About the ISNZ Board

ISNZ Board Chair

Heather McRae

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Heather has been Principal at Diocesan School for Girls since April 2009. She is originally a biochemist, graduating from Massey University with a double major in Chemistry and Biochemistry followed by a Diploma in Teaching (with distinction). She has also completed a Masters in Educational Administration with first class honours and received a Sir Woolf Fisher Trust Scholarship, graduating from the Hillary Leadership Programme facilitated by the NZ Leadership Institute at the University of Auckland.

Before her appointment to Diocesan, Heather was Principal at Pakuranga College (a co-educational school with 2,100 students) and was prior to that Principal and Director of Curriculum at the Western Academy of Beijing – a co-educational International Baccalaureate School of 1,600 students from Kindergarten to Year 13.

Heather gained extensive international experience as Director of Educational Operations at Multi Serve Education Trust from 1996-2002 (a leading exporter of education). This included the establishment of an International School for the Sultan of Brunei and a range of educational projects in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and China.

Widely respected as one of New Zealand’s leading Principals, Heather was selected as a member of the Experts Panel to judge the ‘Prime Minister’s Excellence in Education Awards 2014’ and was reappointed for the 2015 and 2016 awards.

Heather believes that education is about the art of human learning – a venture involving creativity, imagination and discovery. She believes every person has leadership potential within and that the role of School is to help graduates place their feet firmly in life by developing spiritual strength, discipline and resilience. She aims to achieve this by creating a team of leaders with a passion for teaching and learning in a world class educational environment.


Deputy Chair 

Ingrid Taylor

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Ingrid is a partner at Taylor Shaw Solicitors in Christchurch and has spent over 25 years specialising in Trusts, Property, Commercial law and Estate Planning.

Ingrid is involved in many different community initiatives along with charitable societies and events. She is passionate about Education and believes that it is critical for all children to have the benefit of a great education. She sits as Trustee on the Youth Hub and was recently involved in Bayleys Plate up for a Challenge, which helped raise over $200,000 for the Christchurch City Mission’s Back to School initiative.

Ingrid has a strong governance background. She is currently an appointed member of the Christchurch District Health Board. She was a Board Member and Deputy Chair of St Margaret’s College for 6 years.



Richard Francis

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Richard is founder and CEO of Spotlight Reporting, a global business intelligence software company for leading accounting firms and entities.  Spotlight Reporting was founded in 2010, and now has 45 staff in Australia, the UK, the US and New Zealand.

Spotlight Reporting was Xero’s App Partner of the Year in both 2015 and 2016,  a finalist in the Hi Tech Awards, and recognised for its growth trajectory in the Deloitte Fast 50 and Asia Pacific Tech 500.  Spotlight also partners with Intuit, MYOB and Sage.

Outside of business, Richard contributes his time and expertise as Chair of Chilton Saint James School in Lower Hutt.  Richard has been a Board member at this school since 2017.  Education and empowerment of children and educational choice are areas of passion.

Richard has also been a Board member of software company SilverStripe since 2013 and worked for Xero as a General Manager following the acquisition in 2012 of a software business that Richard had founded.   

Richard was in public practice as a Chartered Accountant until 2010, starting his career with Horwath Wellington (now BDO) in the early 1990s, before moving to the UK for 4 years.  On his return in 2001, Richard founded ‘boutique’ advisory practice Francis Consulting, focusing on Virtual CFO and strategic services.

Other areas of interest where Richard has advised include sustainability and the development of sport (most particularly, cricket).


Bruce Goodfellow

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Bruce is the third of three generations of the Goodfellow family to serve on the Saint Kentigern Trust Board. He has been a Trustee for 35 years, and was Chairman from 2000-2017.

In addition to his trust board commitments, Bruce is a Director of Nufarm Finance Limited, Sulkem Company Limited and other private companies. He was a Director of Nufarm Ltd, Sanford Ltd and Refrigeration Engineering Company Limited and other private companies. He has a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering and broad corporate management and financial experience. He is also a trustee of a number of charitable organisations.

The Goodfellow family’s generous contribution of time, involvement and philanthropy has nurtured many organisations across Auckland.

Bruce has served on the Independent Schools of New Zealand Charitable Trust Board since 2016.


Christine Leighton

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Christine is Rector of St Andrew’s College, the only independent co-educational school offering boarding in the South Island. When she was appointed to the role in 2007, Christine became the first female Rector at the College, which was founded in 1917. Three years ago, St Andrew’s College enjoyed a wonderful year of Centenary celebrations under her leadership.

Since graduating from Auckland University with a BA in English and History in 1979, Christine has enjoyed a varied career, having taught in Nelson, England, and Tauranga Boys’ College, where she became Head of English. A return to Nelson saw Christine become Assistant Principal at Nelson College for Girls before becoming Principal at St Hilda’s Collegiate School in Dunedin at the beginning of 1999.

Christine is a passionate educator who is also committed to ongoing Professional Learning. In 2014 she was accepted into a Harvard University Business Programme, and in 2000 completed a Strategic Leadership Programme, which has many top performing businesspeople from New Zealand among its alumni.

Christine is a member of several professional associations, and is a regular presenter at ISNZ conferences and meetings. She has also addressed several community groups in recent years. During her long career, she has developed professional relationships with many schools across New Zealand and around the world, and enjoys professional friendships with Heads of a number of schools in New Zealand, Australia and Scotland.

Christine believes in young people and the potential of everyone to succeed in their own way when they are understood, nurtured, encouraged and believed in. She fosters a happy, inclusive school environment where relationships are positive and supportive. As a highly motivated educator and leader, Christine is committed to her own learning journey, and to enabling others to be the best they can be.


Dr Areti Metuamate


Dr Areti Metuamate has a background in education policy and governance and brings a strong commitment to addressing inequity at all levels of the education system. He has extensive networks in government, higher education, and particularly in the independent tertiary education sector. Dr Metuamate is focussed on supporting ISNZ to assist member schools in providing the best possible education to as many young people as possible, and in ensuring that ISNZ member schools are recognised for the important role they play in our society. 

Dr Metuamate describes himself as an advocate for choice in education and he is particularly committed to seeing more Maori and Pasifika students succeed in independent schools. 

Dr Metuamate is currently chief executive of a private tertiary organisation, Te Kupenga, which was established earlier this year by the Catholic bishops of New Zealand. He has a professional background working in policy and government roles in both New Zealand and Australia, including working in the Ministry of Justice and in the Parliament. He also worked in a number of management roles in university colleges in Australia where he moved to undertake postgraduate studies and eventually met his wife, a respected Australian educator who established Australia's first independent school for Indigenous teenage mothers. 

Dr Metuamate is a Trustee of the Raukawa ki te Tonga Trust and serves on the Board of Trustees of Ako Matatupu. He is also a layperson on the Standards Committee of the New Zealand Law Society and is an active member of Independent Tertiary Education New Zealand.


Bradley Kidd

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Brad is a partner at Chapman Tripp in Wellington and has over 20 years’ experience practising in corporate, commercial and financial services law.  He has held a number of governance and leadership roles at Chapman Tripp.

Brad has developed a passion for education and education governance, having served on both a state and an independent school board, over a period of 8 years.  In those roles he has developed a deep knowledge of the education sector generally, as well as the specific issues facing independent education in New Zealand.

He is a firm believer in the value of education and the opportunities that opens up for our children.  He is also a supporter of the choice that independent schools provide as an alternative educational option in New Zealand.  

Brad played a key advisory role in assisting ISNZ with its recent restructure, and has seen first-hand the important role ISNZ has to play as an advocate for the independent school sector.  His focus is on bringing his experience both as a lawyer and as a school trustee and independent school governor to ISNZ, with a view to ensuring that the sector continues to look forward rather than backwards.

Outside of work Brad has a keen interest in travelling, sport and the arts (particularly the Royal New Zealand Ballet), and spends as much time as he can with his family.


Penelope Barr-Sellers

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Penelope is a strategic brand, engagement and communications consultant.

Her most recent fulltime role was Assistant Vice-Chancellor External Relations and Development at Massey University where she was part of the senior leadership team and managed University communications, marketing, recruitment, stakeholder engagement, fund-raising and major events as well as communications channels including the website. Penelope held similar roles at AUT on her return to New Zealand from London in 2010.

Her decade in the UK included senior management roles at Omnicom group agencies, working on some of the world’s top brands across the UK, Europe and SMEA. 

In the late nineties she founded DDB New Zealand’s first PR agency, Beyond PR (now Mango), and was one of two women on their senior leadership team.

Penelope’s first career was in broadcasting, working as a broadcast meteorologist, presenter and journalist on One News as well as shows such as Made in New Zealand (business) and Body and Soul (health and well-being).

She is also on the board of Global Women, an organisation committed to connecting, promoting and supporting women leaders to increase leadership diversity.

Penelope is an adaptable leader and communicator with broad sector and market expertise, and has a huge passion for education.


Aaron Snodgrass


Aaron is the Chair of the Dilworth Trust Board, which governs Dilworth School.  Dilworth is a boys boarding school based in Auckland and has a roll of 640 across three campuses – Junior (Years 6 to 8) and Senior (Years 10 to 13) in Auckland, and Rural (Year 9) in Mangatawhiri. Uniquely, all boys attending Dilworth School receive a fully funded scholarship paid for by the endowment of James and Isabella Dilworth.

Professionally, Aaron is the Chief Financial Officer of Eastland Group, a Gisborne-based infrastructure company. He has previously worked for PwC (Auckland and New York) and Deutsche Bank (New York). Aaron is a Chartered Accountant Fellow and a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Dilworth has for many years sought to engage with and support fellow independent schools on matters that impact the sector. Aaron believes in the importance of values-based education with the outcome of having young women and men graduating our schools with good character, achieving personal excellence, and who flourish in life.