President's Welcome


Welcome, my name is Michael Williams and I have the privilege of being the President of SPANZ.  I am currently the Principal of Pakuranga College in East Auckland, prior to this position I was the Principal of Aorere College in Manukau, and I have been a Principal for almost 16 years in total.

I initially became involved in SPANZ as I believe the organisation plays a critical role in the New Zealand educational landscape.  Principals' often find themselves caught in the middle between government policy, collective contracts and ministry initiatives and on the other hand our staff, students and community.  We need to have a voice and influence.

SPANZ Professional is the only independent organisation representing Secondary School Principals'.  The Executive are all current practicing Principals' and as such we remain firmly grounded in the realities of leading secondary schools.  Our voice needs to be heard if we are to make the Principals’ job manageable and sustainable.

Our mission is simple: to support secondary school principals in their work.  We work to develop strong and effective working relationships with the Minister, the Ministry of Education, NZQA, ERO and the Education Council with the aim of influencing policy development and implementation.

SPANZ is in fact two separate organizations, SPANZ Professional which I am the President of and SPANZ Union which is led by Scott Haines.

Within SPANZ Professional, we have three main functions, Legal Support, Professional Development and Professional Representation.

For the SPANZ Legal Support our Partners are Harrison Stone Legal, if you are a member of the Legal Support Fund, you can access advice and guidance from Richard Harrison and Gretchen Stone.  Details are under the legal section.

The core part of our professional development function is the annual SPANZ Principals’ Conference, it is the only opportunity for many Principals' to connect with their colleagues to listen to world class speakers and discuss the current issues.  To also support Principals' we run a Principals PA’s Conference to support PA’s in their work which in turn supports the Principals' and their work.

The main part of our work is focused around representing Principals'.

At our Executive meetings we meet regularly with the Minister of Education, the Secretary of Education and Deputy Secretariat, NZQA, ERO and the Education Council.  These regular meetings enable us to develop strong working relationships to raise the issues and work proactively to help shape policy development and implementation.

The Executive represent Principals’ on a wider array of Advisory and Working Groups.

An important part of the President’s and the Executives’ role is to ensure that the Principals’ voice is heard in public debate and forums.  Principals' have the unique perspective on the educational and social issues that affect young people and it is critically important that our voice is heard whenever issues arise.

We are here to help and support Principals’, so, if you are having a problem let us know.

Michael Williams
SPANZ President