New Year Honours: Pat Newman is chuffed to receive Order of Merit for his services to education

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New Year Honours: Pat Newman is chuffed to receive Order of Merit for his services to education

Pat Newman, Whangārei
Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education

Life would have been a lot easier if he hadn’t done what he has, but it would not have been half the fun, says Pat Newman.

Tai Tokerau Principals’ Association president since 2007, Newman is “chuffed” to be awarded the a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to education.

“I am chuffed; for myself, for my kids, wife and my staff, because they kept everything going when I was busy with work things. It is also recognition that we are quite creative at Hora Hora.

“My dad would have been very proud of it too. We were brought up in different eras but when he left, he left the world in a better place, and that has been the driving force for me too.”

Newman has been involved with primary education for 45 years, 39 of these as a principal. He is currently the principal of Hora Hora Primary School in Whangarei.

The 69-year-old said he did not have a clue who nominated him but joked it was because someone wanted him to retire and an honour “would finally get him to retire”.

But Newman wasn’t going to retire anytime soon, he said.

He was actively involved in a lot of things in education, from international to national to a local level.

“I am also chuffed for my school because I have been fortunate to work at schools where the staff carried away with the task when I was away.

“It is all part and parcel, so the honour is really for me, my family and my staff. It is also recognition that we are quite creative at Hora Hora.”

Newman established a trust that provided early childhood education to a small group of high-needs children, plus daily trauma counselling for many children.

He had led initiatives to help principals and their staff rethink their curriculum, policies and practices to make a difference for Māori tamariki through kaupapa Māori.

He was also involved with the Māori Achievement Collaborative (MAC) from inception in 2014, which was now utilised by hundreds of schools across Aotearoa. He led a growing school, initiating a building programme centred around learning pedagogies.

Along with his other accomplishments and duties, Newman continued to be a Board Member of the Miriam Centre that provides whānau counselling for Te Tai Tokerau, a member of the New Zealand Teachers Council and previously served eight years before being re-elected in 2019.

In the past he has made a significant contribution to the council’s Complaints Assessment Committee, standing strongly against the poor practice and supporting the just treatment of teachers. Newman was on the New Zealand Principals Federation Executive for 13 years, serving two years as National President.

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