Contact Teach First NZ
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
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 Kura | Director of Education
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.
Lee Devenish - Kāuru Ahunga | Director of Pre-Programme
Lee is passionate about ensuring all students in Aotearoa reach their potential. His role is to oversee the Pre-Programme journey for our participants from attraction and recruitment through to securing employment with one of our partner schools.
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 Hōtaka | Programme Lead
Jeremy oversees our team of Kaihāpai and teacher educators, working alongside our Kāuru Kura and Aka Tuawhiti, to support and develop our teachers in their practice. He is Kairapu, taught at James Cook High School and part of the 2015 cohort.
Billy Revell - Pule o le Nu’u | Community Lead
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).
Alysha Bentley - Kāuru Akatoro | Recruitment Lead
Alysha’s role is all about connecting with people who want to become change makers in the education system. Alysha helps make this dream come true by supporting them through the application process to join the Ako Mātatupu whānau.
Mike Nahu - Recruiter
An experienced secondary school teacher, Mike now supports our rangatahi as a recruiter at Ako Mātātupu. He believes equitable and nurturing learning spaces are vital for student growth and can only be created by informed and compassionate kaiako.
Bella Qian - Recruiter
Born and raised in Auckland, Bella wants to give back to the community which has given her ever so much. She can't wait to connect with like minded people who are passionate about education.
Ellen Rowlandson - Kaiwhakarite Ahunga | Pre-Programme Coordinator
Ellen's role at Ako Mātātupu is within the pre-programme space where she provides support in onboarding Teach First NZ participants, as well as supporting them in gaining employment in schools.
Adrienne Likatau - Te Rauora | Counsellor
It is Adrienne's intention to hold a safe space for every brave soul who chooses to connect with her, and the stories they share. She hopes to facilitate therapeutic talanoa that offers hope, and reconnects people, with a healthy sense of wellbeing.
Jayden Matchitt - Information and Systems Manager
Information and Systems Manager at Ako Mātātupu.
Kristen Burton - Operations Manager
Kristens role as Operations Manager takes on a wide variety of responsibility, problem solving and care, organisation wide. Kristen loves to bring clarity and calm to the Ako Mātātupu through managing staff processes, equipment and software.
Hannah Lees - Kāuru Pae Korokī | Communications and Marketing Manager
Born in Scotland and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau, Hannah was part of our first cohort of teachers. She now works to communicate stories of the change-making people and projects that make up the Ako Mātātupu kaupapa.
Natalie Knight - Finance Manager
Finance Manager of Ako Mātātupu
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.
Nyra Marshall - Kaihautū / Kaihāpai / Pouhāpai/ Rauhāpai | Teacher Educator 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.
Charles Looker - Kaihautū me Kaihāpai | Teacher Educator 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.
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.
Maria Sevao - Kaihāpai | Teacher Educator
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 | Teacher Educator
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.
Denyce Su'a - Kaihāpai me Taki Kairapu | Teacher Educator & 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.
Sam Siliasau - Kaihāpai | Teacher Educator
Ni sa bula vinaka! I am on secondment from Wesley College for 2022. One of the Kaihāpai | Programme Manager and hope to positively contribute to such an exceptional movement.
Nadeen Papali'i - Kaihāpai | Teacher Educator
Why am I here?:
Supporting teachers on the frontline in the classroom is an effective and efficient way to reach the masses of students. I love playing my part.
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!