Mark is the Principal of Rakaia School and has been here from the start of 2006. He was previously the Principal at Mayfield School for 7 and a half years. He is a member of the Ashburton Volunteer Fire Brigade and turns out for the Rakaia brigade while at school. Mark was also a member of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation and was a member of the executive committee during 2005 and 2006.

Kia ora koutou e hoa ma. Nga mihi nui koutou katoa,

It’s May already and the year is rushing by. This is my first formal communication with you all as Head of Union, and I wish to send my sincere thanks to the Board for their confidence in me, and also a huge thank you to Denise Torrey for the work she has done in this space and the work she continues to do behind the scenes.

Hayley Read is also hard at work with our membership which continues to grow. Many are expressing interest in our union and what we stand for. Here is a small blurb you can share with your colleagues if they show interest and you feel it is important to share our work.

Ma te Tumuaki, Ma to Tumuaki – By Principals For Principals

PPCBU is a small, nimble and responsive union for Primary School Principals. We maintain transparency with negotiations and information. We respond quickly to your concerns and we are only an email or call away from a conversation.

When joining PPCB (Link here) you will be working with current Principals from across the Motu. If you choose to resign from NZEI you can maintain your health insurance if you have it with EBS (A small increase in premium is noted), and we strongly encourage you to join the PASL scheme through NZPF for insurance.

Our recent success in securing and signing our first Collective Agreement got us started on the journey to new challenges and support within the variable job of Principalship. While we did not get everything we wanted, we are now preparing for negotiations in December 2024 and will have a clear, collaborative strategy for what we want to achieve for our membership.


  • Hayley Read will be managing membership enquiries and business. We are growing steadily and heading towards 20%. We are a Union being recognised!

  • Denise Torrey will act as our PPCB Support Office. She will be a PSO dedicated to working with principals throughout NZ. Providing advice around the conditions and content of PPCB CA. Provision of support and guidance, liaising with PPCB Board, HOU, MOE, NZSTA, and other sector groups as necessary. Supporting principal engagement, locating and analysing research with HOU and the SAT team.

  • As Head of Union I am available to zoom into association meetings – if you have questions about our next move and or information about the union. It would be a great chance to meet and greet. Please remember to reach out if you need anything.

  • Website – The website is being redeveloped to be fit for purpose as a recognised union for Principals.

I am looking forward to growing our membership, securing some pieces of work for negotiations in 2024 and doing my very best to represent a new union on the move!

Nga mihi nui,

Mark Ellis

Head of Union

The PPCB Professional Coaching, Professional Learning and Wellbeing fund

PPCB Collective Agreement

This support fund was negotiated for PPCB members to support members with mentoring, coaching, PLD and/ or wellbeing to help develop their capability and capacity as the leader of the school.

The fund is paid through the Operations Grant to schools where there is a PPCB principal member.

We recommend our members discuss this fund and the guidelines with their Presiding Member(PM) to ensure the fund is used effectively and in the ways it is intended. As there are currently two principal Collective Agreements and schools where the principal is a PPCB member are the ones to negotiate this fund thus far.

In 2023 the fund was paid to schools on the 27th April for use by the end of 2023. By the last day of term 4 the principal and board must make a statement as to how the fund was used. If any funds are carried over to the following year this must be documented and signed by the Presiding Member.

The use of the fund will also be reported to the Auditor. Below are some FAQ’s to sit alongside the Support Fund Guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions There will be any number of scenarios that may occur with the implementation of the fund. In most cases, these will be a discussion with the PPCB Principal and their Presiding Member but here are some questions and suggested solutions to discuss.

What happens if a PPCB member moves schools in the middle of the year? When a PPCB principal moves schools during the school year and the fund allocated for their use is not fully used. The PPCB principal has options. 1. Leave the fund and the board will decide on its use 2. Have a conversation with the PM of both schools and the balance not used is invoiced from the original school and transferred to the new school.

What happens if a PPCB member moves schools in the middle of the year and the nearly appointed principal is a PPCB member as well? When a PPCB principal moves schools during the school year, the allocated fund is not used and the incoming principal is a member of PPCB. Once again this fund can be transferred between schools. The two grants should not be mixed up and seen as separate transactions.

What happens if I nominate PPCB as my union if this is my first principalship? The incoming principal is a new principal. They can elect which contract they sign. If it is a PPCB collective they apply for the $6,000 fund through PPCB.

What happens if a PPCB Principal leaves the service and the fund is not used? The unused balance of the fund remains with the school and is used for the purposes of staff professional development or as the board decides.

Can Acting principals access the Support Fund? No, Acting Principals are not eligible to join PPCB; they are under the Primary Teacher, DP, AP Collective Agreement.