Our People

Back row left to right: Angela Gattung, Grant Barnes, Brian Blake, Leigh Auton and Dennis Kirkwood

Front row left to right: Paul van Etten, Kataraina Nock, Tamara Roach and Ranjna Patel


Leigh Auton - Chair

Leigh Auton is founding Director of Auton & Associates Ltd, Chair of the Ngapuhi Asset Holding Company (NAHC), Director of Ngapuhi Service Station Ltd (NSSL), Ngapuhi Books and Stationery Ltd (NBSL) and Chair of Northland Deepwater GP Ltd. He is a Trustee of Sistema Aotearoa and Trustee of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and the Bruce Pulman Park Trust. In December 2016 he joined the Board of Habitat for Humanity Greater Auckland but resigned from this position when he was appointed to the Board of Housing New Zealand in July 2018. Leigh is the Inaugural Chair of the Papakura Kootuitui Trust. In August 2015 he began a 3 year term of appointment as a member of the Local Government Commission. Leigh was the Chief Executive of Manukau City Council, a position that terminated with the formation of the new Auckland Council on 1 November 2010. He was Interim CEO at Tauranga City Council between June 2012 - April 2013. He has extensive local government experience with a particular background in planning, infrastructure and transport and is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.

Grant Barnes

In 2012, Grant retired as principal from Ardmore School, a semi rural school of 370 students situated on the outskirts of the Papakura township. Of his 48 years in teaching, 5 were as deputy principal and 19 as principal. Since retiring Grant has been involved in a range of consultancy work in schools - appraisal of principals and deputy principals (as an independent consultant), as well as principal appointments (working as an associate of KEA Education). Grant’s areas of educational interest include the growing of school leaders through appropriate support, developing of a school culture that enhances teaching and learning and the effective induction of young teachers into the profession. Grant was a long serving primary schools’ delegate to the Auckland Cricket Association where he was involved in coaching and the promotion of junior cricket. He is a vice patron of the association and a director on the board of the Counties Manukau Cricket Association where he also takes the role of deputy chair.

Dennis Kirkwood

Dennis was raised on a farm in Karaka, South Auckland and schooled in Māori tikanga by his elders from his marae at Whatapaka. He attended Te Hihi Primary School and then went to St Stephen’s School in Bombay. He has been employed in a variety of jobs, more recently being heavily involved in Iwi work. Dennis is the current Chair of the Ngati Tamaoho Trust and is the Ngati Tamaoho representative on the Kootuitui ki Papakura Trust. He has just finished a term with the inaugural Maunga Authority and is a current sitting member of the IMSB (Independent Maori Statutory Board). He is also a negotiator for the hapu, and actively engaged with local and government politics.

Paul van Etten

Of Dutch and Maori descent from Mataatua waka, Ngai te Rangi, Paul was born in Rotorua where his family still live. Paul attended Waikato University obtaining a BA in Māori and then went onto Teacher Training College in Auckland. Paul has been teaching for over 25 years: 10 year at Nga Tapuwae College (now Southern Cross Campus), 4 years as Assistant Principal at St. Paul’s College in Ponsonby and 4 years as Assistant Principal at Aorere College. Paul then left to work as Referee Education Officer for Auckland Rugby and the Blues for 2 years. Paul came to Papakura High School in August 2008 as Deputy Principal. Paul is supported by his wife Lynne (a Deputy Principal at Avondale College) and has two children, Natasha and Liam. During his spare time Paul referees rugby in Auckland to a Premier level.

Brian Blake

Brian is an experienced managing director with a demonstrated history of working in the recreational facilities and services industry. He has strong business development professional skills in budgeting, business planning, operations management, coaching, and event management.

Tamara Roach

Kia ora koutou, ko Tamara toku ingoa. I am from Taranaki and have been living in Papakura for the last 16 years. I have been a stay-at-home mum who in the last couple of years has been a part of Kootuitui ki Papakura. I came on board in October 2016 and quickly fell in love with the Trust and the whole co design approach and have been learning constantly since. In the last couple of years I have been a whaanau member of the home strand. I have recently become a member on the school board of Park Estate where my children attend as well as a member of the Kootuitui Trust Board. I enjoy time with my partner and my 3 children. During my time as a stay-at-home mum I have gained a qualification in Level 1 & 2 Computing, a National Certificate in Maori- Te Wananga O Aotearoa, a Certificate in Tikanga Maori- Te Wananga O Aotearoa, and I am currently studying level 5 NZ Certificate in Adult Teaching and Training.

Advisers to the Trust

Kataraina Nock - Principal Convenor

Currently principal Edmund Hillary School and Lead Principal for Kootuitui ki Papakura Cluster. Kataraina is an experienced educator with an academic background in educational research and development. Kataraina has led a number of professional development and research projects on behalf of the Ministry of Education and on behalf of schools in the wider Auckland area.

Sandra Geange

Sandra has over 20 years of experience in executive leadership roles with iconic New Zealand brands specialising in marketing strategy, digital transformation and organisational expansion. She currently sits on the Board of APAC Advisory Board – CMO Council and formerly spent six years as a Board Member of the Problem Gambling Foundation. She is the CEO of the Middlemore Foundation for Health Innovation.

Tony Kake

Tony is the CEO of Papakura Marae.

Operations Team

Angela Gattung - Executive Officer and Education Programme Leader

Angela started her career in the secondary school sector, teaching Japanese and economics in Rotorua. She went on to leadership roles in Taranaki, and was the Principal of Inglewood High School between 2002 - 2009. During this time, she was the Chair of TaraNet, the regional ICT cluster of the six rural Taranaki high schools, as well as being on the boards of Sport Taranaki, Waves Youth Health and the NZ Secondary Schools’ Sports’ Council. Angela subsequently worked in the Arabian Gulf, Middle East and Central Asia in school management and consulting roles before returning to NZ in 2014. Angela currently holds the roles - Education Programme Leader and Executive Officer for the Trust.

Jan Piahana - Whaanau Engagement Facilitator

Jan has lived in Papakura for the last 23 years and has a long history of working in the local community through her stakeholder engagement, relationship management and community development roles at Auckland Council, Papakura Marae and the Department of Labour. She has also had a number of governance roles, including Secretary of the Papakura Marae Society, Deputy Chair of the Ngatiwai o Aotea - Kawa Marae and Chair of the Kelvin Road School Board of Trustees. Jan is a warranted Maori Warden and on the executive of the Papakura Marae Maori Warden Association. With her extensive local knowledge, experience and skills, Jan provides the Trust with an ability to engage with and strengthen relationships with parents and whānau. She also has an administration role, managing the chromebook procedures between the Trust, parents and schools.

Camilla Cameron - Professional Learning Facilitator

Camilla began her teaching career at Tuakau College, as a year 7 homeroom teacher. She has since worked in a range of educational roles, aiming to improve outcomes for learners young and old through innovative practice. Camilla recently gained a Master of Education with first class honours from The University of Waikato, developing expertise in assessment practices, middle schooling and professional learning. She is an enthusiastic user of digital technologies, and is passionate about ensuring that all of our tamariki have access to the opportunities that have become available through the digital age, so that they can be creators of their own futures.

Robin Vimal - Administrator

Robin has grown up in Papakura, attending Opaheke Primary and carrying on to Rosehill Intermediate and Rosehill College. She then completed her final year of high school at Church College of NZ in Hamilton. Robin then began working in administration at The Papakura Marae, developing various skills in the roles of general administration, payroll and reception. After working there for 4 years she became more involved with her family's automotive business as an administrator. In 2014 she completed a National Certificate in Business Administration at Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT). In 2016 she returned to MIT to begin her journey towards a Bachelor in Applied Management, doing a double major in Human Resources and Communications.

Nane Lockington - Maker-y Coach

Kia Orana. I am a proud mum of six wonderful tamariki. My association with Kootuitui ki Papakura began in 2016 when two of my girls enrolled at Edmund Hillary School. Through the school I was invited to attend a Homes strand workshop then became a member of the Kootuitui Whaanau. Education is a passion of mine and I believe learning is an ongoing lifelong journey which begins at home. Empowering whaanau within our community through the workshops we offer - Chromebook Training, Financial Literacy and Warm, Dry, Healthy Homes, is truly rewarding and builds relationships. I am currently serving on the Homai School and Rosehill School Boards of Trustees. My tamariki and I are involved in sports clubs in Papakura. I coach, manage and umpire netball, touch rugby and softball. I am President of the Hunua District Netball Club and Team Manager for Royals Softball Club