Alwyn Poole



Tracey Martin became a member of parliament on the coattails of Winston Peters. When Peters and NZ First did not get over the 5% line in 2020 Martin suddenly announced that the party’s values did not match hers and promptly left a ship she helped sink.

In the previous term, she had oversight of the barely floating disaster that was Oranga Tamariki and was an associate Minister of Education. She had a reputation of doing pretty much what Labour wanted and needs to accept some responsibility for the ongoing decline of the NZ education system – including for high needs and neurodiverse learners.

Prior to Parliament, she did some bookkeeping work. She does not have a university degree.

I incurred her screechy wrath for once pointing out her lack of integrity when she published her summary of select committee hearings (on that occasion about Partnership/Charter Schools) before all of the submissions had been heard. She also lost the plot when I called her out for lying on a Duncan Garner show when she said that she had visited our (Villa Education Trust’s) Charter Schools when she had been nowhere near them.

Well, New Zealand. Tracey Martin is now the head of the New Zealand Qualifications Board – replacing Professor Neil Quigley – the highly qualified and experienced Vice-Chancellor of Waikato University.

I would not have believed this if Minister Hipkins did not announce it himself. Has there ever been a clearer case of jobs for mates?

Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced new appointments to the board of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

Former Associate Minister of Education, Hon Tracey Martin, has been appointed as the new Chair for NZQA, replacing the outgoing Acting and Deputy Chair Professor Neil Quigley after an 11-year tenure on the board.

“I thank Professor Quigley for his service to NZQA over the past decade, but particularly over the past two years while he ably led the organisation through the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chris Hipkins said.

“I also acknowledge the role Neil played in guiding NZQA’s contribution to the Reform of Vocational Education and NCEA Review programmes, in navigating the journey towards NCEA Online, and in improving equity for Maori, Pacific and other priority learners.

“I am delighted the Honourable Tracey Martin has been appointed as the new Chair. She will bring a wealth of knowledge of the education system to the role”.

Pania Gray (Ngapuhi) has been appointed as Deputy Chair and Roger Moses, Jeremy Baker and Grant Cleland have been appointed as new members to the board.

“Pania brings extensive governance and risk and assurance expertise as well as te ao Maori perspectives to the board and I’m delighted to have her on board,” Chris Hipkins said. “Roger and Jeremy have been instrumental in providing advice on the current changes to NCEA. Grant brings a lived experience of disability and expertise on the experiences of disabled learners. They will bring an excellent mix of experience, ideas and perspectives to the board.”
Chris Hipkins also confirmed current board member, Lyn Provost, has been reappointed for another term.

“The board will continue to benefit from Lyn’s expertise in risk and assurance and significant public sector experience,” Mr Hipkins says. NZQA administers the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) for secondary school students. Additional NZQA responsibilities include the quality assurance of non-university tertiary training providers; and helping to ensure New Zealand qualifications are recognised overseas and overseas qualifications are appropriately recognised in New Zealand.
Information about NZQA can be found at:

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