Executive Team

Saane Faaofo Oldehaver

Saane Faaofo Oldehaver

Principal - Weymouth Primary School, Manurewa / NZPPA CHAIRperson (Auckland)

Talofa lava. I am blessed to be the principal of Weymouth Primary, we have over 500 children at our school. We are in a Kāhui Ako – Te Korowai Kākahu o Manurewa, and I am the lead principal. I am the Vice President of Manurewa Principals Association. I also sit on Auckland Primary Principals Association as the NZPPA representative. I am also on the Executive for NZPPA and this role is close to my heart as at the forefront of our work is our Pasifika children and their families. My vision for NZPPA is to continue to serve our communities and to keep at the forefront of our work the Pasifika Education Plan goals for a fabulous future for all our children and their families. Malo aupito.

    Helen Varney

    Helen Varney

    Director Tautai o Le Moana (ToLM) / NZPPA SECRETARY (Auckland) / Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2021)

    Aotearoa New Zealand-born – Cook Island / Samoan descent.  Began teaching in 1979 and has worked across the primary education sector retiring in 2021 after 14 years as a Principal to take up the Director’s role of Tautai o le Moana – Wayfinders of the ocean.

    An accredited Leadership Facilitator.

    ‘My vision is to see true equity in education in Aotearoa New Zealand; where your address, ethnicity, beliefs and disabilities do not disadvantage your future.’

    ‘As Director of Tautai o le Moana I work with amazing principals who strive to improve outcomes for Pasifika learners recognising the strengths of their languages, cultures and identities as pillars of their success.’

     My past roles in Education include:

    • President, Auckland Primary Principals Association 2018
    • ESOL Advisory Chair- 2019-2020
    • Facilitator – Māori Achievement Collaborative 2017, 2018
    • Current Roles – See the NZPPA roles
    Karl Vasau

    Karl Vasau

    Principal - Rowandale School, Manurewa / Facilitator for TolM / NZPPA Treasurer (Auckland)

    Fakaalofa Lahi Atu everyone!  I am a NZ born Pacific Islander of Niuean, Samoan, Tongan and European descent. My partner Geneva and I are the proud and loving parents of a 5 year old son, Karl Jnr and we currently live in Takanini Auckland.

    I have been in education for 24 years and started my teaching in 1998. I have been a principal for 15 years in both the State and Catholic School systems and I am currently the principal of Rowandale School in Manurewa (since 2014). Rowandale is a Decile 1a School with a current roll of 690 year 1-6 students.

    I am a firm believer in relationships based learning and parents as first teachers. I advocate for quality teaching that caters for the unique needs of 21st Century Learners and believe that the BEST teacher for Maori and Pasifika children is the BEST teacher who understands their own identity and culture (special conditions apply). I have been a member of NZPPA since its inception and I am currently the Treasurer.

    Fa’atili Iosua Esera

    Fa’atili Iosua Esera

    Principal - Sutton Park School, Mangere / President - Samoan Teachers in Aotearoa / NZPPA Executive (Auckland)

    I have been a principal for 35 years and am currently the principal of Sutton Park School in Mangere. This is my fifth school as a principal. Learning at Sutton Park is delivered in Te Reo Maori, Samoan, Tongan and English.

    Te Reo Maori is the language for learning from Years 1 to Year 6 for Maori tamariki, while Tongan and Samoan are apportioned from Year 1 to Year 8. The aim is for students in the bilingual units and in the Rumaki Reo to be proficient, productive bilinguals by Year 8. The use of students’ heritage languages at school is a vehicle that brings children’s culture, hopes, aspirations and their communities into the school. There are over 300 students learning heritage languages. The other half of the school uses the English medium for learning.

    I am the president of the national organisation of Samoan teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand; the FAGASA Incorporated. I have had the privilege of lobbying for Samoan students to be given the opportunity to learn in and of Samoan throughout the compulsory sector.

    My wish for NZPPA is to live up to its vision of advancing learning success for Pacific students. A big part of this is the opportunity for Pacific students to learn in their heritage language. The support from Government, school governance, teachers and the wider society is critical for this to be successful.

    Stephanie Tawha

    Stephanie Tawha

    General Manager - Te Ahiwaru Trust / NZPPA EXECUTIVE (Auckland)

    I have 31 years of experience teaching and leading in Maori language bilingual, immersion units, and multicultural schools.

    For the past 16 years, I was principal of 3 diverse schools, Te Kura o Matihetihe in the Far North Hokianga, Ranui Primary West Auckland, and finally Mangere Bridge School in South Auckland where I  led the local curriculum design for Te Iti Kahurangi Kahui Ako and was a member of the national advisory group on the Aotearoa NZ histories curriculum.

    My new role is General Manager and Education Lead for Te Ahiwaru Trust. I also currently serve as Chairperson of Mangere Mountain Education Trust, and the Te Reo Māori External Advisory Group for the Education Review office.

    My moemoea/dream is that every child has the opportunity to fulfill their potential to be who and what they want to be.

    Mehemea ka moemoea ko au anake, mehemea ka moemoea taatou ka taea e taatou.

    If I dream, I dream alone but if we dream together, we can achieve anything. Tongikura na Princess Te Puea Herangi



    Sose Annandale

    Sose Annandale

    Facilitator - Tautai O Le Moana (Tolm)/ NZPPA EXECUTIVE (Wellington)

    Malo e lelei, Talofa lava ,

    I was born in Elsdon Porirua and I am proud to be of Samoa, Tonga and Scottish heritage. I originally trained as an ECE worker 1981 and in 1988 decided to train as a Primary teacher at Wellington College of Education. I held a number of leadership roles over my career, for 10 years having the privilege of being the Principal of Russell School in Porirua East. I was on leave in 2021 to take up the role of facilitator for Tautai o le Moana. After a lot of angst I made the decision to resign from my role as leader of Russell School to continue my facilitation role with Tautai o le Moana.

    I miss the hum of a school, daily contact with tamaiti and buzz of community but I get to work with an amazing team of passionate educators and leaders working in schools supporting wayfinding journeys that will ultimately lead to better outcomes for our tamaiti and communities across Aotearoa. I have been a member of NZPPA since 2011 and served on the executive as a Whanganui-a-Tara representative since 2013. It is so exciting to see our Principal numbers in Whanganui-a-Tara grow over recent years from 4 to 9 dynamic, passionate, shakers and movers…choo hoo hoo!

    Clara Tuifao

    Clara Tuifao

    Principal - St Michaels school, Taita / NZPPA EXECUTIVE (WELLINGTON)

    Information to be added…

    Sylvia Fidow

    Sylvia Fidow

    Principal - West Rolleston School, Christchurch / NZPPA EXECUTIVE (Christchurch)

    I am delighted to be the Foundation Principal for West Rolleston Primary School Te Kura O Te Uru Kōwhai in Selwyn, Canterbury which opened in 2016.  Prior to this position I was the principal of Shirley Primary School in ChCh for eight and a half years. I have a Diploma in Teaching, a Bachelor of Education and a Masters of Education with Distinction endorsed in Leadership.

    My husband Tony [from the South of England] and I have two beautiful children together. Alexandra has just completed a Bachelor of Commerce and Ezra is in Y12.

    My Dad is Samoan and travelled by ship here in the 1950s. At the ripe old age of 88 he still runs a boxing gym in Woolston. My beautiful Mum was from Greymouth and was of Irish and English descent.

    I am excited to be a newly elected member of the NZPPA Executive and look forward to working collaboratively with everyone and bringing some passion from the South.

    Tania McDonald

    Tania McDonald

    Principal - Brockville School, Dunedin / NZPPA EXECUTIVE (Dunedin)

    I was born in Otepoti, Dunedin. I am of Pitcairn Island descent. My heritage line stems from Fletcher Christian who is my 7th generation Grandfather. 
    I am a proud and passionate leader of Brockville Full Primary School. I am a member of the Otago Primary Principals Executive, also a trustee of Life Education Trust and council member for Araiteuru Marae. I  am very excited about joining the NZPPA Executive and growing cultural consciousness in our school communities to enhance learning for all our pasifika learners across Aotearoa.