Our Staff

Ngatai Walker


Appointed to lead Puketapu in 2016, Ngatai is an experienced educator, who was Deputy Principal at Inglewood Primary and with Core Education as Learning with Digital Technologies Facilitator. Originally from Masterton, Ngatai grew up in the Wairarapa before moving to Taranaki.  Ngatai is a keen sports fan and coach. Believing strongly in growing positive citizens, Ngatai is a leader with a strong knowledge of teaching and learning and a passion for community and this year is continuing his own learning by attending Te Wānanga o Raukawa in Ōtaki.

Corinne Sattler

Acting Principal & SENCO

Taranaki born and bred, Corinne has a long term connection and love of Puketapu School. Corinne believes that our tamariki are taonga and acknowledges the gift whānau have given our school by placing their tamariki in our care. Corinne feels strongly about empowering students, colleagues and whānau and is a strong believer in hauora, recognising the importance of well-being physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. Corinne loves music, travelling, a good book, plenty of time with family and friends and her mahi.


Amanda O'Dowda

Acting Deputy Principal

An innovative and passionate educator and leader, Amanda joined our team in 2019, having worked at a variety of schools from large city, primary and intermediate, to small rural. Amanda is a strong believer and advocate of Learner Agency, who believes that learners are more engaged, and therefore make increased progress, if they have choice in their own learning. In 2022 Amanda is our Assistant Principal and SENCO.


Avon Lewis

Team Co-Leader - Kauri

Avon joined the Puketapu School team in 2019 after moving back home after playing rugby overseas. A keen rugby player with more than 100 games for Inglewood, he is also an experienced teacher who believes that kids learn best when they feel valued and have a sense of belonging at school.


Claire Wigley

Design Technology & Team Co-Leader - Kauri

As our Design Technology teacher, Claire is able to teach and learn about new and exciting teaching methods, including cooking, Minecraft and Design Thinking.  As well as having a passion for Design Technology, she loves learning about the environment, reading and spending time at the beach with her whanau.  Claire lives by the quote “If you have a choice between being right and being kind, choose kind." - from Wonder.


Julia Johnstone

Teacher, Kauri

Julia joined our teaching team after completing her Grad Dip Teaching in 2017. Julia loves sport and coaches netball, touch and hockey. She loves to swim and in summer can be seen at East End as part of their volunteer Surf Life Saving crew. No he kakano iti, he puawai ana he kauri – From a small seed, a tall tree will blossom. Julia believes there is greatness with every student and all have the potential to become tall trees. Julia’s teaching philosophy centres on allowing students to find the greatness within themselves and watching them blossom as they embrace their strengths.


Elle Johns

Teacher, Kauri

New to the Puketapu School team in 2022, Elle is a first year teacher with a passion for rugby, cooking and music. Elle believes the best student growth occurs when the body, mind and soul are nurtured and cared for and her aim as a teacher is to make each student value and love learning. Elle aims to develop curiosity, wonder and excitement and role model what a life-long learner looks like.


Brody Lindsay

Team Leader - Kowhai

We first met Matua Brody as a Learning Assistant while he trained as a teacher. He has quickly become a key part of our team and in 2022 is taking on a team leader role. His attitude towards Whānaungatanga matches the idea of connecting locally to our community and he is a great sports coach too. Matua Brody reminds us that as a boy Richie McCaw wanted to be an All Black and his Uncle told him “you don't just want to be an All Black, you want to be a great All Black”. Matua Brody strives not just to be a teacher but to be a great teacher, a teacher who is a life-long learner who actively demonstrates all the Puketapu School values.


Nicole Perry

Teacher, Kowhai

Nicole is an energetic and passionate educator who loves to make learning fun and memorable. Nicole started at Puketapu School in 2018 and has also worked at a small country school before this. Building strong relationships is what she believes to be the most influential aspect of the progress of any child. Nicole feels that if students have a strong sense of belonging, have a choice/ownership in their learning journey, and have supportive relationships, they will reach their individual potential.


David Martin

Teacher, Kowhai

Local to Taranaki, David was brought up on a dairy farm outside of Inglewood but has worked in a wide range of schools in Aotearoa and internationally. He joined the Puketapu team in 2019 bringing his knowledge and passion for digital learning. Combined with this interest, he focuses on developing agency skills in all ākonga, to help them have the skills they need for the future.


Flo Gibson-Harris

Teacher, Kowhai

One of our newest teachers, Flo is always open to further development and new ideas. A key strength is her ability to develop strong relationships with children, staff, family/whānau, which is extremely important as it fosters trust and allows children to become confident, connected and life-long learners.


Cara Knuckey

Teacher, Kowhai

An ex Puketapu School pupil herself, Cara joined the teaching team in 2019 as a newly qualified teacher, so you could say Cara has Puketapu in her blood. Cara is passionate about the abilities of all students and especially loves those lightbulb moments when a students gets something for the first time. Cara is also continuing her own learning journey by learning te reo Māori.


Matt Goodwin

Teacher, Kowhai

New to Puketapu this year after teaching at Devon Intermediate for a number of years, Matt made the move down to Year 4,5, & 6 to further develop his practice. Matt is a huge sports fan with a passion for Health and PE and empowering learners across all aspects of the curriculum. Matt is really looking forward to getting involved with the Puketapu community!


Micaela Westrupp

Team Leader - Tōtara

New to our team in 2022, Micaela believes passionately that building curiosity and using a strength based approach helps to build a foundation that ākonga can feel safe to explore and take risks. Having previously worked as an outdoor education instructor, Micaela sees the value in all of us being in nature, using our bodies, collaborating and supporting each other through challenge by choice.


Kelly Harvey

Teacher, Tōtara

Passionate about our environment and community, Kelly combines play, games and activities within authentic contexts. Kelly believes fostering a love of learning is just as important as the skills themselves and children best learn when it is memorable and fun.


Kennedy Heikell

Teacher Tōtara

Originally a Gizzy girl who grew up on the golden sands of the east coast, Kennedy now lives in New Plymouth and has fallen in love with beautiful Taranaki. New to our team in 2022 after teaching in Hamilton for the past few years, Kennedy is passionate about teaching and building strong relationships with her students. She is a strong believer in engaging children through play and incorporates engaging activities that prompt deeper and more meaningful thinking.


Louisa Sharrock

Teacher, Tōtara

A local girl who still lives in Bell Block, Louisa loves to read and to swim and enjoys teaching swimming during the summer months. Louisa’s mantra: “The kids that we teach may not remember what it is that we have taught them, but they will always remember how we made them feel, so I do my utmost to ensure that they always leave me with a smile on their face and a giggle in their heart.”


Becky Wells

Teacher, Tōtara

We first met Becky in 2021 when she completed her student placement in our senior school so we were delighted to snap her up as a newly qualified teacher. Becky loves dressing up, her two Labradors and reading a good romance book. She prides herself on providing a safe and nurturing environment where the tamariki feel respected, emotionally supported, and feel like they belong as soon as they step into her classroom.


Rachel MacAvoy

Team Leader - Rimu

Rachel has been involved in education all of her life and she has a strong passion for cultural values, arts and positive relationships - with the students, teaching staff and the community. Rachel loves to take the teaching outside the classroom and ‘change it up’ for the kids. She is also driven by learning and understanding the massive changes that lie ahead in driving our
akonga to be leaders and learners for the future.


Laurie Edwin

Teacher, Rimu

A former Puketapu student who loved our kura so much, Laurie became a teacher so she could come back and give back! Laurie is a passionate educator who cares deeply about growing the minds of the community she was raised in. Laurie believes building strong relationships with tamariki form the foundations for a thriving learning environment. Laurie's mantra "Students don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."


Prishlena Kumar

Teacher, Rimu

Teaching has always been a passion for Prishlena and she enjoys devoting her time and effort into ensuring all children reach their full potential. Prishlena is a strong believer that it is through a community built on respect and dedication that tamariki thrive in their education.



Phil Hoskin

Kapa Haka and Tikanga Māori Specialist Teacher

Kei ngā maunga, kei ngā awa o ngā hau e wha, tēnā kōutōu katoa.
Phil Hoskin was born and bred here in Bell Block and was an ex student and teacher at Puketapu School. His passion is learning and teaching Te Ao Māori and kapahaka to tamariki. He enjoys hanging out with his whānau and friends and in his spare time he loves riding his motorbike, playing music and creating different types of art.


Marina Collier

Teacher, Kauri & Kowhai & Tōtara

Marina has been part of our Puketapu team for several years and has taught in many year groups over that time. A keen sports player, Marina also loves art and food. Although originally from Australia, Marina has been learning te reo Māori for several years and enjoys trying to weave this through teaching practices.

Caroline Den-McKay

Specialist Literacy Teacher

A lifelong learner, Caro passionately believes in following the evidence about how the brain learns to read and continues to grow her knowledge and skills in the field of the Science of Reading. Caro loves seeing learners experience success with literacy and the impact this has on their self-esteem. Caro has three children: two of whom currently attend Puketapu School. Caro has recently been on a journey of discovery with te Reo Māori and in her spare time, she loves to entertain audiences with her singing!


Shirlene Paterson

Release Teacher & Maths Specialist

Whaea Shirlene has specialist interests in Mathematics, Science and Literacy and she is a super-creative person - she loves using fibres for creativity such as knitting and spinning and felting.

Kim Sowman

Release Teacher

Passionate about community, tamariki and kindness, Kim teaches part time at Puketapu School and also at Waitara East. Kim started her teaching career many years ago in Hāwera. Once she was registered she headed off to the UK for 8 years and taught in a wide variety of schools in central London between traveling to many different countries. Kim returned to New Zealand and had her own family who also attended Puketapu School.

Diane Benton

Team Leader - Learning Assistants

The team leader of our Learning Assistant Team, Diane co-ordinates timetables, supports students, implements safety plans and many, many behind the scenes things for our most special ākonga.

Jay Lane

Learning Assistant

A long term resident of Bell Block, Jay hsa been part of the Puketapu team for more than 25 years! Jay loves working alongside children in class or on a 1-1 basis as part of reading, literacy and speech programmes. She enjoys seeing the children achieve their personal goals and supports many different activities around the school. Jay loves reading and crafts.

Michele Oldfield

Learning Assistant

Michele is a key part of our Learning Assistant team, working with many students over the years - so many years that she left and came back again! Michele loves the people - adults and staff and loves being part of a great team. Away from school Michele loves knitting, reading and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Shaina Moratti

Learning Assistant

Shaina is a key part of our Learning Assistant team and part of our PB4L team, too. Recently Shaina has started her training to become a teacher.

Sandra Fonoti

Learning Assistant

Sandra is a key part of our Learning Assistant team, working with many students over the years.

Tara Curtis

Learning Assistant

New to our Learning Assistant team in 2022, Tara has already become a key part of our Learning Assistant team, working with many of our students who require that little bit more support.

Siniva Isaia

Learning Assistant

Part of our team for several years, Siniva is an active member of the Pasifika community. She is also an amazing cook!

Anya Poching

Youth Worker & Whānau Engagement

Originally from Auckland /Tāmaki Makaurau, Anya has been in Taranaki for four years and has quickly become one of the most well known people at our school. Anya loves spending time with tamariki and rangatahi and loves connecting with all our whānau, caring for their wellbeing and providing extra awhi for children and adults alike. When she is not at school Anya loves spending time with her own whānau.

Raymond Quince


Truly one of the essential members of staff, Mr Quince looks after our fabulous grounds, keeping everything safe and tidy and working well. As well as being our Mr Fix-It around the school, he is also our IT guru, making sure our technology works correctly, iPads, computers and internet and the many BYOD devices onsite.

Kerie Smith

Office & Attendance

One of the friendly faces you see when you arrive in the office, Whaea Kerie is a first point of contact for enrolments, messages or questions and looking after our tamariki and teachers. Originally from Kāpiti, Whaea Kerie loves living in New Plymouth and describes working at Puketapu School as her dream job.

Paula Martin

School Administrator

One of the two friendly faces you see when you arrive in the office, Whaea Paula is a first point of contact for enrolments, messages or questions and takes care of much of the school’s administration. Originally from Taranaki, she spent several years living in London and now uses her corporate world experience to ensure the smooth running of the school.

Teresa Julian

Head Chef, Kitchen Team

Teresa's passion and love for cooking started back when she was child watching her Mum in the kitchen, who said “the secret ingredient for anything you make is love.” Teresa has lived by this philosophy ever since and is now carrying this into providing healthy, nutritious lunches for all our tamariki every day.

Charlotte McGoldrick

Sous Chef, Kitchen Team

A Bell Block local, Charlotte is an experienced chef who is also passionate about our environment and loves to grow vegetables and mushrooms. Charlotte is very community minded and has been a volunteer firefighter in Australia's bush fires. She also has a secret butter chicken recipe that is AMAZING!

Sharron Arbuckle

Kitchen Team

A familiar face in Bell Block, Sharron joined our kitchen team at the start of 2022, but she also works for The Lemon Club and has been involved in afterschool care at Puketapu School for many years.

25 Dillon Drive,
Bell Block,
New Plymouth.

Main Reception
Phone 06 755-0973
©2022 Te Kura o Puketapu
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