Board of Trustees


Our Board is currently made up of six parent representatives, a staff trustee and our Principal, Claire Howison.




Andrew is a Chartered Professional Engineer with over 20 years’ experience in structural engineering. His other voluntary roles have included serving as the chair of the Lincoln Primary School PTA for three years, mentoring a team of emerging professionals in an innovation challenge programme and investigating complaints for Engineering New Zealand since 2013. 
Andrew and his wife have three children at the school and enjoy cycling, tramping, skiing and camping with them.


Brie is excited to be joining the board in 2022. Like many of our families, she is a new Lincoln resident and she is grateful for how easily her son, Theo, has fit into school life. Brie loves to connect with people, and she is always looking for opportunities to learn new things.

Brie is a fully qualified teacher and has taught in New Zealand and overseas. She also spent several years developing research-based education programmes, helping tamariki to manage their emotions, stress, and sleep. She is an advocate for evidence-based teaching and learning. Brie currently works for the Lincoln Envirotown and is studying towards her Master’s in Landscape Architecture.

Brie is motivated to serve the school and will bring an enthusiastic and valuable perspective to the board. She hopes that her contribution will support the tamariki, kaiako and wider Ararira community.



Che, is a soldier in the NZ Army with 23 years experience to date, working within NZ and internationally. Ararira Primary is a special part of his three children’s lives and it’s a community that he feels passionately about. He is excited to be co-opted onto the Board, working alongside a professional and enthusiastic team that place tamariki and the wider community at the forefront. As a voice for tangata whenua, he is passionate about looking for ways to enhance the mana of our future generation.

Outside of work you will find Che spending time with family, coaching sport and hiking.



David is a property and commercial lawyer with over 16 years of experience who is currently serving his second term on the Board. David and his wife Fran have three children at the school. David is proud of how Ararira Springs continues to be a safe, innovative, well-resourced, caring and happy environment for our tamariki to thrive in and achieve their best.



Karen is a mum of 2 children currently attending Ararira Springs Primary (Alex in year 4 and Mackenzie in year 1) who absolutely love going to school. As a learning and development professional for over 10 years and a people leader for more than 20 years, she is passionate about the role that learning plays in helping people live their best lives. Karen believes that a positive experience at school is an important start to this. She has been involved with the school since it opened in various capacities. She has many skills to bring to her Board role that will help the school navigate the exciting growth ahead.

Outside of work you will find her crafting and cooking with her girls, bushwalking as a family or buried in a book.



Mia, a finance professional with over 14 years of experience, is excited to have been appointed to the Board. Mia believes in having a strong vision and executing details while fostering community collaboration towards achieving school goals. Additionally, she volunteers for the THT, focusing on marketing and serving as the THT Secretary. Mia is very proud of the Ararira spirit and would like to ensure it continues to be a well-resourced school full of happy and thriving children.

Outside of work, she loves spending time with her husband, son and two dogs. She can also be found in the garden, pottering away in her small field of dahlias.
Nicky HARDING (Staff elected trustee)

Nicky HARDING (Staff elected trustee)

Nicky came to Ararira from West Spreydon School, Christchurch where she was the team leader of the Year 0-2 Junior team. Nicky has a passion for teaching and learning and sets high expectations for behaviour and learning. She believes in a child-centred developmentally appropriate approach to learning and works with the team to deliver play-based learning. Nicky engages learners in a fun way by using authentic learning activities where possible. She has strengths in using modern teaching practices and inquiry to deepen learning, as well as Structured Literacy and rich math activities. She loves the children she teaches and quickly makes connections with children and whanau. With a passion for well-being, Nicky leads this within the kura. 

Nicky grew up in Halswell. She has also lived and worked in Dunedin and Reading, U.K. Nicky lives ‘locally’ in Prebbleton with her partner Wayne. She has three teenage children – Jack, Holly and Brooke; and, four stepchildren and one step-grandson. In her spare time, Nicky loves spending time with her whanau, walking her naughty dog Oscar, going to the gym, biking and the occasional jog!

Fun fact: Nicky used to own a shoe company selling small women’s shoes (yes, she does have small feet)!

Claire HOWISON (Principal)

Claire HOWISON (Principal)

Claire takes a role on the Board as Principal. She has loved being part of the establishment board and looks forward to working with the elected board. Claire is very proud of the work in getting Ararira Springs Primary to this point of their journey. She is excited to be working with parents who are so keen to be part of the school’s learning journey.


2022 Board Election Results

CES are pleased to announce the results of our Board Election.

Parent Representatives

  • WILKINSON, Jayde Rangi
  • FITCHETT, David
  • MCMENAMIN, Andrew Peter
  • ANDREWS, Karen Mary
  • LIBERTY, Brie

We would like to thank all nominees for putting themselves forward for this role. The high number of nominations reflects parents’ connectedness to the school.


Board Business

Two core responsibilities of the Board are the management of school finances and resources and the strategic direction of the school. Here are links to the documentation around these important roles.

The Board is responsible for maintaining policy and reviewing procedures. To do this we use the SchoolDocs site. You are welcome to view these at any time.

Board Minutes are available on request from the office

Annual Financial Report for 2022

Analysis of Variance and Annual Report 2023

Strategic Plan 2024- 2025 and Annual Plan 2024

ERO – New School Assurance Review Report


Board Roles

Andrew McMenamin: Presiding Member, Communication, SchoolDocs, Property

David Fitchett: Property, Hall Hire

Karen Andrews: Health and Safety

Mia Valerio-Meek: Finance

Brie Liberty: Kāhui Ako, Cultural Responsiveness

Che Kingi: Cultural Responsiveness, Health and Safety

Nicky Harding: Property, Health & Safety

Trine Spence: Minute Secretary


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