POL. 0.2.1 TRUSTEE ROLE (Ratified 05.03.2018)



1        Boards of Trustees are bodies created by the Education Act, 1989 to ensure the direction of the College complies with Parliament's statutes and MOE's directives.

2        The Board has power to co-opt persons with particular expertise or experience to advise or add judgement to the Board.
3        Trustees are elected by different stakeholder groups, but have a wider responsibility to the College and its community. 

4        Trustees may agree to act beyond, but not contrary to, a statute or MOE directive.

5        The Board may divide itself into (sub-)committees, the better to focus on specific areas of responsibility.

6        Any Trustee who believes, or who is made aware, that they have an actual or potential perceived conflict of interest in any matter shall declare that conflict.  Whether that representative can then vote on that matter or abstain, shall be decided on evaluation of the declared conflict. The meeting minutes should record both the declaration and decision about the conflict.

7        Every Trustee, whether or not a member of a (sub-)committee, remains individually responsible for each decision embodied in any Board motion voted on. That is, no Trustee can delegate their responsibility on any issue, to members of a (sub-)committee.


8        The Board of Trustees is charged with governance of its school. Effective governance is a successful blend of professional expertise and community involvement. Effective relationships within the Board are vital to the successful operation of the school.


9        Board meetings are open to the public, including the media, but are not Public Meetings.

10      There is a presumption that all Board business (including that at sub-committee meetings) is to be transacted in open meeting, except only for matters which are confidential for personal reasons (Privacy Act 1993), or are contractually agreed to be confidential between parties, typically permanently or sometimes for a specified period of time or upon some other condition.


11      For the efficiency of the Board, notices of dates, times, places, and agenda of Board Meetings shall be distributed to Board members in sufficient time for all potentially interested persons to become aware of the details of the meeting.



1        Stakeholder representatives shall identify their authority to represent their group at the first Board meeting which they attend.

2        The Board Chair may grant speaking rights at the Board meeting however the topic and who is speaking shall be advised to the Board of Trustees Secretary by the Wednesday prior to the meeting date advertised. No visitor shall vote.


3        Each report by a (sub-)committee back to the Board on each matter, shall:

          3.1     State its recommendation, and reason/s for that;
          3.2     State the major alternatives to the recommendation, and summarize fairly the arguments for and against each of those alternatives.


4        Trustees shall strive to maintain a collegial attitude towards each other, and the Chair shall ensure that discussions are subject-focused.

5        Trustees shall strive to reach a decision by consensus; but, failing that, a simple majority shall suffice to pass a motion. Neither the Chair of the Board nor a Convenor of a Sub-Committee shall have a casting vote.

6        In the event of a motion not being passed unanimously, the numbers and names of persons voting against or abstaining may on request also be minuted, along with a brief outline of their contrary view/s and reason/s.


7        If the Board or any sub-committee believes that a matter is sufficiently sensitive that some or all of its details should remain confidential to the parties, either for a specified period or permanently, the Board or the sub-committee shall move ‘into committee’ for discussion and subsequent decision on the matter.
8        The Board may decide or any of its sub-committees may recommend to the Board that a matter shall remain confidential to the parties and the minute of that shall not be publicly available, either for a specified period or permanently.

9        Notice of dates, times, places, and agenda of Board, and Sub-Committee, Meetings shall be distributed to Trustees by the Friday proceeding the meeting date.

POL.0.3.2 PRIVACY (Ratified 29.11.2021)


  • The College is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals associated with the school, i.e. students, staff, parents, whānau, guardians, and any other person who submits or from whom we collect personal information.
  • The College follows the principles of the Privacy Act 2020 (the Act), which describe how we may collect, use, store, and dispose of personal information.
  • In applying the principles of the Act there may be other legislation that needs to be considered. Such legislation may need to be followed first if it requires the school to handle personal information in a particular way. Other legislation to be considered when dealing with privacy issues could include the Education and Training Act, the Official Information Act, the Human Rights Act, the Summary Proceedings Act, the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act, and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act. However, this is not an exhaustive list of other relevant legislation.
  • The Office of the Privacy Commissioner administers the Act and encourages best practice.


  1. The Principal will appoint a Privacy Officer.
  • The Privacy Officer shall undergo training/professional development to maintain skills, and to keep up to date with legal changes and educational developments in privacy administration.
  1. Personal information will only be collected and used for the purposes connected with the functions of the College.
  • Information should be collected directly from the person concerned or, if a student, their parent, whānau or guardian, unless it is publicly available from elsewhere or the person's interests are not prejudiced when that information is collected from elsewhere.
  1. Individuals will be informed of the purposes for which the information is being collected and held.
  1. Reasonable safeguards are in place to protect information from loss, unauthorised access, improper use or improper disclosure.
  1. The College takes reasonable steps to make sure personal information is correct, up-to-date, relevant and not misleading.
  • Whilst parents, parents, whānau, or guardians have no automatic right to request corrections of information held about their child, pursuant to the Act, the College is to endeavour to keep information about a person up-to-date and correct. If a parent points out that information is incorrect, the College should correct it.
  1. Individuals have the right to access to information held about themselves, and may request correction of information held, or when not corrected, may require that there be attached to the information a statement of the correction requested.
  • Staff and students will be allowed to access only their own personal files with the proviso that some personal information may be withheld in accordance with Part 4 of the Act.
  • Personal information will not be released to another person unless prior permission has been given by individuals concerned.
  • Children and young people have the same rights as everyone else, there is no age limit. This means that parents have no automatic right to access all of the information the College may hold about their child. In considering a request from a parent, the College must consider the following:
    1. Is it information that the parent has a right to, for instance, about their child's academic progress, or is it information the child has a right to keep private?
    2. Is the parent acting as the student's representative, or acting without the student's consent?
    3. Is the student of an age or maturity that allows them to decide to give consent or not?
    4. Is disclosure of the information a breach of the student's confidentiality?
    5. Is it in the student's best interest?
    6. Does other legislation affect the decision? For example, the Education and Training Act 2020, requires principals to tell parents about matters which are preventing or slowing a student's progress at school, or harming the student's relationships with teachers or other students.

[Note: In practice there are very few occasions when the College would be justified in withholding any information from a parent. One example of such a situation might be a student who confides in a counsellor. A counsellor is required to respect and consider the wishes of the child.]

  • Counselling services will follow NZAC (New Zealand Association of Counsellors) Code of Ethics to protect client confidentiality.

  • In the case of separated parents, each parent is entitled to educational information about their child. This should be provided unless there is a Court Order preventing it. It is the responsibility of the custodial parent to alert the College of any such Order.
  1. As a general rule, information about any person is not given to a third party without the person's knowledge, unless:
    1. the information is already publicly available;
    2. it is being passed on in connection with a purpose for which it was obtained, for example, to the student's new school;
    3. the right to privacy is overridden by other legislation;
    4. it is necessary for the protection of individual or public health and safety.
  1. Information will only be kept for as long as it is needed, and for the purposes for which it was obtained. Information is disposed of in accordance with the General Disposal Authority (GDA) under the Public Records Act.
  1. The College will only disclose personal information outside of New Zealand if:
    1. a parent or guardian authorises the disclosure, and understands that we cannot guarantee the security of the information once it is sent outside New Zealand (for example, sending a report to an international student's parents), or
    2. the College reasonably believes the country where the information is sent has comparable privacy safeguards.
  1. The College will act with as much sensitivity to the perceived cultural expectations of a student's whānau as it can within the limits of the law.
  1. The Principal will institute Procedures to effect this Policy.

POL. 0.4.1 Authority of Principal to Close the School (Approved 27.03.2023)


  1. Only the school’s Board has the power to close the school, but sometimes circumstances move so quickly, or communication becomes difficult because of the circumstances, that it becomes impractical or even impossible to bring the Board together to make a timely and informed decision.

  2. The legal obligation for the Principal to ensure the safety of staff and students under health and safety law will at times necessitate closure of the school, and the Principal will likely be best placed to make this decision in the short timeframe that is available.  


  1. The Board of Newlands College delegates authority to the Principal to close the school for a period of up to 10 days, at their sole discretion in an emergency, provided that it is undertaken in accordance with the criteria and responsibilities listed below.
  1. Emergency closure criteria (not an exhaustive list):any natural disaster;   
  2. threat that when in consultation with police and other relevant authorities is considered serious risk;  
  3. chemical spills / gas leaks where life / wellbeing could be threatened;  
  4. when a state of emergency has been declared (local or national);  
  5. when unforeseen events (weather, socio-cultural, plant and equipment malfunction) escalate at such a pace that life and/or property are in imminent danger.   
  6. in circumstances outside the Principal's control which mean it would be impractical or unsafe to keep the school open
  7. when directed to do so by Ministry of Education or the Secretary for Education

  1. The principal's responsibilities:   
  1. prior to making a decision, consult as appropriate with the school senior leadership team, local/regional/national authorities, service agencies (MetService, Waka Kotahi, etc);  
  2. notify the Board Chair as soon as possible of a decision to close;  
  3. monitor and evaluate the situation and make a recommendation to the Board for the school's extended closure (if needed);  
  4. establish clear communication for notifying parents, staff, students, the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders of an emergency school closure.  
  1. Once activities have returned to normal, undertake a review of the closure process followed and report to the Board.  
  1. The Principal shall institute Procedures pursuant to this Policy.

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