai/ Rauhāpai | Programme Manager and Kaihautū
A descendant of Raukawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Ngāti Kahungunu, Nyra believes that education is the key platform to advance Māori success. She belongs to C15, is part of the Kairapu network, and taught at Aorere College for five years.
Sarah Dillaman - Taki Kōtiri | Cultivation Lead
Sarah is a proud alumna of Teach First NZ's 2014 Cohort, and spent six years teaching English and Drama at Onehunga High School, before joining Ako Mātātupu as a Programme Advisor.
Kristen Burton - Rauwhiti Ako Mātātupu | Ako Mātātupu Administrator
Kristen's role at Ako Mātātupu serves the Senior Leadership Team, Office management and the Administration of Ako Mātātupu.
Julia Craig - Kaiwhakarite Ahunga | Pre-Programme Coordinator
Julia supports our participants in their journey to employment, working with them to prepare for life working as a teacher in a school and connecting with school senior leadership to find solutions to their staffing needs.
Emily Looker - Kaiwhakarite Hōtaka | Programme Coordinator
Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu. Though Emily's role seems small, her role contributes to the greater mission of Ako Mātātupu by taking pressure off the rest of the whānau in their roles, and filling the table with a good spread when the occasion allows.
Bina Mehta - Rauwhiti Puna | Accounts Administrator
Bina is passionate about education and the impact it has on young people. She joined the Ako Mātātupu team in 2015, and supports the organisation to keep our accounts and finances in order.
Agnes Milford - Kaiwhakarite Akatoro | Recruitment Coordinator
Agnes is South Auckland raised and a member of The Black Friars Theatre Company. She hopes to effectively weave her passion for young people and her role as the recruitment coordinator to create change within classrooms.
Jayden Matchitt - Kaiwhakarite Turuturu ki Tai | Student Services Coordinator
Jayden strongly believes in providing the best possible environment for students to strive both academically and mentally. He joins the team to help give our participants the support and resources needed to aid their journey into teaching.
Take our eligibility quiz
Are you eligible to join our flagship programme? Our quiz will help you understand whether you meet our eligibility criteria as well as what subjects you may be able to teach.
Request an info pack
If you would like to find out more about our programme, how it works and who we are looking for, we have created an information pack just for you!