A Ministerial Advisory Group is working on the draft strategic plan, together with a reference group comprising sector and policy representatives, and with the Ministry of Education.

The members of the Ministerial Advisory Group are:

Professor Carmen Dalli (Chair) – School of Education, Victoria University of Wellington. Carmen has a BA (Hons) from the University of Malta, a MEd from the University of Bristol and a PhD from Victoria University of Wellington. Carmen is Honorary Consul for Malta in Wellington.

Her research spans early childhood policy studies, professionalism in the early years, and under-three year olds in early childhood settings. She has a strong interest in children’s transitions from home to their first early childhood setting and the nature of learning in the first years.

Carmen was recently the principal investigator for the Quality early childhood education for under-two-year-olds report produced for the Minister of Education. Her research in early learning policy and practice has been widely published in New Zealand and internationally.

Dr Alex Gunn – Associate Dean, Teacher Education, University of Otago. Alex has taught in urban and rural not-for-profit and community-based education and care settings for children aged between birth and school-age.

She has worked in general education, initial teacher education and post-graduate education studies at the University of Canterbury and the University of Otago.

Alex’s research interests include early childhood education, inclusive education and social justice, and educational assessment and teacher education.

Professor Margie Hohepa – Associate Dean Māori, Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education at the University of Waikato. Margie is currently the Associate Dean, Māori in the Faculty of Education at the University of Waikato. Her iwi are Te Māhurehure, Ngāpuhi and Te Ātiawa.

Margie teaches Māori education undergraduate and graduate courses in initial teacher education, and supervises honours, masters and doctoral research students across a range of Māori education topics. She has taught in primary school and kōhanga reo settings. Her field of research is framed by Kaupapa Māori, with a particular interest in Māori medium education. Recent research projects have focused on Māori medium initial teacher education and on kōhanga-kura transitions.

Professor Stuart McNaughton – Chief Science Advisor, Ministry of Education, and Professor of Education and Director of the Woolf Fisher Research Centre at the University of Auckland. Stuart’s research areas are literacy and language development, the design of effective education for culturally and linguistically diverse populations, and cultural processes in development. He has published extensively of these topics and was awarded the Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education in New Zealand.

As a Director of the Woolf Fisher Research Centre, Stuart leads a research team in studies of effective educational interventions for schooling success with a focus on Māori and Pasifika children. He is a member of the Literacy Research Panel of the International Literacy Association and in 2014 was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame.